By now you have had a chance to look at a lot of different types of swag. Perhaps you are wondering what could work better than some of the products you are currently using. It’s time to go back to your roots: your book(s).
The main idea of swag is to create exposure for your books. To do that, there needs to be something that connects people back to your writing. While a website, a logo or a link to social media may have its merits, something more substantial, something that makes people talk about and think about your novels, is better.
Your exercise today is to take a pen and some paper and write down all the things you associate with your books. Start with issues that the general population can associate with.
My book series has underlying environmental ties. I have characters that are magical trees. The best swag I have ever had are tree seedlings, individually packaged and tagged, with a slogan of grow your own magic tree. These are actually popular enough to sell.
Tote Bags are another popular swag item. If you plan to use them instead of plastic bags to save the environment, I tip my virtual hat to you. It is important you know ahead of time that these are free with purchase items and adjust the price of your book to absorb the cost. When designing use bright colours or designs that stick out. The more people who see your bags at an event the more curious they will become about what everyone else has purchased from you.
If you are still having a problem thinking about something you could use as swag to make that special connection with your readers, think of books that are successful. Can you match a book to the following swag items?
A plain ring with writing
A bird brooch
A long striped scarf
Odds are you figured out a book or two from the above list. Now think of a similar idea for your book. Keep in mind that you could be simply looking for a few items to make gift baskets to use as prizes.
If you are like me, you probably have ordered a bunch of items and you aren’t sure what to do with them. I, for instance, ordered too many pens and would like to make them into something a little more memorable. To do this I am turning them into an entirely different product by packaging them with a piece of bark. The following quote from book five of my series should help you understand.
“Bettulla,” Elfred answered. “A true goddess of the woods. Once a year she would shed paper thin pieces of bark and grant love to all who wrote requests on them. Now she stands here, silent, merely a shadow lost in a forest.”
With a simple piece of bark and some packaging added, my pen became the instrument with which to request love from The Tree of Love Bettulla.
Whatever you choose to use, always keep in mind the best swag will draw people into your booth and give you an opportunity to explain how it relates to your booth. This is your chance to create interest and make sales.
Make sure you advertise your swag on social media using pictures before the event you are giving them away at. People like to a chance to receive interesting items.
Thanks for reading. Join me next week for Surviving the World of Live Events – Working the Table