Monday, August 19, 2013

Back to Business: SWAG

Summer is drawing to a close and I am starting to prepare for a fall round of author events. Thus the
time has come to order swag to support the upcoming publication of THE SOUND OF LETTING GO. The book has some lovely interior art, featuring an abstract pattern of black-and-white flowers. And the cover colors, about which I felt uncertain when I saw the mock-ups, look beautiful on the arc. So I am getting excited to choose a few fun items to share with readers and educators.

Did you know that most authors (not people like Rick Yancey and Suzanne Collins) pay for the swag they distribute? This stuff does not come from the publisher. Back in the "glory days" of trade publishing (aka 1990s), publishers produced posters for picture books, and items like bookmarks and two-color biography booklets for authors producing titles at all levels of the children's markets. Now, you pour an author a glass of wine and in no time they'll be quoting you swag prices and bemoaning the whole scene.

That said, these mementos are fun to give away--kind of like business cards with a "kick." Bookmarks are relatively cheap and can hold a lot of information. Authors have produced items from jewelry to magnets, and from t-shirts to pens. Personally, I am a huge fan of custom sticky notes but the per-unit price sometimes feels a bit too high given their value as a promotional item.


As a reader, book blogger, maybe librarian: What is your favorite kind of swag? What do you do with bookmarks, etc., you receive from authors?

As a writer: What has been your relationship with swag? Has it been worth the investment?

ANY SUGGESTIONS for the type of swag I should have made for the new book?


Crystal Collier said...

Honest truth, I'm all about the book--forget the swag. The kids love it when we go to the library and there are free bookmarks sitting out, but otherwise, I think swag is overrated. *ducking and watching for flying rotten fruit*

Caroline Starr Rose said...

I think bookmarks are the biggest bang for your buck.

Stasia said...

Thanks for the feedback, Caroline and Crystal. Swag is always a stressor for me. #ratherbewriting :)

Jessica Sun said...

I love bookmarks of course, although anything is nice. I got stickers when I pre-ordered a book once, and that was really cool.

Stasia said...

Stickers sound neat, Jessica. Were they of the book cover or something else?

Misha Gerrick said...

I can't really weigh in, since I've never received swag (living in South Africa makes it a bit impractical). Still, just dropping by to say thanks for the follow.

BTW. Did you know your profile is deactivated? I had to find you through google. :-)