SWAG Questions + Updates

Hi friends! I’m back at home base. :D

Still behind, but that’s not new. Right? :\ And, I know I’m really flippant about it… but it does bother me a lot. And I’m sorry about it.

Actually, I have a few questions. First, I’m gearing up for Social Media for Social Good again. (SMSG). I’m debating between an ALS Charity, or *ETA decided on a Human Trafficking one. Unless something big comes up (and I hope not, because that means there is a global tragedy, you know?) – so, anyone have strong feelings one way or another? [Or if Romance Man has his 501c3 set up, I already agreed last year on his…]

Anyway. Hopefully I’ll be posting winners soon, and emailing everyone and catching up on those.

My question is though – s.w.a.g. – “stuff we all get” – what’s your favorite from authors that you’ve seen or received? What would you like to get? I’m gearing up for another post, and I’d really like any feedback and suggestions. And I’m sure authors would too. (And hey, speak up! Cuz that means it might be happening, and you might get it!)

ETA: Ok guys? … you do know that books aren’t swag right? Swag is the promotional type items authors hand out – there is very little likelihood an author has hundreds of copies of books s/he can just give away to everyone. That’s a different topic – when I ask about prizes. Swag does not mean prizes. (Or, some authors give it as a prize… but that’s another shoddy story.) Thanks! :)

47 thoughts on “SWAG Questions + Updates

  1. We have a great little independent bookstore in town that opened after our Waldenbooks (part of the Borders Group) closed and they are really wonderful promoting all authors but they don’t get the “perks” the big book stores get.

    They and their readers love when I drop off bookmarks and the more different genres and authors they represent the better! Whether it’s one bookmark or a box full they and their readers are thrilled to get them! The last time I took them what I had received from various authors they told me whenever I show up their sales of those same authors books double!

    I can’t think of a better way to help promote all the authors I love both the bookstore and the authors to help them out in anyway I can.

    • Hmmmm Jeanne, I guess it depends on what books your bookstore has then :D but – if I could get some authors to send you stuff, would you be willing to take it there?
      [NB I’m totally just asking this on my own, without any other arrangements – just curious] :)

  2. Lime – They really would appreciate them and the other thing that has happened in the past is they end up ordering books by customer demand when they are given a bookmark especially from an author they haven’t read yet! I think it’ a great way for authors both authors that are well know but also debut authors to get their name and books out there to people who may not be familiar with them!

    • denise – heh – don’t we all. ;) Sadly that doesn’t happen really – books as swag. Other than I suppose at RWA … and maaaaybe one or two signings at RT? There was only one the time I went…

  3. Well, of course books would be the first choice, but I love bookmarks. I have a few that have pictures of all of the books in the author’s current series.

    • lol, well Sharlene, I think denise set something off; but … books aren’t swag. :P I mean they’re “easy enough” to get as contest prizes etc, but I don’t think any author or publisher could afford to just give them away to everyone. >.> And some probably wouldn’t want to… :X

  4. I always love little notebooks and post-its. Very useful & each time I use them I have the author in my face.

    • Mary, I agree! Post-its are super helpful. And those actually require some thought too, because I’ve seen author post-its where their image/logo/whatever takes up the whole page >.< and it’s in dark ink, rendering the pad essentially useless :\

  5. I do generally like things that I can actually use….post-its, pens, etc. I also have some great mugs, cups, ect but they are much more expensive for authors and are more likely to be given as larger prizes for contests, etc.

    • June, oooo mugs and cups is a great mention. I have a few I use too – easier for “local things, although I’ve flown with some, always with fingers crossed it’d survive the trip!

    • Patoct, some pens are awesome – and it’s super handy to have a variety of pens too. Some authors go with funky colors, which I love. Hannah Howell had purple pens (one year).

  6. I do have lots of author bookmarks. A few trading cards. I have 2 magnets that I like. I guess we all just like free stuff. ;-)

    • Trish – I like magnets too :D although the romance ones can only hold one, maaaaybe two pieces of paper to the fridge. >.> In my “full” post I might talk about how I frankensteined some swag… :X
      There are also some really nice trading cards I don’t want, but can’t bear to toss. I need to remember to tuck those into a prize pack!

  7. Books are number one. I hate the compilation books with lots of little snippets. I find them frustrating. I love creative bookmarks. I received one that is magnetic to mark where you are on the page. Cool! Reusable shopping bags are always great. Although, nothing dirty or questionable, please. I have never used any of the tshirts or hats I have gotten. They have all incorporated the word erotic or had really odd graphics. I got beautiful magnets once that I still use. But my all time favorite is a book cover. It is bar none the very best swag ever!

  8. I have to be honest,my favorite swag is a book or a kindle gift card to get a book.,I have been lucky enough to win or receive some Mobi books but I have been having a lot of problems with them on my computer and parts will be missing or skipped,and I realized its not the authors fault but then the book has caught my intrest and I have to go buy it anyway so I like to get the kindle gift cards even if they are only like $1.99 because I spend at least $200 a month on books so anytime I can win a kindle card is a fantastic gift!!!!

    • sharon, I think you’re mixing up prizes with swag here. :) A gift cards is a prize – but swag would be something EVERYONE gets.
      Otherwise though, I agree – who doesn’t love a nice gift card?

  9. I like the pens and fridge magnets as well as the unique bookmarks. Not the paper/cardboard type but I’m sure they are more expensive (which is why they are so pretty!)

    • Linda, now I’m curious as to what you mean by the “unique bookmarks” – have you ever seen ones that Courtney Milan has done? Do you mean like that? [I admit I’ve held on to a few of those.] And hey, springing for something a little more expensive that catches people’s eye, that they keep … I’d think it’d be worth it, don’t you? :D

  10. Hm… for swag, I think my top favorite is bookmarks, RTCs, and then post-its and pens. Totes, if they’re going high end ;) I have seen a few very cute keychains, but usually I don’t end up using too many. I honestly don’t care too much for drink koozies, pins/buttons, water bottles, or lip balm (I’m a little picky about that, so that unfortunately usually gets tossed)…

    • flchen1 :D you know RTC seems to be going the way of the dinosaur. Although there are cute collectible “album” things; I think if authors provided that along with the card it could be super awesome. And then a good way to be able to keep a LOT of them.
      I don’t care about koozies, and never did about pins until I had to mcguyver my seatbelt. XD I do like the lip balms though – they’re a lifesaver in the winter here.

  11. Of course we love swag! And books! But I do enjoy those book marks and pens. Cover flats are great too. Or little things like candy would also do. LOL
    But for the Charities….either one would be fine.

    • Hee I think you’re the first to speak to the charities, ki pha! [Of course I probably shouldn’t ask so many “big questions” at once. Cover flats eh? I know publishers often even send authors a number of them. And I agree; candy helps people get noticed, so a business card attached to it means a reader might go check out the site. Or, that’s the hope, right? ;)

  12. Oh, and as for the charity, either sounds OK. I know the one you chose last year was very global feeling. Do you want to do another with a similar wider reach, or one that is more domestic? Is there a subsection of the population that is more on your heart than another?

  13. I’m really not picky. I take what I get and after going through everything share with many of my reading buddies. I appreciate anything an author or blog sends.

  14. Interesting to read. Thank you. I love practical things. I’ve gotten great feedback both from my chip clips and my computer keyboard cleaning brush. This year, I had a multi-tool which had a brush to clean your computer keyboard, a cleaner for your computer monitor, and a letter opener. I have not heard any complaints, but I worried people who had the letter opener might toss it in their purse while traveling, and potentially had it taken by security. So I put up a sign for that, or told people verbally. Travel is always a major thing authors have to consider when buying swag. So good point, Lime, about the cups, etc. Especially with the weight limit on luggage now…very restricting.

    • Ahhh the item you had sounds awesome, Beth!!! I should have pounced on you for one! Will you be going to RT next year? I bet people would go mad for them. :D

  15. I’m all about pens. More pens.

    And re SMSG? You alrwady know where I stand. Both are hugely important causes, but ALS research & supporting families will always be top on my list.

    • Lori – I used to hate on pens, but lately I am like a black hole of pens at court. O_o Which, is really bad in hearings! Eek!

      And <3 <3 <3

  16. I like the useful stuff – pens, bookmarks, magnets, etc. I also think flashlights or key chains or something tied to the author/book (Kit Rocha sends out O’Kane tattoos).

    • Susan, YES! FLASHLIGHTS!!! I just got a mini one lately that I am IN LOVE with!!!
      And I agree, if it’s sufficiently tied to the book, it doesn’t need to be that out there or expensive, because I know a lot of people liked and wanted the Kit Rocha fake tattoos.

  17. SWAG I use–post-it notes, ink pens, purse mirrors and flashlights, drink koozies, tote bags, candy

    SWAG I don’t use–trading cards, magnets, bookmarks (I have so many and since I read more on my Kindle now, I don’t need more,) keychains, buttons and pins

    SWAG I’d like to get (but never have)–cups, mugs, chip clips, eyeglass or computer cleaning cloth

    As for this year’s charity, I know whatever you choose will be great. Personally, I’d like to see more done to spotlight human trafficking. I read somewhere recently that there are more slaves now than at the height of black slavery in America. That is such a humbling and disturbing thought.

  18. This is a very interesting discussion for me. My first book releases in September. I took pens and keeper kards to RWA. I saw Jeannie Lin’s book marks and loved them. It was the red tassels that did it.

    As for charities, when I lived in Europe, human trafficking was a huge deal, but it’s not just there. Many of the, boys, girls and young woman who disappear in the US are being trafficked. There are probably young men as well. Their lives are not pretty, and the therapy needed to overcome the abuse is expensive.

  19. Aloha! I love pens, post it notes, purse pack tissues (with author’s sticker on it), and other useful items.

    I vote for human trafficking as I’ve seen it (sort of) in action. We recently visited my husband at Osan Air Base in South Korea. The base recently added several “juicy bars” on the “do not patronage” list for possible links to illegal activities. In turn, the juicy bars protested outside the front gate, prompting the commander to restrict military personnel in the protest area for security reasons. This, in turn, impacted other legitimate businesses who do not engage in human trafficking.

    From the Stars and Stripes,

    Base-area juicy bars primarily employ Philippine women who are brought into South Korea to serve as hostesses. Their job is to flirt with servicemembers, trying to get them to buy the women expensive juice drinks in exchange for their continued company and conversation.

    While flirting is as far as things go at some of the bars, others are notorious for forcing their “juicy girls” to prostitute themselves when they fall short of drink-sale quotas.

    USFK blacklists juicy bars caught in the act of promoting prostitution and human trafficking, but servicemen can patronize others even though the command states: “Buying overpriced drinks in a juicy bar supports the human trafficking industry, a form of modern-day slavery.”

  20. My favoite swag I ever got was from historical author Kathleen Kirkwood who sent out magnets of her book covers. I still have them on the fridge and use them daily. Pens are great too. I signed a bill on vacation with a pen from author Vicky Loeble’s book and it totally sparked a conversation with the server.

  21. I think Human Trafficking is great cause to support!
    As far as swag goes, I like most of it, but my favorites are key chains, magnets, and pens. :)

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