Friday, July 4, 2014

Shooting Thoughts: Author Swag

Thanks to Zoe of The Infinite To-Read Shelf for the banner
I know I mentioned a few new features last month and then never posted about them again. It was a hectic month, with a lot of pre-scheduled posts. However, in honor of July 4th and all the fireworks that will go off (in the U.S. at least), I thought it was a fitting time to introduce my new discussion feature, Shooting Thoughts!

Today's topic will be something simple: What are your thoughts on Author Swag?

Almost all authors have had swag of some sort made to promote their novels. These are given out at signings, used in giveaways, and even sent with review copies sometimes. I don't mind author swag in general, but I think it can be a bit too much if I'm given more than I can handle. This is especially true of similar swag like bookmarks, postcards, and other "simple" items that are used to promote a novel. I love bookmarks like any other book-loving girl, but I don't really keep a lot of these items if they are randomly sent to me because I run out of space to keep them or I misplace them within all my books, etc.

I think unique author swag can be great though. It shows a bit more thought and can really make people interested in a book. I know things like this can be more expensive, so I understand when authors can't do things too outside of the box. Regardless, we can still enjoy some of the things authors (or even their publishers) have done to promote novels. Have you been given something a bit more unique, or have you seen something used to promote a novel, that you thought was pretty great?


Back when The Dark Divine by Bree Despain came out, I remember seeing these nail polishes all over the place. I believe Bree herself had them made to promote the novel, since she loved the model's toes on the cover. I think nail polish is a really cute swag idea, especially to give out at signings or to use in giveaways. This way you can limit how much you order, but you are still using something a bit more fun and unique to promote your novel in hopes of garnering more interest.


Jessica Verday used the beauty idea for her novel The Hollow as well, having perfume oils made based on some of her characters.


The photo above shows you what the bottles looked like, as well as the characters embodied such as Abbey and Caspian. I really like this idea too. For books that more girls might read, nail polish and perfume are nice swag ideas because it really targets the gender. I know not all girls are girly-girls, but it's a nice idea nonetheless.

So those are some unique author ideas I've seen. I know there are plenty more, but I'd love to hear what you have seen in the comments!

21 comments:

Brandi Kosiner said...

I think the polish and perfume is such a personal touch

LHughes said...

Great post idea!

I agree that swag can be overdone. Especially any sort of paper product... I honestly want less paper in my life, not more. I'm also the type of person who likes things to be useful, not just a dust collector. So I like swag that can be worn, used, or has some practical purpose (in addition to being pretty!)

It would be really awesome if the book industry would pair up with other industries to do promotions. Like your polish and perfume examples--if a new company was looking for a way to get their name out there, then pairing up with the publishing industry could be a win/win for both sides.

Lauren @ Wordy Hughes

Kindlemom said...

I think it can be really fun when done well and when it goes with the theme of the books. I have seen some gorgeous pendants that author's have given away that I wouldn't have minded winning at all.

Alise said...

Yeah the nail polish is my favorite swag too, I love painting my nails and I like how usable the swag is, as opposed to like 20 bookmarks. Nice topic!

Zoe N. said...

Oh my gosh! That banner is so awesome! I wonder who made it? ;) LOL...just kidding! xD

Personally, I think author swag is great! It's something that can really help publicize a book, and can be really helpful. However, like you said, there are definitely some swag items that are more unique and helpful than others in terms of promotion, like you've mentioned. :)

Thanks for sharing! :D

~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

Andrea Thompson said...

The oils and polishes are neat ideas. I personally love a book mark, mostly bc I lose them on a daily basis. Pens are excellent, and I got a bottle opener at Book Bash. I use it every night! lol

Giselle said...

I love it when I get unique swag that's related to the book. Once time I got soap that was carved with book quotes and such. And when pubs send a big book promotional kit - like with the last Disney package there were these funky gel masks and stuff all under the same chill reads theme! Such a cool touch!

Melanie said...

Hmm, I don't really see the point of post cards, bookmarks are really nice--especially when they're signed but unique swag like nail polishes are pretty awesome.

Lovely discussion! <33

Tracy Terry said...

As well as the usual bookmarks, postcards and magnets etc I've also received nail varnish. A nice touch but sent in the same package as the book and not well wrapped the bottle had broken in the package and so I got a novel covered in bright blue polish.

One of the weirdest things I've ever received though was a sequined bra ..... signed inside by the author.

Alexia561 said...

I collect bookmarks, so those are my favorite swag. You'd be surprised how many are cheap & shoddily made, so I really appreciate the nice ones.

I also love fun buttons and nice tote bags, but those can get expensive.

I received a perfume once for one of MJ Rose's books, which was different. I think that Tracy wins for weirdest swag! A sequined bra? :O

Terri @ Alexia's Books and Such...

Liviania said...

I like T-shirts. Another T-shirt to wear is another day I don't have to do laundry, and the author gets years of free promo. (Everyone loves my Chronicles of Vlad Todd and Vampire Academy tees.)

And I adored the TDD nail polish. I still wear mine because it is a great color and formula.

Melliane said...

you're right it depends on what it is but it's always nice to have something from an author so whatever it's always so awesome for me.

Tanja - Tanychy said...

This is such a great idea and I love when authors do this. I know it's not cheep to do it but still. I was part of one such swag giveaway and the prizes were really amazing. Great post :)

cleemckenzie said...

I like it when what's given is in keeping with the theme of the book, so that nail polish and the perfume oils seemed to be perfect. But I still like bookmarks. I never seem to have enough of those. :-)
And gift certificates are great. I always need more books.

Hilda K said...

Nail polish is such an interesting choice for swag! I love beauty products like nail polish, perfume, or soap, so I think it'd be good for authors to use it for swag. I once received a cardholder as a swag, and while it's pretty and all, I have to admit I don't use it all haha. xD

This is such a fun feature, Lauren! Looking forward to see more of this feature! <3

kimbacaffeinate said...

I love swag from polish to bookmarks. It can be a great conversation starter. Totes are one of my favorites.

Ginny Gallagher said...

Great post! I love swag. I also try to share swag like bookmarks, magnets, pens, etc. with my giveaway winners. So if you win a book that I mail out be prepared your getting swag with it. :)

I love unique swag items too. Especially if they are useful. Tote bags, pens and t-shirts are always a favorite.

Rachel said...

I love the idea of nail polish that matches the series or book cover somehow as swag. Leigh Bardugo did that with her first book Shadow and Bone and it was a lovely shade of gray. Awesome idea! :)

Medeia Sharif said...

It's interesting to see all the swag out there, whether it's a good-looking bookmark to the more creative, expensive pieces of swag.

Sophia Lin said...

Love the name! I'm usually terrible with those, XD. But personally I don't usually get swag since I can't out my address in the first place to authors... or anybody really. O_o

Candace said...

I LOVE book swag and will take anything. But if I don't think I'll use it or it's not a favorite author than I include it in my giveaways.
I love pins because I can use them. I have fingernail polish from Leigh Bardugo and like that. I have got nail files as well and liked that.
I LOVE magnets, my fridge is full of book magnets. Bookmarks are nice but I'm afraid to ruin them so they often just get put in a jar and I never use them.