A fun part of being an author is choosing what SWAG to invest in for promotional purposes - blog contest giveaways, touring giveaways, drop off items to bookstores on your travels, or giveaways at signings/author visits, etc. There are infinite ways to utilize SWAG and an equal amount of items out there to be branded.
Here are a few of the SWAG products I've invested and an overview of their impact:
Val Cox (http://www.valcox.ca/) illustrated Under My Skin and her gothic work looks GOREgeous in full colour. After falling in love with her illos of the UMS crew, I asked her to develop some unique SWAG to promote the book. She came up with three different cards based on the main characters, their personalities and a quote from UMS.
The cards are slick, hip and gothic - a great investment - worth the design and production fees. They also fit perfectly into the plastic, sealing bags used for the UMS chokers. Which brings us to....
These choker necklaces were hand made by a teacher at my school who has a jewellery making business. She helped me locate the perfect crosses to match my vision of Eryn's gift from Alec, as well as the two strand ribbon bands.
I got a steal of a deal and only had to pay for supplies which made these stunning promo pieces worth the moola.
Made just for the UMS Launch Party (the live one in my home town and the online version). I had 24 tees produced - they were far too expensive but I LOVED them. Clingy and distressed/vintage, I adore mine and wear it often.
Worth the money? No. But as a cool keepsake you can wear with a cute pair of jeans/capris - priceless. ;)
I had two separate designs created - one with the UMS cover and the other with one of the illos from UMS depicting the three main characters. I find the postcards most handy when mailing out ARC or prize winner copies of UMS - the large whitespace on the back lets me write a personal message. I had these printed at http://www.vistaprint.com/ - very affordable.
At bookstores, these don't seem to move as quickly as bookmarks...
Double-sided UMS/Second Skin Bookmarks:
I just got these babies. Double-sided bookmarks are lovely! Since VistaPrint doesn't have a template for bookmarks, I had to search the net for another printer. http://www.printrunner.com/ did a bang up job on my double-sided bookmarks, one featuring UMS and the other featuring Second Skin. Full colour both sides, one side with a high gloss, the other matte. Super affordable too.
These are hot items when I'm out at events and overall seem to get the most response.
I know there are tons of other SWAG options to explore, posters, banners, standing banners, buttons, magnets, pillow cases, tank tops, etc... and I do want to produce something specific for the release of Second Skin. I will have to ponder on this. In the meantime, good luck in your own SWAG adventures. I leave you with an image of some SWAG from authors who participated in the Crossroads Blog Tour this October:
You can see the UMS bookmarks resting on the brick wall. What a lot of loot, eh? If your interested, follow the tour in Oct 2011. Meet more paranormal YA authors and enter contests for amazing SWAG prizes.