Monday, July 27, 2009

My Favorite Swag

I'm sure the vast majority of you are sick of RWA related posts, but the last and final box I shipped from D.C. was waiting for me when I rolled into the office this morning. And since promo is always a hot topic amongst romance authors, readers and bloggers, I thought I'd highlight some of my favorites from this year. Note: clicking on the picture will make it bigger.

  • Book bag from author Tracy Wolff. I'm pretty sure I got this at the Literacy Signing when I stopped by Tracy's table. I need another book bag like I need a hole in the head, but what I love about this one is it's smaller size. I like my book bags two ways. 1) Big enough to fit a dead body a mess of books or 2) Small enough for me to carry to the office. I expect to get a lot of use out of this bag, and it's excellent promo for Tracy since who knows how many innocent bystanders will see me carrying it around.
  • Post-It Note Tablet from Hannah Howell. Do you know how many post-it notes and pads of paper I go through at work? A lot. I always keep some by my computer to jot down information about books, authors, random ISBNs I need to look up.....
  • Green collapsible tote bag from Samhain. I'll admit an e-publisher giving out tote bags strikes me as....odd. That said, this one folds into a handy (and small!) pouch. Ideal for keeping in your car's glove box when you have to make that last minute run to the grocery store. Or that impromptu run to the bookstore. Either way, it'll come in handy.
  • Buttons from Cherry Adair and Tessa Dare. Dare's buttons were really clever. She took the title words from her upcoming trilogy - Goddess, Siren and Lady - and made individual buttons. Then she gave them out at RWA....a conference full of women. Women walking around with Goddess, Siren and/or Lady pinned to them. Awesome. Adair's buttons include such valuable advice as "So Many Books, So Little Time" and "Today Requires Chocolate." Amen sister.
  • Thumb drive. I think others have already blogged about this. This flash drive came with the conference registration tote bag and includes various handouts and some free Harlequin books. Very cool.
  • Sunscreen from Gina Ardito. Individual mini-packets of SPF 15 sunscreen in a matchbook. Great to stuff in your purse when you're on the go. I'm so white I'm see-through and I live in southern California. I cannot have too much sunscreen. Just sayin'.
  • Zebra Authors CD. This was probably my favorite promo item of the conference. This CD includes excerpts, book trailers, links to the author's web site, and links to buy the books for six authors who are published (or are soon going to be) by Zebra. An excellent example of how authors can work together on promotion and highlight what readers care about the most - the books! Avon authors - are you taking note? This seems like a natural for you guys. Authors on the Zebra CD are: Anthea Lawson, Kit Donner, Lori Brighton, Jackie Ivie, Heather Grothaus, and Kimberly Killion.

16 comments:

LoriK said...

I'm jealous of the excellent swag.

And on the oddness of an e-publisher giving out a tote bag, I think it actually makes a lot of sense if you look at it the right way.

A folding tote isn't the sort of thing you usually use for books. As you noted it's more for groceries. That means it's the green alternative to the old paper or plastic question. Since ebooks are greener than dead tree books the two things have an environmentally conscious connection.

Either that or I'm just way over thinking this.

Tessa Dare said...

Ooh! I made the best swag post! Score!

In a moment of shameless self promotion (really, isn't that what swag's all about?) I will point out that my leftover Goddess/Siren/Lady buttons are free for the asking at my website: http://tessadare.com/freebies/

:)

Wendy, it was awesome to finally meet you in person. And ironic that it happened in DC, given that we live like 20 minutes from each other.

JenB said...

So jealous! This is what I love about conferences. Screw the workshops and mingling--I want the goody bags! LOL

Wendy said...

LoriK: Yeah, when you think about it that way, it does make sense. And very likely what they were shooting for. In the past Samhain has given away travel mugs and luggage tags. Ebooks = extremely convenient for when you're traveling. Heck, it's why I love my Sony Reader.

Tessa: Oooh, you're also giving away your leftover bookmarks! Everyone, the bookmarks are beeootiful. I grabbed several at the conference. Go forth and sign up for freebies!

JenB: I tend to go for the magnets and notepads. The magnets because they're purdy, the notepads because they're functional.

Kristina Cook/Kristi Astor said...

Hannah Howell's sticky note pad was by far my favorite swag from RWA--very useful! I've got it sitting right here by my desk now!

Victoria Janssen said...

Passionate Ink (RWA chapter) also did cds with excerpts--I suspect those will become more and more common.

jmc said...

I *loved* the CD-DVD of Zebra authors. Berkley (I think) was giving them out too, for paranormals at their publisher signing. And the Rainbow Chapter of RWA gave a CD-DVD out at Brockmann's chat. Haven't looked at all of them yet, but I remember those much more clearly than most of the other stuff, so they've served at least part of their purpose from a marketing perspective.

Wendy said...

Kristina: I love notepads and post-its. Very handy around the office.

Victoria and JMC: I like the CDs because it means less paper-clutter in the goody room and less paper for me to haul around. Also? There are endless possibilities for authors. RWA chapters, authors who group blog together, sub genres, publishers - so many themes to work with if you're going to do an excerpt CD......

nath said...

Those are great promotional items :) I love pins, so those are always fun. Collapsible tote bags are also a good idea... you can slip them in your purse for purchases and so on... What I liked with bigger tote bag for shopping or grocery shopping is that I never know when I should carry one or not.

Fiona said...

Oooooh - very jealous of the awesome swag!

Fiona :)

azteclady said...

This is so funny!

I asked Ms Dare about her buttons... erm... her swag... erm...

Well, okay, I asked her about this for Ann Aguirre's August newsletter :grin: Love them!

~ames~ said...

This is great stuff Wendy! I really like the pins. :P

Liza said...

I'm jealous of the awesome swag too. Hope to get some swag at RWA next year in Nashville.

Wendy said...

Nath: The compact size of the tote is certainly handy. You can easily stuff it in your purse or throw in in your car's glove box.

Fiona: There's always plenty of promo stuff to go around. These were just the highlights.

AL: The Dare buttons worked so well because of the titles of her trilogy. What woman wouldn't want to walk around advertising "Goddess" "Lady" or "Siren?" LOL

Ames: I'm mostly a ho for magnets, but I do keep some of the best pins on my tack board here at the office.

Liza: There's always plenty of swag! After attending Nashville you'll never need another bookmark every again :)

Anthea Lawson said...

Wow, the Zebra authors are getting much love from you, Wendy~ Woot!
If folks would like a CD of our fabulous compilation, drop me a line at anthea@anthealawson dot com and I'll gladly send you one. :)

My favorite swag: Pens! And the more stylish bookmarks too~

Wendy said...

Anthea: I'm still working through the pens I grabbed in RWA San Francisco LAST year. So I stayed away from pens this year :) I tend to gravitate towards the magnets, notepads and post-it notes.

And I seriously love that excerpt CD. It makes a lot of sense on a lot of levels.