So I was talking with my rockin' editor, Devi, last week, and I was gushing (again!) about this particular article of swag that I really, really, really want for Tempest Rising.
And she was all, "Meh."
And I was all, "Dude, seriously? It's wicked cool."
And she's all, "Meh."
And I'm all, "DUDE. It ROCKS."
And she continued to make meh-ing sounds at me.
It boils down to the fact she doesn't like swag. I'm not talking about a copy of an ARC swag, but the little fiddly swaggy bits you see people giving away at conventions. The cover flats, and the pencils, etc.
She's all, "Does it really serve a purpose?"
And I'm all, "Hellz yeah, it's free! And it's free! And . . . um . . . it's free!"
It boils down to the fact that Devi, once again, made me think. I'm tired of thinking. Unlike the Underground man, I can not think about anything for hours. I make like that insipid line from Pretty Woman and veg. But my editor made me think, again, and this time about the swag.
Does it really serve a purpose?
I mean, it's FREE! I'm always running around academic conventions and inevitably I end up with a bagful of shikahkah. I eventually rummage through said bagful, looking for two things: anything I can (legitimately) put in my mouth and anything that's actually useful. The pens get stuck in my purse (where they break IMMEDIATELY and ooze pen juice all over me at inopportune moments), I inevitably use the luggage tags because I move around like a nomad, and then I throw everything else out.
So maybe some convention swag deserves a meh? But my idea for my swag is SO GOOD, people, that I still have hope for the swag, yet. And I can think of a million examples of swag that I still have rolling around my house (and food swag always wins my vote of approval).
Basically it boils down to you. What do you think of Swag? Again, I don't mean swag as in free books (who the hell doesn't want free books?). But the other types of swag. I would appreciate it if you answered the following questions. No, this is not a test. Yes, Dr. Peeler can grade them if you'd like her to.
1) Do you pick up swag at conventions?
2) What do you especially like as swag (besides books)?
3) What would you like to see as swag?
4) What would be your ultimate swag, or what has been your ultimate swag, or both.
2) I love those lanyard thingies with the logos on them.
3/4) For book conventions, autographed book plates/stickers. That thing with the autograph from the author so we can stick it in the book.
Ooooo book plates are good! Nice!
Kiyote: What are mini mice???? Mice are already small? Have you crazy comp people managed to shrink them further???
Go Sharon, go!
2. If it's not useful (pens, sticky note pads), then I want it to be pretty or book-specific. For example, how much would i love a temporary tattoo of Mercy Thompson's paw print tat?
3. See above. ;)
4. I have an ultimate swag idea for my book (though it would be too 'spensive, but I can dream). I like SFG's action figure idea. For about a year, I had a strange hobby of taking existing a.f.'s and remodeling them into other characters using paint and putty.
At the same time, there's a lot of swag I've had pushed on me that I didn't really want or like. So unique swag is good. Useful swag is better.
2. I like totes and t-shirts (and other "t" things, like tea!)
3. Signed book plates
4. The best swag I ever got was a travel coffee mug from Kelley Armstrong. It came in a velvet pouch, so it was like 2 gifts in 1! Then there's this pair of blue skull earrings I saw one author had...
2) I like things I can use and not stuff that will dumped in the garbage or a big box at home.
3) Post its are cool and although they are expensive T-shirts are great.
4) Most of the really good stuff is expensive. The point of swag is to get people talking about your book and what better way to do that than a T-shirt. I have one from Toni McGee Causey that says Shuck Me Suck Me Eat Me Raw and always get comments from people when I wear it which them makes for an opening for me to suggest her books.
Kim Harrison has done some great stuff that's related to her books. At her last signing she had tomato seeds. At previous ones there were wooden "charms" or a toe tag.
It's neat if it's somehow related to the book.
How would you feel about less swag, maybe raffled, but it was cool swag? At a signing or something? Like, instead of crappy swag for all, only a few really cool swag gifts, raffled?
But I love the idea of unique but still cheap swag, like Michelle C.'s examples.
Jackie: I hear ya on the food swag!
You guys all rock, btw. Thanks so much for commenting. I am serious about this line of questioning. I want good Swag, dagnabbit.
I like the t-shirt/tote thing, too. It's a great way to get people to ask, especially if it's a little vague in what it says.
~Nalgene water containers (even itty bitty with your name on it)
~lanyards for us badge wearers for work
~bookmarks are always a winner (especially autographed)
~bookplates (see above)
~postcards of book cover
~pins (not leaky pens)
The sway I have received thus far that totally rocked are signed book plates, and Mark Henry had these rad viles of zombie disease. I love them! They are unique to him and his books and they are on my crazy books shelves at home but get the most questions from visitors and I am always happy to talk about books so everyone that has ever been to my house knows about his books.
Zita: Re: the earrings . . . from my cold, dead hands. ;-)
Vickie: Awesome list. Thanks!
SciFiGuy: Good point re: the free advertising if they're wearing it. I want to make everyone my walking billboard.
Kelly: My thoughts, exactly. I have a great cheap idea, but the others . . . not so much.
Bookmarks are actually pretty okay, too. Pins that can go on my jacket or purse are kind of fun, because they're a way to advertise for folks I like without having to carry anything extra. I like the fun swag also, but if it's not useful, I'll pick it up and just end up throwing it away later.
-- FREE laptops with your book over preloaded as desktop picture
-- FREE Kindles with your latest release preloaded (did I mention FREE?)
-- not that rich, they FREE books stacked high (don't forget to sign them!)
Is any of this working for you? It would all work for me. Ha!
I do cheapie bookmarks now. If I was going to do anything else it would be one of those excerpt booklets.
*wonders if people would want a life size picture of NICOLE PEELER for swag*
Michelle: You and my editor should have lunch. ;-)
Alana: You seem to be articulating a common thread, which is usefulness being key. The great think about this is that what every seems to want (stuff you can wear/tote around) is stuff that brings attention to the book.
I also love the t-shirt idea...sighed bookplates, or an object that relates to the book. I have some of Kim Harrison's swag, and I love the toe tag. great bookmark, and its fun.