DISCUSSION POST: Book Swag — Yay or Nay

February 25, 2011 Uncategorized 0

Today I wanted to touch on the subject of Author/Publisher Swag.  If you are looking at this post funny and not knowing what Swag is exactly, I am talking about bookmarks, pens, notepads, totes, etc.  Swag can be almost anything that is used to help in promotion of a book to generate buzz and to get the book noticed. I wanted to express my opinion on the subject and I invite you to share your opinion on the topic as well!

Book swag generally can either come from a publishing company or an author.  There are so many types of swag and can sometimes be very creative.  For instance, I have received thermos mugs, lollipops, jewelry, totes bags, calenders, candy and even mouse pads.  I love to see how creative publishers/authors can get with the type of swag they pass out.

In my personal opinion, I LOVE swag.  Not only is it fun to get something unusual, but it is also something we can use to spread the word about a great book!  I have a tote bag that features The Pretty Little Liars book.  I use it to carry my library books back and forth when I exchange them. I have had so many comments on it and people ask where it came from.  I also have a T-Shirt that features Leap Books on the front.  Many people have inquired about it as well and this leads to a discussion of books as well.  My favorite is my Drink of Me by Jacquelyn Frank coffee thermos.  I am a serious coffee drinker and carry that with me all the time! A friend of mine was curious one day about it and I showed her the book I own that it goes to.  She thought it was neat that I had this item of swag to catch her attention and she ended up reading the book and becoming a fan of this authors writing. 

One thing I have started to notice with Swag though, is how coveted it can become.  When we notice something new and creative, we all want some of it!  The more creative the item, the more sought after it becomes. Sometimes this can be a good thing and sometimes it can be a nightmare.  I admit that I loved the Twilight books!  When they came out their wasn’t as much swag for that series as there is now.  What was available to a select few at the time has now become a source of greed.  With all the hype around the books and movies, people are trying to sell this stuff to make a quick buck that they essentially got for free.  Add to that the merchandise that is swarming the stores for this series, people can get burnt out pretty quick on it.

All in all, I still am a huge fan of swag.  Personally, I have a TON of swag that I use to decorate my library with, share with others in giveaways or just as gifts, and even donate to my daughters library to get teens at the school interested in a book.  Swag can be helpful and worth their weight in gold if used properly.  You wouldn’t believe how excited I can get by the mailbox when I open up an envelope of bookmarks!  I squeal with joy and do a happy dance.  So authors/publishers, next time you send off that review book that you have spent money to print for use of promotion, think about the little things like swag as well.  A little extra time and money spent adding a bookmark or pen to the package CAN  make a difference! 

What are your thoughts? Do you like the Swag? What do you do with your Swag?

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