Today is the first day of the Goody Room where authors placed swag in hopes that someone will pick it up. I don’t pick up all the swag because some items hold no interest for me. This is the mysterious secret behind finding the right swag; to get the potential reader or networker to pick it up. I would like to highlight ten memorable swags.
1. My personal favorites are magnets, pens, and emery boards. These useful items stay in the potential reader’s hand for a long time.
2. Stress balls - These are fun items often stamped with a tag line.
3. Michelle Willingham’s lunch bag (the insulated kind) was an unusual addition to the swag table this year.
4. Key chains - Adrienne Giordano included a used bullet casing for her Private Protectors series. (Very clever!)
5. A full-length book on CD - Callie Hutton’s book Run for Love was a welcome change. It wasn’t a sample and it was on a thin CD, which is so much easier to pack. (Two thumbs up Callie!)
6. Bag clip - courtesy of Nancy Berland. Nancy is a Public Relations person, which every writer can use. If a writer wants to contact Nancy, all she has to do is look for the bag clip.
7. Bath Tea - a lovely treat for RWA attendees. This welcome swag is courtesy of Sherry Thomas.
8. Chewing gum, with a promo cover highlighting Coreene Callahan’s book, was another great find.
9. The tiny hot sauce bottle with recipe card from Hattie Mae made it on my list.
10. If all else fails, why not use money? Well, make that British money. That’s what Tracey Devlyn did.
This brings me to my all-time favorite swag from Carolyn Brown who used jalapeno bags to promote The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee. Each pepper-decorated bag contained a colorful pepper necklace, business card, jalapeno gummies, a pen and bookmark. (Thanks Carolyn!)
Honorary Mention: Jennifer Bernard’s door hanger with an image of a bare-chested fireman that reads: Do not disturb… I’m reading something hot.
The real test is if any of these will influence me in any way to buy a book. After mentioning all this great swag, I am focusing on two books: The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee and Legacy of the Clockwork Key. As for the last book, a simple postcard pointed out the novel. It sounded like the type of book I might enjoy reading. That is all anyone is trying to do: getting book titles in front of people who might like to read them.