The Beauty, Fun & Cost of Swag

By M. D. Jones (Intern) (Edited by Amy Lignor)

One of the more successful marketing techniques, swag has long been a source of pride and frustration for authors, publishers, and bloggers. Yet if done correctly, it can help take a book or concept from the ‘unnoticed’ category straight to the top of a newsfeed.

Swag can help connect readers with an author. It is far more personal, and allows the readers to understand that the author knows them by name. It can help marketing by bringing in bloggers, newspapers, and other great sources – providing them with material to help spread the name of the particular author.

Unfortunately, swag can also be expensive to purchase and to mail out. The most recent swag is created in the digital realm, but has not completely replaced printed swag, as nothing beats holding on to something physical.

Another recent addition to swag has been fan-made. From fan artwork to fan-fiction, this new form of marketable swag rarely costs the author anything and helps to promote a book in areas it might have otherwise been impossible to reach. Although it can take some time to reach the audience level for this to occur, with overly-exuberant readers jumping on board the author’s train, once it becomes viral it can travel around the world in less than a matter of hours.

Whichever form of swag is used, make sure it’s something that is not only accessible to you to work with, but also financially viable. Breaking the bank will not serve an author or their readers. If you choose wisely and listen to your fans, swag can be the ultimate key to success!

Swag Resource List:

http://gotprint.net/g/uploadBookmark.do
http://www.earthlycharms.com/
http://www.vistaprint.com/
http://www.windjammerpromotions.com/promotional/426/Services.html
http://www.qualitylogoproducts.com/
http://www.sharpdots.com/Products.aspx
http://www.gopromos.com/
http://www.iprint.com
http://www.overnightprints.com/
http://www.fedex.com/us/office/indexv1.html
http://www.staples.com/
http://www.zazzle.com/custom/businesscards

Unique Swag Ideas with Cafe Press
http://www.cafepress.com/

Unique One of a Kind Swag
http://www.facebook.com/MayrasDazzlingDesigns

Mini Book Charms
http://www.etsy.com/shop/AppleBeads85
http://www.etsy.com/shop/sophiesbeads 
http://www.etsy.com/shop/LittleLiterature?page=1

Personalized M&Ms
http://www.mymms.com/

Personalized Wedding Favors Work as Swag
http://www.orientaltrading.com/personalizable/wedding-a1-90000+18+98-1-1.fltr