Sunday, January 7, 2018

Fun with SWAG

Do you like to get Stuff We All Get (SWAG) from authors?

I do. I love to pick up bookmarks, pens, jelly bean bags, etc. It's fun to take a few things home and think about meeting the author. But, I must admit, most of it ends up in the trash pretty quickly.

I have a new YA releasing in February, and I'm in the process of creating some SWAG as giveaways. As I was trying to decide what to order, I thought I might ask readers!

So here's your chance. Tell me what you think about SWAG. You can comment here--or fill in an anonymous Google form survey.

In the past, I've given away bookmarks, trading cards, lip gloss, recipe cards, and temporary tattoos. At a recent author event at a local high school, I put out several hundred bookmarks, trading cards, and tattoos--and they all disappeared within seconds. While I suspect most of it made its way into the trash can by nightfall, that's okay. My website had a lot of hits that day, so that's a win for me!

Most readers will likely say that free books are great SWAG. I agree! But let me make a comment about the free thing.

Although a book might be free for the reader, it is not free for the author. We have to buy the books we give away. And, yes, we'll probably get them for a lower price than readers, but it's still not cheap. Here are some ballpark figures to buy and deliver a book to a reader (with a US address):

  • Paperback - $10
  • Hardcover - $15
  • E-book (traditional) - $10
  • E-book (self-pubbed) - pennies

For international readers, the shipping cost is crazy. 30 - 40 dollars (USD) is not uncommon. I still try to hold giveaways for international readers, but they will often get books shipped to them directly from, which means it won't be signed.

Bookmark for WHISPER FALLS and I WISH

there you are--some quick insights into SWAG and giveaways. If you have some ideas to share, please comment or fill in the survey. Thank you!