Monday, 8 February 2010

Discussion: Swag

swag (n): plunder; booty.


swag (n): Promotional items, especially when given for free, considered as a group.

So, what does that mean to us in the book world?

I did the best I could to provide examples in the pictures, but to make it simple: bookmarks, t-shirts, jewelry, stickers, pins, posters, and bookplates are swag. Sometimes you have special things, like nail polish for The Dark Divine. ANYTHING can be swag, in theory.

Swag is basically promotion for the books. Often times, it's extremely pretty. Except for the Twilight bookmarks. But that's mostly the fault of the people doing make up.

The basic thing is bookmarks. Other things like posters and pins and shirts come after that. Then if you're getting a package from the author or a friend or a contest, you could get anything relating to the book, like hair extensions, candies, and notebooks.

Now that I've caught up anyone not sure what swag is, the discussion.

I'm wondering what you all think of swag? Do you see it as just a way of promotion? Do you have any swag/would you want any? Is swag a good idea, but not your thing? Or are you swag-obsessed? Tell me anything and everything you can about swag and you.

My personal story/opinions:

I've always been kind of iffy about swag. I don't use bookmarks too often and I have three that work when needed, I'd have no where to put pins or posters, and I'm not sure I'd wear a t-shirt.

Then I began falling in love with book ideas more and more. I wanted ANYTHING that had to do with the book. Then Heidi Kling put out an alert last week that she was still up for sending out some more bookmarks and we had ten minutes to contact her. Since Sea is one of those books I'm desperate for, I took the plunge and asked.

Today an orange envelope with my name and a Popsicle sticker on the back arrived. My bookmarks were here.

With 5 in total, one of them being signed, I already have plans for three of them. And I'm kind of in love. The signed bookmark has been by my side for the past three hours...for no real reason. I'm tempted to put in next to the Guys and Dolls program that Lauren Graham signed last May.

Then I remembered in another author's news letter, she said if you wanted bookmarks for her new release, all you had to do was email and I got all excited again and emailed her.

So, how about you guys? Swag yay/nay, etc?



  1. I think its a good idea, I mean, it makes a lot of money.. I'm not sure how I feel on the subject, but I know that I go crazy for anything related to the things I like. (I LOVE Lauren Graham - Lucky..) and I do own swag. So I guess I would have to say Yay.

  2. Janster: I've actually seen a lot of authors that offer bookmarks for free. I just found one book coming out next year that offered a download!

    And yes I'm insanely proud of my Lauren Graham. They were trying to get us on the bus but she was RIGHT THERE. And it's in silver sharpie :)

  3. I like swag...I think it's fun. I have a blogging binder that I keep all my reviews and stuff in and I have album insert that I put the swag in and I put stickers on the outside. Pins are on a ribbon that goes around the spine. I love that binder :)

    ok so all that to say yep...I love swag!

  4. I would totally love to get swag! Geez, if I got a t-shirt of a book I loved I would wear it everywhere! (but I'm geeky like that:]). Being a teen, I think it would be awesome to get book posters to cover my walls in and replace the bands that I have there now.

    Also, I think that if it works for promoting the book, it's a great idea!

  5. I agree :) It does help promote the book, and it's also really fun. I love getting swag in the post from different authors- sometimes, the things they give you, help you to understand them a bit more, and their books too ;)

  6. I love it. Can it go overboard? Yeah. I love pins. If its an awesome book, I'm game for anything.

  7. Interesting conversation, Julie. I recently had followers give me their thoughts on swag and promos (since convention and conference season's starting up) and we've done some designs and started getting our first shipments. We're doing the standard stuff--bookmarks, postcards, pens, pins, t-shirts and totes and then some things that are very unique to this series. I guess we'll see how it all goes. :-)




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