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Friday, February 25, 2011

DISCUSSION POST: Book Swag -- Yay or Nay

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?


Blogger VABookworm87 said...

I love swag!!! It's like Christmas :D lol Seriously though- I love having something to show off my love for something, especially books! Sometimes, since I know it helps out the authors, I hand out the swag (either on my blog, to friends, or at the bookstore) although sometimes I keep the most awesome stuff for myself :)

February 25, 2011 at 8:25 AM  
Blogger Nora said...

Awesome! I love swag! So far, I'v only received a few bookmarks (which were quickly hoarded between sister and friends), but it certainly is a great feeling!


February 25, 2011 at 8:28 AM  
Blogger Two Readers Reviews said...

I love getting swag too! I especially love bookmarks and pins!

February 25, 2011 at 8:37 AM  
Blogger Amy J - Book Addict said...

I love it too! It is definitely squeal worthy! Another way I display my swag that I keep is scrapbooks. I have made pages upon pages of swag that goes with certain books grouped by author. I also have posters that are going to be framed and hung on my home library walls when painting gets finished.

February 25, 2011 at 8:38 AM  
Blogger Chapter Chicks said...

Swag is awesome. I think anyone who has ever received swag for their own would agree. To me, it's like a small thank you for doing all the work that we do. Plus, I love promoting reading in any way that I can, because there just aren't enough readers out there. But when you offer treasured items in a giveaway along with a book, people are gonna get excited.

Amy, I think that a swag scrapbook is a great idea! I keep mine a bunjuled up in a Swag Bag, so I have to take it out to look at it. I may make a scrapbook of it now though!

February 25, 2011 at 8:54 AM  
Blogger The Book Gatherer said...

I'm all for the swag but go much more for the practical swag - like your bookbags - rather than just the swag that doubles as clutter!

February 25, 2011 at 9:22 AM  
Blogger Angela (Library Girl Reads) said...

I agree with The Book Gatherer. Swag is fun but at some point, I just end up with too many paper book marks.

I loved getting tomato seeds from Kim Harrison because the packet was really cool and it was useful. Book bags and coffee mugs are very cool.

I just don't care for little things that are going to become dust collectors.

February 25, 2011 at 10:00 AM  
Blogger Fiction Vixen said...

I like the occasional bookmark but other than that, naw. I don't like clutter. hehe

February 25, 2011 at 11:07 AM  
Blogger Amy J - Book Addict said...

That's right! FV doesn't like clutter! You are afraid of being buried alive in stuff! HAHA I remember!

February 25, 2011 at 11:42 AM  
Blogger Kelly A. Harmon said...

I'm not immune to a little swag!

Coasters are growing on me, along with mugs. (But too many mugs can be a bad thing!)

I like bookmarks the best, however, because they're small and don't take up a lot of room. They make a great reminder for when I'm going to the bookstore. I tuck them into my bag and I can check out the advertised book and any others by that author.

Amy J: I LOVE the scrapbooking idea.

February 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM  
Blogger ham1299 said...

Eh, I could do without, but it doesn't bother me. I love the bookmarks. Totes are great, too. But, other things - like the post cards and stuff like that - don't really appeal to me.

February 25, 2011 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger My 5 Monkeys(Julie) said...

I love bookmarks but I love the pens because its something I use on a daily basis. Cups are great too.

February 25, 2011 at 4:24 PM  
Blogger Cass (Words on Paper) said...

SWAG IS DA BOMB! :D I have a whole shoebox-full of swag. Bookmarks are especially useful. I love looking through my swag, and being reminded of books I need to check out. A lot of books I've gotten swag for I end up buying or acquiring some other way, so swag does work.

February 25, 2011 at 5:29 PM  
Blogger JenM said...

I'm not a fan of clutter so I've never understood the attraction to swag. It seems like there's plenty of stuff lying around my house no matter what I do, no point in adding to it.

February 25, 2011 at 9:36 PM  
Blogger The Slowest Bookworm said...

I adore stuff like bookmarks, pens and other swag although I have to say I've only ever been sent one item - a book plate/postcard that I won in a competition. Swag is fab :)

February 26, 2011 at 7:42 AM  
Blogger Safari Poet said...

I like it, it's kinda the adult equivalent to collecting cards :-)

The only swag I have that I didn't buy is from Jessica Verday's The Hollow. I thought I was signing up for a mailing list and got a letter a month later with postcards (one signed) and stickers.

I like Amy J's idea of a scrap book, I'll definitely keep that in mind. It's kinda like what I'm doing right now with my favourite book covers. I'm saving the covers on my computer, then I'll print them on glossy photo paper and frame them in one big poster frame.

February 26, 2011 at 9:36 AM  
Blogger Chica Latina said...

Funny you should post this because I am in the business of "swag." I work for a promotional distributor, and what we do is provide custom-imprinted items that clients give out at trade shows or some other event. In fact, this where I got my pens and bookmarks when I first became a published author. So, yeah, I agree. Swag is great! I love getting an awesome bookmark (I can always use more. There's no such thing as "too many.")

For all you publishers/authors, if you'd like to get your own swag, go to www.greenpearle.com

For reviews, go to http://sandrasbookclub.blogspot.com

February 26, 2011 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger ♫♥LovLivLife Reviews♥♫ said...

Love Swag!!!

In fact, I recently wrote a post titled: "Respect the Swag"
Here it is: http://papercut-reviews.blogspot.com/2011/02/guest-post-respect-swag.html

Swag is fun but it can get a bit crazy when certain items are coveted.

=) Great post!

February 26, 2011 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Alexia561 said...

I love swag, and my favorite type is bookmarks! I collect bookmarks and can't get enough of them! I also have a couple of totebags that I absolutely love, so I'd say bookmarks and totes are my faves. There are already too many mugs in my house, but would love to see candle swag, as I love candles! Best swag I ever received was the Dark Divine nail polish! Very cool!

Alexia's Books and Such...

February 26, 2011 at 11:16 AM  
Blogger Joann said...

Wow, I love this post! I just discovered swag last fall when I won a contest, and I received some bookmarks, postcards and 2 pencils! I am happy to say that just this week I received a really cool swag pkg from Sharon Ashwood, I got a signed magnet, a bookmark, a signed booklet of her new book, and a terrific book charm made with Swarovski crystals! Love it! I am now a collector and love finding authors to send for swag. If I dont want it or have doubles then I will save it for future giveaways! I really loved this post,and you really have some cool swag!

February 27, 2011 at 11:12 AM  
Blogger My name is Patricia said...

Great topic! I personally love swag - espeically book marks. I can always use more bookmarks. Of course if they are signed I don't use them but if not I use them all the time. If I am sent more than one thing of the same item I host a giveaway and share the love. I do not like how people covet them though. I think we can forget about the fact that the swag is there to promote the book and the author, not the "stuff". The reading is what is really important.

<3 Patricia @ Patricia's Particularity

March 11, 2011 at 5:46 PM  

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