This weekend, Bobbi and I are headed to the New England Chapter Romance Writers of America Conference Let Your Imagination Take Flight, where we will be presenting the workshop Prompt-Writing to Unlock Your Muse.
It's going to be a lot of fun, and if you are in the Boston area and haven't yet registered, you should do that! Go ahead, it's fine... I'll wait.
So, next week we will tell you all about how wonderful the conference was, and which fabulous authors we ran into in the ladies room, but today I'm gonna get real with you on your most critical conference tool... swag.
Beyond being amazing learning and networking opportunities, conferences provide a special treasure trove known as the Goody Room, and you want to be sure that what you bring will not only help spread brand awareness that day, but hopefully in the days to come as well. And I gotta tell you, I love me some swag.
Some very popular author swag items that I've noticed from events past are bookmarks, postcards, book thongs, buttons showcasing book covers, pens, notebooks and notepads.
If you have an event coming up, and time is on your side, browse etsy.com and pinterest. There are some really wonderful and unique things you can do to promote your book, like this etsy shop offering custom miniature book cover charms. How beautiful is this?
For postcards/business cards (a must!--even in 2016)/ brochures, flyers, posters, stickers etc. Vistaprint.com and Staples can offer some great deals, though I have to say Staples same day prices blow some of Vistaprints out of the water--something I wish I had known a long time (and much $$ ago!)
The thing is, swag costs money. Sometimes A LOT of money, especially if you are like me, and put things to the last minute and end up paying out the wazoo for overnight shipping because you could have sworn, I mean you really could have sworn that order went through like two weeks before but... it's just not in the system!
Swag is an investment in your brand. You want something that represents you as a brand in a way that also gets you the most bang for your buck. I personally view bookmarks, notebooks and pens as (relatively inexpensive) swag gifts that keep on giving, because your name gets multiple views on those items.
That said, sometimes it just takes some very clever outside the box thinking to make the biggest splash at a conference... the one in every crowd that makes you say, "Why didn't I think of that?"
Next week I'll update you on the best of the best of the Goody Room.
What are some of your favorite swag items that you've given/received?