Monday, January 16, 2012

So What's The Big Idea?

Do you know what swag is? (I know, dumb name, but we didn't make it up.) It's all the fun stuff authors give away to promote their books; bookmarks are the most common, but there are buttons, pins, notepads, candy, and so much more. Some authors from the big publishing houses get to giveaway tee shirts, iPad skins, gift cards, one even gave away a box with clues to solve a puzzle.

Being pubbed by a small house means you have to do all that on your own.

And on your own money.

So we had to be creative with ideas and finances.  If you know us, or attended a signing or conference (or maybe even met us by chance) you probably got some swag. Here's a picture of what we offered:

(Note: missing kitty cat key/phone charms in pink and black. They went fast!)

Now that Sirenz Back In Fashion is coming out, we need to start the process for this sequel. In one way, it's exciting: new book, new characters, more Hades, outrageous situations, whole new color scheme. The creative juices are flooding our brains faster than the Raritan River can drown Manville and Green Brook (that's pretty fast if you know NJ).

But here's the problem: most authors tend to use the same old things- bookmarks, pins, yada yada. I want something unique. And I'm willing to bribe you to do some brainstorming for me. You tell me your idea for a great swag item and I will send you 3 (yes, THREE) books from the list at the bottom of this post, your choice. Now here are the rules:

1. Must be cost effective. We cannot give a gold coin to hundreds of people. (Yes, that's a clue- gold coins figure in the book.) And I'm already doing a chocolate gold coin, so don't think you're going to submit that. The chocolate red shoes were a hit and cost effective over large numbers.

2. Must be easy. While Nat and & are pretty creative craft wise (she knits, I crochet, we color nice pictures, etc.) we are no Da Vincis. We don't want anything that can be mucked up. If it's something a company can do for us without having to sell our children to the gypsies, thumbs up. (Next clue: there's a music/concert/dance element, but please nothing with copyright infringement problems so forget anything Glee, American Idol, etc.)

3. Must be fun!  Nobody wants boring stuff- school pencils will end up at the bottom of the junk drawer, used for grocery lists and that's about it. Whatever you suggest can be practical, but must be pretty/fun/unusual to put a smile on recipient's face. We're all about the FUN element. (Next clue: forget the feathers, but something's fishy....)

4. Must be available in time. You might have the cutest idea, but if it's going to take six months to put it all together, have it made, shipped and received, well, that doesn't help. (Last clue: Sirenz = shoe, Sirenz 2 = fuzzy vest.)

This swag has been done: chocolate (in any form), bookmarks, pins, Hades' business card (people STILL talk about that, they love it), feathers, pretty organza bags, key bobs (unless it's really cool).

So let's see what you come up with. Here's the list of books the winner may choose three (3) of:

Skyship Academy with signed card from Nick James
The Trouble With Half A Moon (MG) by Danette Vigilante
Exposed by Kimberly Marcus
Wither by Lauren DeStefano
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Angel Star by Jennifer Murgia
Bloodspell by Amalie Howard, signed
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Gimme A Call by Sarah Mlynowski

One last clue; if you check out you can find more hints about the book.


1 comment:

  1. I know you did a Hades business card, but what about a Hades postcard? Or guitar picks to go with the concert/music thing? Hmm.. those sound like fun!

    Mickey @ imabookshark