Thursday, December 13, 2012


One of the ways authors try to get a little extra attention at an event like Bouchercon, Malice Domestic, or Crime Bake is to put something in the bag o'swag given to all attendees.

I spent some time stuffing those bags at two recent conferences (a good way to meet the people who make the conference happen by the way) and a lot of years getting them at conferences and cons.

Mostly I throw the stuff away.  Sorry. I know it pains your heart and wallet to hear.  I toss postcards, pens (I have a certain kind of pen I like) and gum. I toss the flyers after a quick once-over. And I mostly leave the books on the give-back table cause I don't want to pay to ship them, and I don't want to haul them.

In this I am probably an anomaly.


There's one swag item I've actually used a lot since I got it and I think it's a terrific item for swag bag:

It's lip balm with the book cover for Hank Phillipi Ryan's THE OTHER WOMAN.   I'm more aware of this book than almost any other these days cause I'm looking at this cover a LOT.

Smart girl our Hank!


Susan Helene Gottfried said...

I love Hank's lip balm -- best thing to have at a conference 'cause hotel air is so dry.

Hank is awesome, all around.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't thought of that means of marketing. While I don't have a book out to market (yet), I'll use it for my day business. Cool and Thanks!

Chelsea G said...

Weird thing is, I live in a humid enviroment (South Texas: the only place in the world that makes 60 feel FREEZING.) so I don't think about stuff like lip balm.

I guess our equivilant would be hand-held fans. The battery powered kind with the spray bottle.

...and OMG YES SHAPIE PENS ROCK. The only acceptable substitute are Pilot v5s.

The Writer Librarian said...

You're not an anomaly. I feel the exact same way about library swag. So many colleagues of mine have brought stuff back from conferences--I've ended up with at least two mugs and a whole flurry of pens. At least I can use them!

I'm reminded of the quote from comedian Mitch Hedberg: "When someone hands you a flier, it's like they're saying, 'Here, you throw this away.' "

Chris said...

Janet, you aren't an anomaly. I've watched far too many flyers, bookmarks, magnets, etc. left on far too many surfaces over the years (RWA National, Malice, World Science Fiction, etc).

Give me something I can USE (my Kindle doesn't need a paper bookmark), something worth carrying home, and I might remember you.

(Last Malice I made recipe cards. Now I have to figure out what I want to do this year...)

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Janet! I am laughing too hard to type...thank you!

And in your honor, the first twenty people who contact me though my website..and mention this blog...will get lip balm!

And Janet, oh fabulous one, you are due a lifetime supply.

Anonymous said...

I concur -- best lip balm anywhere (and I am the poster child for allergies ;-) and it makes it easy when recommending books to friends, correct spelling right there in my pocket!