free stuff you give away to promote your book

What kind of swag should I make for my book?

You don’t necessarily have to make swag, but it can be nice to have something to give away at a conference or signing. Here are some common swag items:

  1. Bookmarks. You can get these pretty cheaply AND mail them pretty cheaply. Make sure they include your book’s ISBN so librarians can order your book easily.
  2. Postcards. You can mail these out to libraries, schools, and bookstores with a handwritten note saying you’re available to do events. Make sure to note if you’re a local author, and include your book’s ISBN.
  3. Stickers/Temporary Tattoos. These are a bit more expensive than bookmarks, but still really easy to mail, and can be a little more exciting to pass out at a signing. You can use your book cover or title or a tiny bit of your cover art–whatever looks cool.
  4. Pin-back Buttons. If you give these away at conferences, you’ll have people wearing an advertisement for your book! You might come up with a cute phrase and use a little of your cover art for the design. But these are a PAIN to mail and can be expensive.
  5. Other Stuff. I don’t know, get creative. Try not to spend all your money on it, though! Swag may or may not affect your sales at all.

Will my publisher pay for my swag?

Probably not, unless you’re a lead title, but I guess there’s no harm in asking your editor. Sometimes they’ll surprise you. It also might be nice to officially get permission to use your book’s cover art to make your swag, since the art does not technically belong to you.

Where can I get swag made?

So many places. Do some research. Report back here and I’ll add your favorite swag manufacturer to this page. 🙂



Author: Parker Peevyhouse

Parker Peevyhouse is the author of the YA novel WHERE FUTURES END (Penguin/Dawson 2016).

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