Becka's Babble

Ramblings of a Romance Writer

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Sign Your Swag

I have quite a lot of author friends, and I know a few of them read this blog. I did a little survey, both online and off, unofficially, of course. But here's the jist.

Readers like signed swag. And by swag, I mean bookmarks, business cards, post cards, notepads, etc. Now, I'm not suggesting you sign every page in a notepad (lol) but maybe the first page. The reason is simple. People like "personal" touches. People like to know you "cared" enough to sign something. From the people I "surveyed", they are more likely to keep something that has a signature vs. something that does not.

I know authors out there who buy their swag in the thousands. Like between 5K to 10K bookmarks/business cards, what have you. When seen as a whole, YES, it does look daunting to sign so much. But who says you have to do it all in one sitting?

I recently sat down to sign 200 items for some RT giftie bags Samhain Publishing is putting together for the upcoming Romantic Times (RT) Convention in Houston, TX. They're actually putting together 500 gift bags, but I only had 200 items to give. Sad, I know, but I signed every one of them. And you know what? It didn't take that long.

I put on some music, got into a groove, and once I got going, it took me maybe a half-an-hour, but that's only because I took a break. :P Even ten minutes every day, you can get about 100 items signed. Compared to the thousands some of you have, it might not seem like a big dent, but what can it hurt?

How cool would it be to make it big like Nora and have some fan in Tennesee somewhere have an "original" signed bookmark? It could even become a collector's item (dreaming big here). But you get the idea. Take some blank swag to work and sign them at lunch. Sign them in your kids' Karate class. Sign them during your usual promotion time. Little here little there will eventually get the job done.

I'm not saying every author has to do this, as I know some authors have bookmarks and what have you that have designs on both sides, and therefore no room for a signature. However, sign what you can. It really does make a difference to a reader. And send more than one item to someone who won a contest. I usually send three signed business cards with the prize, and now that I have bookmarks, I'll send those as well. Your readers can keep them, or hand them out to family and friends who will then spread the word.

Bottom line: Sign your swag. Readers will love it and you won't regret it. But a word of advice... Take breaks often. LOL You think your hands hurt after a day of typing? OY! :P



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