Paper Swag. To do or not to do.
I see so many questions from authors on social media asking about readers’ preferences for swag or asking what other authors are having success with. I thought I would address this from my point of view, both as a reader and industry professional
Simply put, I still find it essential. When designed with the right content in a professional manner I think paper swag is still invaluable. As a reader and designer, when I am at book conventions I love taking paper swag of authors I had a conversation with. I use those business cards, bookmarks and/or postcards when I get home to update my contacts, look up books, and make social networking connections.
It is also awkward to be at an author’s table without any paper swag. They may have amazing pens or chapstick, but advertising space is very limited on those pieces and they are also impossible to take a note on. Having a reader write your website or name on another author’s swag is not ideal.
Swag is not just about readers. When you are in business having a card to hand out to peers and other professionals is still important. I share my business cards with businesses, service providers, authors, bloggers, readers, and other industry professionals. I also use bookmarks and postcards when I have a table at an event and to supplement my panels or speaking engagements.
Keep it relevant and informative! Make sure your swag includes your networking links, buy links, series information, release dates and any promotions you are running. Print on both sides to maximize your advertising space and use a professional printing service with quality paper stocks. Sometimes spending a bit more for specialty finishes or unique materials can mean better retention of your marketing piece. Much like any other advertising, making your brand stand out from others can be crucial.
Quality does not always mean dollar signs. At Robin Ludwig Design Inc. we pride ourselves on offering many affordable swag options. I also offer free custom design on all author swag with printing. This includes business cards, postcards, and bookmarks.