I’ll admit that I’ve been struggling with the topic of author swag because I wasn’t yet ready to spend money on Abigail Owen branded items (and by that I mean on creating the brand first and then buying the items). I took a shot at creating an author logo myself, but decided to wait a bit and get a professional on the job.
When I’ve looked at most other authors, anything they give away is branded in some way. And for some odd reason my imagination didn’t stretch beyond those examples. I’m disappointed in my imagination because all this time I could have been doing some really creative things.
Earlier this week NA Alley posted an article on author swag. It was great because it gave me a lot of fun ideas to run with. Possibilities abound. The author branded stuff is still really good – and I’ve found an artist who I’m working with on that side of things (I’m really excited – more to come on that later.) However, the ideas NA Alley provided gave me a very different direction to go that I’m equally excited about.
Here’s what they got me doing… The first action I took was to make a list of all the themes in the Svatura series that potentially translate to imagery. Here’s what I came up with:
- Obvious: dragon, wolf, falcon, flowers, love (hearts)
- Not as Obvious: Estes Park, Gypsies (Roma), castles, the girls 4 colors (violet blue, fuchsia, ice blue, yellow)
My next step was to make a list of swag – any fun items to use as gifts and prizes. When we get into author branded stuff I’ll do the usual t-shirts, hats, bookmarks, etc. But for this exercise, here’s what I liked: bookmarks, bracelets, magnets, temporary tattoos, candy, charms, something small in the girls colors that makes sense (ribbons?), etc.
Step 3 was to find any of those items in the themes I identified above. Here are some my favorites…
Estes Park Items
Easy to find because Estes Park has tourist shops with a ton of different options. These magnets
are just one example. I’ve been visiting for many years, so I know there’s t-shirts, posters, post cards, jewelry, and so on.
I don’t think this Steamy Raimon design could be more perfect. It’s a wolf and a dragon in a black background. This charm goes on a nice chunky charm bracelet. (Click the link to see the bracelet.)
I found this awesome item on Personalizationmall.com
(one of my fav online gift shops). I put the names of the couples from the Svatura series on it. The awesome thing is – they have this same design in lots of other items (t-shirts, totes, notepads, etc.)
I just might have to get my DIY on and create some colored ribbon bookmarks in the girls colors (violet blue, fuchsia, ice blue, and yellow). I like this colored paperclip idea, or I can go more traditional and get some charms in any of the above themes to sew on the end.
I could probably spend days searching for more fun ideas. As I find things I really like, I’m taking a final step of ordering one of each so I can make sure they’re decent quality for the price. From there I’ll figure out what I want to give away and when. What’s awesome is that I can do this exercise for each series of books and include fun items in giveaway and contest packages going forward. I’m excited to spice up the prizes/gifts!
What do you think of what I’ve found so far? Any other ideas or suggestions?