Saturday, May 31, 2014

Swag Newbie Experiments at RT

RT2014 Book signing
The recent RT Booklovers Con in New Orleans was only my second attempt at doing swag. I was such a newbie at my first book signing several years ago that fellow Word Whore Jeffe had to kindly alert me to the fact I probably needed some and by then it was too late to get anything too spiffy. I had a generic business card decorated with a peacock feather print, generic (but cute) King Tut pins and some stickers to which I managed to add the title of my book. Oh, and Hershey's kisses, which I put into a vaguely Egyptianish bowl.

That signing went well and people actually did like the King Tut buttons but of course there was nothing about the pin to remind them of my name or my books.

For RT, I procrastinated. I  think I was feeling overwhelmed by all the chances to do promo and ads and not knowing what to try, never having been to RT before. I already talked about how I decided to just let RT flow over me this time and see whether I wanted to go again (Oh YESSSSS) and if so, what promo would be effective. All well and good but if I was planning to be at the book signing, then I needed some things. Even I knew this by now!

I'm so grateful to Kim Killion at Hot Damn Designs, who I'm pretty sure was astounded that I waited til literally the last moment before asking her if she could make me business cards and bookmarks. But she took the challenge on (bless her and her team) and the items arrived just before I had to leave for RT and were gorgeous.

I spent one day cruising eBay and Oriental Trading Company and a few party supply sites online, looking for other potential swag. I love to shop by the way. I had to rein myself in that RT probably wasn't going to allow me to go for the 8' Temple Arch or even the 6' Column, much less the folding 4' Sphinx, all of which I found in prom decorations. I also found a lot of potential mummy swag that was scary and/or ugly. I only wanted good associations with my ancient Egypt books, not "Frankenstein Meets The Mummy" type stuff.

I decided to get about 30 of each item, figuring I'd see what Readers liked, and then go in that direction for my next major swag event. I went ahead and used more of the King Tut buttons I'd already bought in 2012 (not going to tell you how many of those I had ordered. Suffice it to say you'll see them from me for decades to come LOL.) Same for the pretty stickers, but at least I attached my spiffy new business card to the back.

My Mummy suckers from Oriental Trading were a hit - cute, tasty, different from Hershey's kisses. The miniature papyrus bookmarks (see below) were also very popular. My only problem with them was that in each package of ten, there were two that misspelled the name of the Egyptian god, so I had to give those to Goodwill. So I ended up with 24 for the price of 30. Sigh. The heiroglyphic pencils weren't a hit.

I might do pens next time, as everyone says they're popular. I did actually order ten pens as a test case. Yeah, they arrived from Egypt a week after I got back from RT.

Realizing I was concentrating on my Egyptian paranormal series and ignoring my science fiction romance, I
ordered magnets of the two book covers. Um, ok note to self, please check SIZE when ordering. They were HUGE. I put them on my refrigerator and my daughter took one but I didn't bother carrying them to RT. OMG. I definitely plan to do magnets of the book covers again but not ones that take up a huge chunk of real estate.

So, all in all, I felt good about my experiment and I have a better idea what I'll do for the next RT book signing I attend.


  1. Your post cracked me up! I'm looking forward to mentioning those King Tut pins for DECADES TO COME - lol!

  2. I think the magnets are a great idea!