Swag for the Romance Writer, Part II: Book Swag


Welcome to the second installment of Swag for the Romance Writer.  Today I’m talking about ideas for book swag–items to help showcase and sell your current book.

Book swag is designed to call attention to and promote a specific book or series.  You can use all the swag ideas for Author promotional items for Book promotion as well.  However, take into consideration how long such a campaign will be in force.  If you have 1000 pens with the name of one book, you may not distribute them all before your next book comes out.

Some inexpensive ideas for Paper Swag are:

Business cards.  Just with the book cover on one side and infor and buy links on the back.  You can also place a QR code on the back that takes you to your website or a buy link for the book. I’ve seen business cards with a tip calculator on the back.  Now that’s something we’d all tend to keep!

Signature Cards.  I’ve heard these called various things, like Keeper Cards or Collectible Cards.  Whatever the name, this is a great promotional item especially if you have ebooks, yet want to do a book signing.  The cards are 4 X 6 and have your cover on the front and your blurb and buy link info on the back plus a space for you to sign.  Printingforless1 has postcards for .24 each for 500, front color, back black & white.  With shipping this totals approximately $130.00.

Bookmarks.  I think it’s ironic that so many authors use bookmarks to promote ebooks. LOL  But the reality is that people still use bookmarks for a variety of reasons, including to mark a place in other books.  Some people collect book marks and I’ve heard of people collecting them at signing events and then going home to download the ebook.  Paper bookmarks are also relatively inexpensive.  Printingforless1 has bookmarks (4 color on front/b&w on back with your design) at  500 for $93.37, including shipping.  That’s .17 per bookmark.  Very reasonable with delivery in about a week without rush instructions.

20140201_144039Chapter Books.  This is one of my favorite pieces of paper swag.  They are small booklets that contain the first chapter of your book that the reader can take away with them.  You can even sign them on the inside cover as a bonus for the reader.  And hopefully, once the reader reads that first chapter, she will just have to buy the whole book! 🙂  I currently have out the first two books of my medieval trilogy, so my printer came up with the idea to combine both chapters into one Chapter book (foreground).  When you finish the first chapter of Betrothal, you turn it over and the back cover is Betrayal and its first chapter.  The first chapter book I did was an entire short story, Heart of Deception (See pic above).  The same idea as having a short story for free on Amazon, but you can also sign it!

Next week, in the third installment of Swag for the Romance Writer, I’ll finish up with all the fun promotional items that I call Exotic Swag:  Cell phone screen cleaners, necklaces, post-it notes, gummy candies…the list is almost infinite, but I’ll give some suggestions for you to think about which of these items might be best to promote YOUR book.

What items have you used to promote specific books?  Which ones made a lasting impression, do you think?

Now a shameless promotional plug for my latest book, Betrayal.

It’s the second book in my medieval series and is currently available at Amazon and other e-tailers.  The latest review–5 stars!–said:  “I was looking so forward to reading this after the first book, Betrothal, and I was not disappointed! Every bit as thrilling as the first, Betrayal had me on the edge of my seat. A love triangle has to be done just right for me to enjoy it, and Jaxon navigates these waters seamlessly.”  I hope you will enjoy it too!



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23 Responses to Swag for the Romance Writer, Part II: Book Swag

  1. tahoward1231 says:

    I need to have 250 signing cards for a book signing on Oct. 11. Can you help me? My email is tahoward1231@hotmail.com. I am also interested in new business cards. Thanks, Teresa


  2. melissakeir says:

    Today I got a condom in a custom wrapper. What a fun piece of swag!!


  3. Chapter books… That bears some looking into. Who’s your publisher? Of course, my chapters are 4000-5000 words long. It might be overkill. Still… Thanks for the ideas!


    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      They really are a good idea, Trish. And if your chapters are rather long, give them half a chapter. Mine ended up being about 8-10 pages I think, with the dual chapters. As I said below, I have a local printer. It never hurts to check it out. 🙂


  4. I have a bookmark for my paranormal romance Passion’s Sacred Dance and at one time I made up “book cards” for another book. I like making them since they’re so easy to mail off with just an envelop and stamp. 🙂


    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      They do seem all purpose. So many things you can do with the Signature cards. And bookmarks as well. One of my chapter mates puts a bookmark or business card in every bill she sends off. That’s one way to advertise all over! 🙂


  5. Where did you print your chapter books? Might be something I should look into. Great post!


  6. susana says:

    Where’s Part I?


  7. As you know I have Keeper Kards. I really need to get more made up. I’d love to know what readers think of the chapter books. I’ve looked at screen cleaners and even post its, but they are pretty expensive.


    • Jenna Jaxon says:

      Yes, a lot of the “exotic” swag I’m talking about is rather pricey. But if you’re at a conference, paper swag gets left behind on the tables. It’s all about the post-its and screen cleaners. You just have to make smart choices when buying the stuff.


  8. D'Ann says:

    Good ideas!


  9. Daryl Devore says:

    Another great post. Hadn’t heard about 1st chapter swag – cool idea!


  10. I’m thinking of doing a business card with my book cover and website. I’m debating adding Facebook and Twitter links, but they’re on the website, so I wonder if it would be overkill.


  11. Pingback: Swag for the Romance Writer, Part II: Book Swag | Collette Cameron Author

  12. Love these ideas, Jenna. As I get ready for my first print book release and Nationals, I’ve been ordering SWAG.


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