Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Writer Wednesday: Does SWAG Sway You to Read the Book?

I have three books releasing in spring 2016. Three! And while I'm talking about my Into the Fire trilogy, my release dates have changed. Here is the new release schedule:
INTO THE FIRE (book 1) February 16, 2016
OUT OF THE ASHES (book 2) March 22, 2016
UP IN FLAMES (book 3) April 12, 2016

I'm planning for the releases now. And that of course means thinking of SWAG ideas. But it makes me wonder: What do readers love to get as SWAG? What SWAG really grabs your attention and makes you interested in the book? Or is SWAG just fun to win and it doesn't really make you want to read the book?

SWAG can be so different depending on the book. I've given away necklaces, bracelets, pins, bookmarks, trading cards, charms, stickers, folders, pencils... Personally, I like SWAG that people can actually use. But does actually sway you to read the book? I think just like with everything else related to reading, it's subjective. A pretty piece of SWAG or a really different piece of SWAG might get your attention and make you curious about a book. Or you just might really like the SWAG. ;)

So why do authors put time and money into SWAG if it might not lead to readers? Like anything else, it's a way to potentially reach more readers, who may turn into fans. For that reason, I'll ask you, what is your favorite type of SWAG? What kind of SWAG makes you want to win the SWAG and maybe even read the book?

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

24 comments:

  1. Hi Kelly, congratulations on your Spring releases. Gosh, 3 books in just one season!

    As for SWAG, I don't know if I'm the only one who doesn't care for it ... at all. I like bookmarks and pencils but they won't be why I'd enter a giveaway or buy a book, or even increase the likelihood of me buying the book. Liking the sound of the book is reason enough for me to buy a copy. :) I've received other SWAG items like buttons and even a small sketch of a scene and I honestly don't know what to do with them.

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    1. Yeah, I've gotten SWAG I don't know what to do with as well. I think that's why I prefer practical things I can actually use.

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  2. I like just about any type of swag. My most favorite piece that I won in a giveaway was a metal water bottle. It comes in handy. It has the book cover on it, so it's a conversation piece. That's on the more expensive end, though. I'm just as happy with bookmarks.

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    1. Yeah, see that's practical. I like SWAG I can use.

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  3. I'm another who is not swayed by swag. I do like bookmarks and Koozies though. :)

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    1. Lol. So far everyone likes the SWAG they can use. Good to know.

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  4. Yeah, swag doesn't sway me either way. It's fun to get, but it won't push me to buy the book, especially if it doesn't really sound like my thing. My fav swag is two magnets I got from a publisher for a picture book. They have the characters on them, and are so cute holding up the kidlet's artwork on the fridge.

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  5. I think good swag are things like bookmarks and pens that people can use. Every time they use it, there is a chance of someone else seeing your name.
    But ARCs are always best, in my opinion.

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    1. Yeah, I'm thinking the same thing, Beth.

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  6. I've gotten bookmarks and such, which do come in handy. Generally what sways me to read a book will be the back cover blurb.

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  7. Swag does not persuade me to read a book. However, a bookmark does keep putting the author's name in front of my face. You just have to hope people keep on reading paper books.

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    1. Yes, they only work with paper books. Good point.

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  8. Congratulations on the book releases - exciting. I like swag but it wouldn't persuade me to read a book unless it was already in a genre that I like.

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    1. Yeah, the genre matters. I can live SWAG but not read that genre. Then the SWAG wouldn't persuade me to read the book at all.

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  9. For me, SWAG is more a personal connection with the author. Something she/he took the time to send/give me. I think I would already be interested in the book, but the personal connection is a bonus.

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  10. I have to admit that as far as novels, SWAG does nothing for me. It wouldn't make me buy the book at all. However, when selling children's books, I think it helps. I've seen people pick up my stuffed hippos, hippo pens, or finger puppets and then when I tell them they get one for free if they buy a book...they buy the book. Not always, but it's happened!!

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    1. I do something similar at my signings for my teen novels. I have SWAG that is strictly for people who purchase a signed copy of the book. Sneaky. ;)

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  11. I really don't think it does...although I saw people on Facebook saying they'd send a free piece of swag to anyone who buys their autographed books as gifts for their children. These are traditionally-pubbed authors whose books are in bookstores. I'm not sure how much of a difference that made. I sat next to a woman who had a bowl of magic tricks and she was luring children over (that sounds worse than it was!) to learn about her book by offering them a magic trick. It looked like it really did break the ice.

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    1. I think things like that work well at signings. Whatever gets people to listen to your pitch, right?

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  12. The only thing that ever swayed me (I'm not a fast reader and must choose how to spend my time)is if something about the book attracts me, or-- sometimes and not all that often-- if the author is a personal friend.
    But swag is nice in itself. Like a reminder of bit of grace floating one's way.

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    1. Yeah, I think it's nice but not necessarily something that makes me purchase a book.

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