Monday, December 3, 2012

All That Glitters

Several weeks ago, I was invited to attend the Southern Magic Reader’s Luncheon hosted by the Birmingham chapter of RWA. It sounded like a great opportunity to finally meet a few of the Southern Magic members I chat with online, and to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon. (Or at least stalk her from afar, since I’m kind of shy.) Then I got the news I would be hosting a table of eight readers.

And I learned that part of the hosting gig included supplying cool swag for my guests.
The problem was…I had no swag, cool or otherwise.

That was the start of my great promo adventure. I’m planning to attend the RWA convention in Atlanta next year, and I had my eye on a few promo items I thought were cool. This luncheon gave me a perfect excuse to order a little of everything and to see just how bright my ideas were.

Today I’d like to share what I bought, what it cost, and how I felt about the final product.

Let’s start with the basics: postcards, business cards and my personal favorite, trading cards.

For postcards, (pictured on the left) I used VistaPrint. Standard size postcards run $24.99 for 100. But I paid $12.24 per 100 during their latest clearance sale. VistaPrint has frequent sales. Wait for them, then stockpile.

For trading cards, I used GotPrint. Templates are on the site, you’re emailed a proof to approve before you’re charged, and the cards are fantastic. I love them. It costs $14.00 per 100 cards if you use the color front and back option. As an added bonus, you can have your cards added to the Romance Trading Cards website for a little extra boost in visibility.

Finally, I bought business cards for the first time. (They’re the skinny cards in the center of the picture.) Since I don’t see myself handing them out too often, I splurged and bought Moo Minis from Moo. They’re the same length, but half the width of a standard business card. They’re also super cute and cost $19.99 for 100 cards.

Oh, I almost forgot the stickers! You can see one at the bottom sporting the Araneae logo. I ordered those from Moo as well. They’re more plastic than paper, which I like. They cost $12.99 for 52 stickers.

Up next we have another staple in every author’s pantry—promotional pens.

I bought these from My Promotional Pens. There was a slight problem when my pens showed up with black logos (almost unreadable against the dark blue pens) instead of the white design pictured above. Once I expressed my concerns, the company was quick to correct the error.

They cost $.67 per pen with a minimum order of 100 pens. There were no hidden design fees, but it cost me $24 in shipping for a total of $91.00.

Then we have my Box ‘O Chapstick.


I ordered these through Lipbalm Express. The cost was $49 per 100 tubes. As you can see, they allow customization of your label (at no extra charge). However, they are limited in scent selections. You have to roll with whatever the featured scent is that month, or mint. But I love the individual packaging, and it’s a quality product. Even with the slightly pixelated labels, I feel good about this purchase.

Now, on to the more unique promo items I snagged. These are nifty pocket mirrors I found on Etsy. (The dog in the background is my daughter’s dachshund, Cookie Monster. The black rump and tail belong to my doxie, Lex.)

The shop owner, Vtg Sewing Patterns, was great about helping me get my design just right. I paid $60.00 for 75 pocket mirrors, and yes, the organza bags were included. I really love these!

Last but not least are lens cleaning cloths printed with A Hint of Frost’s cover art.

I ordered these from Custom Mouse Pad. They’re on the pricer side at $2.29 per 50 cloths. You save money with larger orders, but I went with the minimum so I could inspect the quality of the printing and the cloths themselves. I have to admit, I was impressed. As someone who started wearing glasses only about a year ago, I still fidget with them often. I’ve gone through several types of cleaning cloths and never found one that banished lint and smudges to my satisfaction. These do. I’m very pleased with them and will order more before RWA next year.

I have a few more items left on my “to-order” list, but I’m pleased with my purchases so far. How about you? If you’re a writer, what swag have you been meaning to try? Or what is your most popular item? If you’re a reader, what swag is your favorite to receive? Or what do you wish you could get?

Comment and be entered to win a swag bag full of the goodies pictured above, plus your choice of title from my backlist (excluding Soul Weaver), in your choice of digital format.

1 comment:

Voirey Linger said...

Excellent information! You got some wonderful swag and I'll be looking into some of these items.

Thanks, Hailey!