Monday, March 23, 2015


Sandra here with a short post today because we still have a week of Speedbo to go. And thanks to Pam who once again traded with me.

Last weekend I signed books at the famed Tucson Festival of Books. What a great experience. This festival is dedicated to publication, marketing, display and creation of books. What is not to like about that?

LeAnne Bristow found me in the crowd. Yay!

Over 100,000 people attend this event. One of my friends said, “This is like a swap meet for intellectuals.” So true.

Early Sunday morning before the crowds

So how do you make yourself known with all of these other authors? One of my fellow authors from Desert Rose RWA recommended making really nice flyers to hand out.  I have done this for over a year now and find it really helps. Actual print book sales have dropped because so many use e-books. When I meet people and they say they read e-books, I can hand them my flyer and they do take them home and order e-books and audio books. My Kindle sales always jump after these events.

Again, Sunday before the crowds

I am including the proofs for the flyer so you can see how I use it. It is made with a high quality glossy paper, which makes it a bit more expensive, but people value it more and tend to not toss it right away. It includes a blurb about each one of my books. Please note that I made this flyer before the cover of WITH THIS KISS was produced. I did know what picture the graphic artist would use, so my graphic artist at NW Print Solutions came up with a close replication so people would recognize it when they went to my Amazon page.

Outside page will be folded in half

These flyers come in handy in all kinds of scenarios.  When I meet people and they ask me “What do you write?” I can hand them a flyer and they will be able to peruse the books and go order one.

Inside page will be folded in half

Notice that I have the QR on the flyer also.  These are easy to obtain and young people use them a lot. It will take them right to my Amazon page and they can order on the spot with their phone. Yay!!!

There are other SWAG materials that are widely used as well.

Missy Tippins hands out bookmarks for each of her books.

Pam Hillman explains a SWAG that worked for her.  “Around Christmas, I had several speaking/signing events, and wanted something for readers to take away. I already had bookmarks with my first book (Claiming Mariah) on them and didn’t want to order more at that time. But I had several new books coming out in 2015, and wanted a way to show readers the covers, so I designed a postcard. Since I knew the bulk of these would be handed out and not mailed, I used the front and back of the postcard and was able to promote 5 books on the one card.

Since I already had a bookmark with Claiming Mariah on it, I included that with the signed books as well as a postcard.

Julie Lessman’s talented hubby makes book plates for her to include in each of her books. These advertise the whole series.

The Seekers provide SWAG when they attend conferences.  You may have seen it. Julie’s hubby designed our bookmarks. We have also provided pens and jar openers that had Seekerville printed on them.

My favorite SWAG items that I have picked up in the past are emery boards and letter openers with the author’s name on them. Of course there are always food items, like candy, teas, energy bars, etc. But those wrappers with author names do disappear rather quickly.  A bowl of candy on your table at your booth does invite prospective readers to at least drop by and look at your books.

BTW does anyone know what SWAG stands for?  I asked Jeeves and many silly acronyms appeared. The closest that made sense was Something We All Get.

So let us know what SWAG works for you and your name will be put in the bunny dish for an e-copy of our newest contemporary and historical anthology, WITH THIS KISS which is available for pre-order.

Winner will also receive a Sees chocolate bunny. Happy Easter coming up.

Bunny will be ordered from

Sandra Leesmith writes sweet romances to warm the heart. Sandra loves to play pickleball, hike, read, bicycle and write. She lives in Arizona with her husband and during the hot sumers she and her husband travel throughout the United States in their motorhome where she enjoys the outdoors and finds wonderful ideas for her next writing project. You can find Sandra's books here on Amazon. Two of Sandra's most popular books are also audio books at Audible.  Love's Promises will be available on audio in April.

You can read more posts by Sandra here.


Marianne Barkman said...

This was a busy weekend for weekend, too, after that probably not so much. As. Reader, I think I would hang onto something like a letter opener longer than some of the others. Of course, that is also likely the most expensive item. Pens are lovely, but I don't keep them when they run dry. Postcards and bookmarks are nice, but lots of authors do them. Yours, I keep. Have a great week, and win those Pickleball games!

Terri said...

Sandra - as an author I love the idea of a flyer for ebooks. As a reader I'd also love the reminder of what the author has Available. Without it I might go home and forget to order.

As a reader I love bookplates for print books. I keep autographed books/items longer and they make me think of the author fondly.

Cindy W. said...

I think of all the things you mentioned, pens, book plates and bookmarks are what would work for me. I especially love pens and if they are ones that can be refilled I will buy a refill for it. I love pens. Book Plates would go in the books and the bookmarks would go in the book after it is read. I use magnet bookmarks when I read as I sometimes drop my book and the magnet stays in place. Now if an author created their bookmark on the folding magnet, that would be are really BIG keeper.

I would love to have my name dropped into the bunny dish.

Happy Speedbo week everyone!

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Cindy W. said...

My last line of the first paragraph should read, "that would be a really BIG keeper".

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Jessica Nelson said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! I've been trying to figure out what to do as I have NO swag or promo items right now.
I'm definitely going to try out the pamphlet. I was thinking of QR codes too and am glad you mentioned them.
Woot! I appreciate this post. Have a great Monday!

Tina Radcliffe said...

I'd like those bunnies for swag!!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MARIANNE, Thank you for keeping our bookmark. I love the scripture verses on them. Keeps us focused. smile

I know what you mean about busy. Seems like a lot of special events to end the winter season in the Resorts. whew!! Too much fun.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi TERRI, Thanks for the feedback. I think Julie's bookplates are really special. She is so talented that way. Makes you want to get all of the books that go together doesn't it?

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CINDY, Don't you just "love" autofill? I knew what you meant. smile Yes, I have seen those folded magnet bookmarks. They are really cool. Good thing to remember for YOUR signings.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh JESSICA, I am so glad this was helpful. They are really fun to have and give out. Be sure and check in at the end of the day as readers might give us more ideas of what they like and keep.

Sandra Leesmith said...

TINA you are tooooooo funny.

Jackie said...

Hi Sandra,

What great tips. I love bookmarks, and sometimes I've gotten pens with an author's name on it.

Have a great day! And I hope you all finish strong on #Speedbo!

kaybee said...

This is really good advice. The whole pub world has changed. If I ever get an advance, which means I signed a contract, which means someone actually wants to publish me, I'm going to get some tools to promote that first book. This is a good post.
I got three chapters done over the weekend. I was away and my husband had meetings so I holed up in our conference center room and wrote. Closing In On It...
Kathy Bailey

kaybee said...

I keep bookmarks. I think I have all the bookmarks sent to me with Seeker books. Why then do I still mark my place with a post-it note or a dinner napkin?

DebH said...

Bookmarks and magnets. Although, like kaybee, I tend to misplace those bookmarks for when I need to mark my place in my book. One of life's mysteries...

SWAG: souvineers, wearables, and gifts

hmmmm, a wearable? maybe a pin with author logo/brand? I'd keep a Seeker one forever and ever if I got one. Off top of head: bullet or cowboy with MC brand for Mary, army hat for Debby, lips for Julie, house with heart Ruthy, cowboy hat or lasso for Audra... with apologies to the other Seekers for my brain not coming up with something right now.

please put my name in the bunny dish. more for the WITH THIS KISS anthologies than the chocolate... eep, did I really just write that??? books over chocolate? when it comes to Seeker books - um, yep.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JACKIE, Do you save all the bookmarks? At conferences there are so many and I was wondering if people saved them.

Thanks for the Speedbo encouragement. Hope your writing goes well also. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

H KAYBEE, You are toooo funny. Napkin? Post it? Probably cause they are handy. I use barkmarks everywhere. I have several in my Bible. I have them marking my checkbook even.

And you WILL be needing some to promote that FIRST book. Yay!

Keep on writing.

Tracey Hagwood said...

I like the bookmarks, I have the Seekerville ones and Ruthys, which I am using right now in an old LI book by Debra Clopton. Every time I pick it up I see Ruthys face and think of her and her writing. So yes, they are an effective tool to get your image out there.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DEB H, Hey that is a great definition of SWAG. Is that real or did you make it up? And I do know authors who have T-shirts, visors, purses and baseball caps with their logos, book covers, and characters on them.

Love the logo ideas you came up with. Now those authors definitely have a brand. smile

And yes, you did say that. Should I call a medic? Are you feeling okay? LOL

Janet Dean said...

Sandra, the Tucson event is amazing!!! What an opportunity. Your fliers are fabulous.

Like Missy, I pass out bookmarks. They're useful and help potential readers remember my name and the title of the book. I think of them as a business card for readers.

I like emery boards, too. And sticky notes. Especially the big blocks with the book title on the sides that Mary C has given away.


Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi TRACEY, Ruthy is going to be delighted to hear your news. YAY!!!

Happy reading and Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI JANET, Thanks for the sticky note idea. I haven't seen Mary's, but I've seen others. That would definitely keep your name out there. And who doesn't use sticky notes?

I love your bookmarks. I have some. smile

DebH said...

I didn't make up the SWAG defined. Found it along with some other definitions that included one from the 1800's which said it meant stolen goods/booty.

for your pin, I think a mountain with a tree or cactus would work. your covers/settings are always beautiful nature it seems. my subconscious is still chugging away at the other Seekers I missed. For some reason, it glommed onto the logo idea.


a whirling Taz comes to mind for Tina, but that's for how she seems to be everywhere doing everything (except she's NOT destructive, so maybe Taz wouldn't do) - not anything to do with her books.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Btw Sandra, you and your husband are living the dream retirement I hope for one day, to travel wherever and whenever sounds wonderful. I do enjoy seeing new and different places.

What's your new novella about in With This Kiss? You flyers are a great way to keep your name in front of wandering shoppers at book events.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI DEB H. Yes, I found some rather gross definitions besides the good ones. I wonder where SWAG came from. Authors use it all the time.

I do love the settings of my books. So those ideas work for me. smile.

Logos are great promotional tools as well. We are encouraged to develop a "brand" which would include a logo. Thanks.

Julie Lessman said...

WOW, SANDRA ... "over 100,000 people" attend the Tucson Festival of Books -- YOWZA, that's a lot of potential readers, my friend, so no wonder you always go!!

I have to admit the QR (Quick Response Code) leaves me totally clueless. I know what it is, but I don't know how it's used. If it's printed on your swag piece, that means someone can scan it with their smart phone and go to your website, yes? And if you use it online, it will take them to your website as well? Not sure how you get one or how you use them, so can you give me a quick QR101?

LOVE your flyers, Sandra -- VERY cool, as are Missy's bookmarks and Pam's postcards. Revell always prints postcards for their authors in addition to bookmarks, and in the beginning I used them a lot to notify my lists of booksignings. But I decline them now because postage is just too expensive, although I like Pam's idea of handing them out. :)

I think the coolest swag I ever got was a Mary Connealy nale file in the shape of a pink heart -- LOVED that and used it till it was all gone. ;)

Great post, Sandra!


Sandra Leesmith said...

HI TRACEY, It is a dream life. My hubby says he is in charge of FUN and he is good at it. smile. The thing about retirement is that you need to put in all those years of working so you can retire. Hang in there. Time really flies way too fast.

WITH THIS KISS is a collection of novellas that focus on romantic Second Chances. My novella is in the contemporary edition and entitled WHERE THE EAGLE FLIES. It takes place on Lake Powell in Arizona.

Here is the blurb: Sid Bradshaw has loved Melissa Anderson since they were children. He stepped back for years while Melissa follows her dreams to travel. He is hoping that he will have a second chance to win her love while on an outing with their families on a houseboat in Lake Powell, Arizona. A summer monsoon strikes and demolishes the houseboat, leaving the pair stranded on an isolated cove. Will this harsh land where the eagle flies show Melissa she has loved Sid all along?

Thanks for asking.

Kav said...

SwAG is fun. Here's my definition of the acronym -- Something Wonderful and Great. LOL. Love your flyer idea. That's brilliant and looks so polished. It's something I'd definitely keep and use to check the author and books out on line. Plus, I love the QR code. That's brilliant.

I think my favourite SWAG is still bookmarks -- and those little larger postcard style things. I used to get them when I reviewed Bethany House and Revell books through Graf-Martin (Canadian marketing firm) but they stopped sending them. :-( I made a neat collage with the ones I did get though and it fits perfectly on the inset of a door in my 'office'. Makes me happy every time I look at it.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JULIE, The QR code is easy peasy. I mean I did it so that means it is easy. And I didn't even have to call Tina. LOL

You go to the QR site and fill in the info they ask for. You give them a link to your site. It can be to your website or Amazon page. Mine goes to my Amazon page.

Customers have the QR app on their phone and it scans the QR code and zips right to the site you have. Most people have that app so they can do this.

Tracey Hagwood said...

Sounds good, I have been to Lake Powell once when I went west for the #1 trip on my bucket list, the grand canyon.

I can still see all the houseboats, the turns and curves on the lake and can only imagine what could happen if "shipwrecked" there. Looking forward to it.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KAV, What a great idea to make a collage for your door. I love it. That would make me happy also. Almost as happy as all those books. smile

I like your definition of SWAG.

Happy reading.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks TRACEY.

Connie Queen said...

I use Seekerville bookmarks. I'd keep a pen but I don't know if it would make me look up the author or not. I guess it depends on if it was the type of books I'd buy anyways.

Your retirement sounds like a blast Sandra!

Connie Queen said...

You said your ebook sales increase after these events. How much? Like 50%? Just wondering if you had to travel to Tucson and rent hotel, would it be cost-effective?

Rhonda Starnes said...

Wonderful ideas, Sandra. You're flyer looks great! Although I have been thinking of ways to promote my books when I do get published, I had never really thought about having to have a way to promote EBooks.

I love bookmarks, pens (especially the ones that double as a stylus to be used with smartphones and tablets), and post-it notes.

Myra Johnson said...

Thanks for all the fun pix from your event, Sandra! Also for the SWAG suggestions!

I have mixed feelings about the freebies typically found on the giveaway tables at conferences, etc. Or what they stick in those freebie tote bags. One of the last ones I got included microfiber cleaning cloths for screens and glasses--a handy item for sure, but so many authors donated them that I don't know what to do with them all!

Pens? I always have stashes of pens all over the house, so those are handy, especially if they prove to be good quality and are comfortable to hold.

I've also collected purse-size mirrors, nail files, sticky notepads, bottle openers, and lip balm. Bookmarks are okay, but I don't pick them up unless they're from an author whose books I'm interested in.

On flyers for ebooks, I have done the VistaPrint rack cards so I'll have something tangible to hand out at speaking events and signings or to stick in mailings.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Sandra, great advice! I do flyers for signings and book events, too.

Yours are prettier. Clearly I'm a slug.

I'm totally psyched about having met my two Speedbo goals... and now doing some editing and then working on a novella this week, and then back to my next book AND cleaning next week.

Prepare ye the way! Which means spiritually and clean floors. :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi CONNIE QUEEN, Good questions. You really do have to figure the expense versus the outcome. My sales increase over fifty percent. Sometimes up to 70% at a venue this large. But it is also expensive.

A booth costs $500 plus so renting a booth is way over the top. Kris Tualla, who is very active in the writer's groups in Phoenix area, rents a huge booth and gathers a bunch of us authors in to split the cost. Several of the authors share a hotel room. Some just drive the two hour drive down for the day and don't stay in a hotel.

You can apply to sign in the author pavillions. Those are sponsored by the event and there are three of them. You are assigned a 2 1/2 hour time slot. But those are limited. I was fortunate enough to be accepted for a slot in the children's pavillion this year.

I usually come out ahead so I figure expenses as advertising and getting my name out there is a big part of it. One year it rained and my roommate bailed so that year cost me. But we were in our RV this year and last year so no hotel expense.

Most events I go to don't cost me. The one I'm doing this Wednesday at the resort only costs $6.00. So look for those kind of events. Get your writer groups to sponsor events and pay for the booths if they cost.

Tempe has a HUGE arts and crafts fair every year and those booths cost over $400. There used to be a Borders Book store located on the same street that let our RWA group put a table out front and we would sell and sign books. That cost us nothing and the book store would leave a shelf of local authors on display all year. Unfortunately they aren't there anymore.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi RHONDA, Promoting ebooks is the toughest because you don't have anything physical to show or sign. Many people ask me to sign the flyer btw. I've seen authors sign bookmarks also because you can't very well sign an ebook. LOL

But advertising ebooks is essential. Otherwise how is anyone going to know they are there with all the thousands of books out there.

I like those stylus pens also.

Pam Hillman said...

Marianne, a letter opener sounds like great SWAG.

Mary C did lip balm once. I still have that in my purse.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi MYRA, Great suggestions and comments. I'm like you. I tend to ignore the bookmarks. I used to love them, but when you get so many, they tend to get shoved aside. In my case anyway.

I did use a sponge kind of thing that cleaned my computer screen. I lost it though. sigh

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

RUTHY, you are definitely NOT a slug. You spend your time WRITING, YAY!

Congrats on getting those goals accomplished. I'm almost done with last look at my novella which should make you happy.

And I'm doing well on Speedbo. Yay.

Happy writing. Silly thing to say to you because you are ALWAYS happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

H PAM, Thanks again for trading with me. Hope your day is going well.

You still have lip balm? You obviously don't live in the desert. LOL

Wilani Wahl said...

Sandra, I love bookmarks and save everyone I get. I also like the idea of the flyer. I received a couple of swag items lately that are neat. A glass and straw, also a compact with the authors name and series.

Please put my name in the bunny dish for the With this kiss. I have put both collections on my wish list

Becky Dempsey said...

I don't have anything published yet, so I don't have anything to put on SWAG items. I do have business cards with my name and website/facebook info on it. I have gotten some bookmarks and other SWAG things from other authors and really liked them. I would love to win With This Kiss!! and chocolate is always good!

Wilani Wahl said...

Please put me in the drawing for a Critique and also the gift card.

I am continuing with the speedbo goals even though I have gone beyond the word count I am moving onward and plan to continue on into April

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi WILANI, Thanks for the great ideas. When you say compact do you mean like for makeup? I've seen the glass and straw also. I lose those though. I take them to the pickleball court and forget them. LOL My bad.

Your name is in the bunny dish.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi BECKY, Good for you to already have business cards with your name and website on them. You are set to go. And you never know when you will run into an editor or agent and you will have your card to give them.

Also it is great to already have the website and cards because when you do get that call, you will be too busy to have to stop and go start those. To hae them already done is a great thing. And a positive affirmation that you will SOON have a book out there. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi WILANI, Anyone who comments this week is automatically put into the drawing for a critique and the gift card.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh yes, EVERY TIME you comment, your name gets put in the drawing. So keep coming back every day this week and share with us. smile

Bettie said...

Thanks for the swag ideas. Right now could use tissue box swag items...spent the last few days sniffing and coughing and being totally unproductive. ..there went the speedbo production. Haven't had a real flu in years. Must have gotten the bad flu shot. Would love to win critique or books. Going to try dragging myself to computer and start writing again....maybe after another nap. Yawn.

Jan Drexler said...

Hi Sandra!

I love getting useful swag, like bookmarks, pens, notepads, etc. Postcard sized things work well for bookmarks, too.

But can you (and anyone else) recommend a place to order bookmarks, etc.? I've been using Vistaprint for business cards, but I'd like to order bookmarks to go with them.

Pam Hillman said...

True, Sandra! I live in MS, so don't need it very often. And I tend to buy SETS of things, so probably had lip balm in every conceivable place.

But MARY's lip balm went in my cute little zippered bag in my purse so that it wouldn't get lost somewhere or in one of the guy's pockets, WHICH by the way ALWAYS ends up in the washer and then in the DRYER. I couldn't risk that with Mary's lip balm wrapped with her logo and book cover! :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi BETTIE, So sorry you aren't feeling well. Bummer. Maybe write a bit, nap a bit and write a bit. Sometimes naps help with inspiration. smile

Your name automatically goes in for the critique drawing.

Sarah Claucherty said...

So many great ideas for SWAG to heighten and maintain interest in books and other works :) I love getting bookmarks and pens. Flyers would be really helpful and are always interesting for me, whether in a booklet, pamphlet, postcard, or other form. For the really dedicated bookworms, small posters or similar could be nice.

As a lifelong fan of bunnies, I'd love to have my name added to the mix in the bunny dish ;)

Bettie said...

Thanks Sandra

Sandra Leesmith said...

I use NW Print Solutions for the flyers because my dear friend owns that business and I like to support the businesses of my friends. They do a great job. They probably make bookmarks at NW Print Solutions as they are very talented.

Sandra Leesmith said...

PAM, I'm laughing. Our hubbies must be cousins. Mine always leaves his lip balm in his pockets too.

Once in awhile he leaves money so then I get laundered money that fits nicely in my purse. LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi SARAH, Yes, your name is in the list. And bunnies are so adorable.

Small posters. Now that is a fun idea. I haven't seen that one. Although when we have our conference at Desert Dreams, they make posters for the luncheon walls and that would be fun to have drawings for those. Thanks for the idea.

Sandra Leesmith said...

You're welcome BETTIE.

Sally said...

I've used the postcard option from VistaPrint. The cover is one side, and the book blurb and author endorsements are on the other side. Plus that QR code. It looks great and hopefully makes it easy for people to buy with later on.

Audra Harders said...

What an awesome post, Sandra! With ebooks being the new "book-signing," you have to get creative with digital-order-with-a-click rather than solid-walk-away-with-in-your-hand.

I love your flyers. This is definitely a post to bookmark. Creativity for promotion is not my forte, LOL! Thanks for sharing all the ideas.

Sandy Smith said...

Fun post--and informative. I didn't actually know that SWAG was an acronym. I just thought it was a slang term for stuff to collect!

I love getting bookmarks and other promotional materials with books.

Please enter me into the drawing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi SALLY, Yes, the QR is very handy. I've even seen them on cars. Who would have known? smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi AUDRA, Promotion is not my forte either. Nor my favorite thing. I would just rather hand out my books. LOL Not very business like. Guess that is why I never became a saleswoman.

We all have our gifts and it helps when those people share their gifts. I was happy to learn about these myself. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi SANDY, Yep, it is an acronym but for what? Your guess is as good as mine. chuckle.

You are entered in the bunny dish.

Vince said...


Bookmarks they're not
but form over function.

Made slick so they'll slip
from page to the floor.

Too long for the book:
a constant distraction.

Preferring pillows to pages
I will love them no more.




Last night I read the shower scene between the hero and heroine in "A Flower for Angela". (About 67% into the story).

I'd like to request that you write a blog on:

"How to Create an Edgy Shower Scene While Keeping it Sweet and Clean!"

An edgy kiss is one thing-- an edge shower scene is off the charts in difficultly! I would not have believed it was possible!

I'm still shaking my head!

Sherida Stewart said...

Hi Sandra! Your fliers look impressive! Thanks for the fun information on swag I hope to need one of these days.

I like bookmarks, such as Seekerville's with the Bible verses, and cards, such as Debby Giusti's printed with "The Writer's Prayer" (which is on my wall, BTW). I've picked up the food-ish type of swag, but you're right, those don't stay around very long.

I printed out a "meme" (I think that's what it's called) I made from a sunrise photo and Bible verse and gave it to a lady at a care center yesterday. She was delighted! So I'm thinking that incorporating something like that with my (future) books would be appreciated.

Kris Tualla was one of the organizers of the "Buildin' the Dream" conference I went to last year. Are you part of that group?

Your Lake Powell adventure sounds great!

Jamie Adams said...

Those are cool ideas. I need to think about working something up. A local writers group asked me to come share tips when them. I think this is something they'd like to hear as well.

Sandra Leesmith said...

VINCE you are cracking me up. I'm laughing so hard that hubby is worried.

All I can say is its in the shower. Of course it would be clean.


Oh and I LOVE the poetry. Bookmarks are too big and annoying aren't they? Oh my. And slip out all the time. A friend gave me a charming bookmark that is HUGE and it has beads hanging from it. I often say to myself to just throw the thing away, but then I remember it is from my dear friend and I tuck it back in my Bible with a prayer.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi SHERIDA, Yes, it was the Building Your Dream booth that I was in at the Tucson Festival of Books.

I don't do the conference though because I'm not in Phoenix in the summer. It has become quite an event. Kris is an amazing promotions expert. I love working with her. I've learned a lot from her. She is the one who designed my banner for my table top.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh and SHERIDA. You WILL be needing all this information one day. Hang in there. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Oh and SHERIDA again. I really like your meme idea. Yes, it would work great. See you are already ahead of the game to have your ideas worked out for when you need them.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi JAMIE, Go to my website and send me an email with your snail mail address and I will send you some of the flyers to share. You are welcome to share any other ideas from the post. You can print out the post (I think that is possible). I give you permission to share it.

I can send you a Word copy of the text that you can print out if you cant get a print from the blog post. Just ask when you email me.

Wilani Wahl said...

Sandra, The compact is the shape and size of a makeup compact and has 2 mirrors inside. I will be keeping mine in my purse.

Wilani Wahl said...

I am struggling today. The vertigo is awful and affecting my ability to think and stay upright. Yesterday it was so bad while I was in church that I was afraid I would fall off the pew. I ended up lying down on a couch in the foyer and listening to the message that way. Yet I came home and went to bed and still managed to type 986 words. Today I hope to push through. I haven't written anything yet.

I have been plotting for my book for the blurb 2 book contest.

Debby Giusti said...

Sandra, what a great topic! I don't think we've every talked about SWAG before. BTW, Barbara Vey said it stands for--as you mentioned--stuff we all get.

I need to create some SWAG for Barbara's next Reader Appreciation Luncheon that I'll be attending in April. Can't decide. Going to be checking back to read the comments into the night!

Love the pics of the Tucson Festival of Books. Lovely setting.

Debby Giusti said...

Did you create your flyers or did you hire a graphic designer to do them? So professional! And beautiful!

Jamie Adams said...

Thanks, Sandra. I sent you my address. I figure as long as they are looking at flyers they won't be looking at me. I am not a public speaker type :)

bonton said...

Loved your interesting post, Sandra - thank you!!

As a reader - I love the jar openers, nail files, pens, and book plates (the ones Julie's husband designs are beautiful)!! I love the pics of the novel characters on the book plates, and think book plates with pics of the author are wonderful, also. Something to hold glasses/sunglasses would be neat, also - however, might be cost prohibitive?? The QR code is a neat idea, however, being retired, I spend a lot of time at home and use my PC and landline phone more than my cell and tablet, etc..

Please enter me in the "With This Kiss" giveaway, can't wait to read them!!

Cheering you on, Speedbo writers and anticipating the published results!!

Sandra Leesmith said...

THanks for the description WILANI, That sounds like a useful SWAG.

I sure hope you feel better. I'll keep you in my prayers.

Donna said...

Sandra, I won a SWAG prize from Seekerville a few months ago. It was very much like Christmas! I really liked the pens and sticky notes. There was also a nice little fan and a great little refrigerator magnet clippy, promoting Mary's Stuck together. Please enter me.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Debby, The graphic artist created the flyer. I told him what I wanted and they put it together with all of their graphic software. I provided jpgs of the book covers and photos, etc.

I will mail you a flyer so you can see what it looks like and if you would like if for your needs.

Sandra Leesmith said...

JAMIE you are too funny. They will love you.

My hubby always tells me "Don't worry about what they are thinking about you because they are usually thinking about themselves." Isn't that funny?

Heidi Robbins said...

The best SWAG I ever got was a booklight! It was from a homeschooling charter district and had the info printed on it. I keep it in my purse for when I need to read in the car at night (don't worry, my husband is driving...) I think that would be a perfect item for an author to hand out!

Please put my name in the hat for the drawing! Can't wait to read the novella collections!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi BONTON, Thank you so much for the feedback on the SWAG. I like the glass holder idea. You just need to google it and I bet someone makes it in bulk.

Your name is in the bunny dish.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DONNA, Thanks for reminding me about the refrigerator clip. Those are handy. I've seen great potato chip bag clips too with author names on them.

Your name is in the bunny dish.

Sandra Leesmith said...

HEIDI what a great promo item. Book lights are marvelous. Pricey though. But you could save them for special gifts or prizes like blog prizes or a drawing at an event you are speaking at.

Your name is in the bunny dish also.

LeAnne Bristow said...

Hi Sandra! It was so nice to "accidentally" bump into you at the Tucson Festival of Books. (Accidentally meaning I wandered through booths for an hour and stopped every volunteer to ask them where your booth was).
My favorite SWAG were recipe cards. I really liked having the QR on flyers last weekend. I bought several books using the QR because it was just so easy!
Please put my name in the bunny dish!

CatMom said...

Loved this post, sweet Sandra!
Since I'm not pubbed (yet *wink*) I love getting ideas to use in the future.
As a reader, I enjoy the bookmarks and ink pens--I think those are the swag items I've used the most (was so proud of my Seeker ink pen I got a couple years ago, and used it a LOT).
That Tucson festival sounds amazing, and that is great that so many people attend!
Remember if you and your hubby ever travel my way (Georgia) I'd love to see you *smile*.
Hugs, Patti Jo

kaybee said...

What I'd really like to do is pass out tiny bottles of maple syrup for New Hampshire which is where I live, but that could get expensive. I do it on a limited basis now when someone is kind enough to give me a critique and I send them a New England goodie basket. Seekers, are you salivating? Does anyone want to pick my name out of the hat for a critique? I AM ONLY KIDDING.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi LEANNE, Did you really hunt that long? I believe it. There were some booths I wanted to check out and never found. That event is huge.

I'm so glad you did find me because it was so fun to meet you. That is one of the best blessings we get here in Seekerville is meeting so many wonderful people.

And thanks for sharing about the QR use. See folks. You need to get one of those.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi PATTI JO, You're another one of the Seeker friends I've had the honor of meeting. What a blessing that was and I would love to come to Georgia again and get together. How fun.

I'm glad you said YET because your day WILL come and see--you'll be ready with great SWAG ideas.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KAYBEE, The New Hampshire maple products is a super idea. The New England basket will be great for a drawing at a get-together or signing. It would be great for special prizes like we sometimes do here in Seekerville. So hang on to that idea. You could do scratch and sniff bookmarks with maple scent. yum

And I think its wonderful that you thank your critique partners. I'm sure they appreciate it because when a person critiques, they put a lot of time and effort into it.

Valri said...

I'm a reader and I enjoy anything from authors! I think things that remind me of the author or the book are great!

I would love to have my name dropped in the bunny dish! Thanks!

Mary Connealy said...

I have been sooooo awol this month and I apologize. But I've gotten a LOT of writing done.

I have now achieved all three of my main goals for the month and my fourth goal to start a new book is done too, but I intend to write hard and fast on this new book for the rest of the month. Seven days. I hope to do better than 1000 words a day.
The book right now is 4000 words so add minimum 7000 more and I will be very content with that!

Mary Connealy said...

Some of the promotional items I've done over the years.

Flexible Jar Openers.
Heart shaped nail files
Flashlight/key chain combo
Refrigerator magnets.

Of course book marks.

I've got a book free on Amazon and I put that info on a business card and on a bookmark and hand that out. I feel like I'm giving everyone the free gift of a book!

I'm surprised how many of those 'free' bookmarks get taken.

Mary Connealy said...

I could really go for a chocolate bunny about now.

It's nearing dinner time.

All chocolate bunnies are endangered if they come near me. Especially this time of day.

Chill N said...

Fun pix, Sandra, and a good-looking brochure. Other than Seeker swag, the only thing I kept was a cloth for cleaning phone/computer/e-reader screens. It had the author's name and website printed on it. Most of the other swag I've received has been disposable like hand wipes, emery board, small bottle of hand disinfectant, candy. I will admit to giving swag bookmarks to a used books store to give to their customers, so the bookmarks circulate even though I don't keep them :-)

Thanks for all the ideas!

Nancy C

Tanya Agler said...

Sandra, thanks for the information.

Seekerville has the best pens. Whoever designed and produces them for you does a wonderful job.

Becky Dempsey said...

Sandra, I never thought about not wanting to take the time to get business cards made after "The Call". It does make me feel "official" though ;)

Speedbo: I typed more from my notebook. Changed some things as I did making it more polished (I hope!) I think I counted 10 more pages in my notebook to type (double sided, of course)

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi VALRI, Its great to hear readers love the SWAG. What is your favorite?

Your name is in the bunny dish.

LoRee Peery said...

Something we all get works for me. May I borrow Julie's husband? Kidding, I'll keep my own. I'd love to see a real book plate. Since my publisher has the unprecedented offer of free e-books for Lent, I've been handing out my postcards (front side on my Twitter profile), designed by author Delia Latham, at every opportunity. Chocolate always sounds good to me.

Sandra Leesmith said...

MARY CONGRATS on getting all that writing done. And why am I not surprised???

Yes, we've heard from Seekers about your heart emery board and the jar openers. Yay.

I LOVE the idea of a free book. I bet that is great for publicity and promotion. I love giving away books. What a great idea. hmmmmm

And of course you can have a chocolate bunny. If he hops by, grab him.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi NANCY, Great idea to give the bookmarks you don't want to use to the library. That gets the names out there.

Happy writing.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi TANYA, Thanks for the compliment. I don't know where they got their pens from. I'll ask.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi BECKY, Congrats on getting that writing done. wooo hoooooo

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI LOREE, We've all got dibs on Julie's hubby but she isn't letting go. smile. Smart woman.

I bet what you have is just perfect.

Your name is in the bunny dish.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mmm.... chocolate.....


I'm going to reiterate this Ruthy belief (note I waited until late so NO ONE SEES IT and Sandra doesn't kill me)

The best promo you can give your book is lots more books to keep it company.

If someone loves your book and it's the only one: Huge missed opportunity. Give your books a big family of brothers and sisters. That way your stories are your very best way of spreading the word. There's no easy way to build an audience (unless you're J.K. Rowling and a handful of others) that takes the place of writing more books.

Olivia said...

Hi there and thank you Sandra for helping us think about promos and SWAG. Last fall I won a package of SWAG from Seekerville. By the time I had finished looking through the loot, I found that the bookmarks, markers and post-a-note packs were the most valuable. However,this was SWAG from a writer's conference! So having some tools of the trade works for writers, but an information sheet seems the most plausible for readers!
If I had unlimited funds and I wanted to promote books from a group of authors, my SWAG would be a flashdrive with links to the authors' websites, books etc...ebook samples.
Back to Speedbo....wrote the synopsis of the novel, notes and answers to questions posed by James Scott Bell from one of his how-tos. Back to my 1000 words per day goal now. Please enter my name in the drawing for the critique, gift card and today's great prize, With this Kiss

Sandra Leesmith said...

RUTHY LOVE, I so love what you are saying

Because YOU ARE SO RIGHT!!!.

My best sales are always after a release. You can't beat getting more books out there. Good books mind you.

You are a great example of this. You're my true life heroine. smile

But that being said, it never hurts to have something on hand to get your name out there and find new fans.

Valri said...

Sandra, in answer to your question, my favorite has to be pens and bookmarks because I actually use those and every time I DO use those, I remember who gave them to me! :)

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI OLIVIA, Thanks for the input and feedback.

You must be electronically hip so would think of a flash drive. I'm so chuckling because that thought never crossed my mind. And I think I have seen them. Great going.

Congrats on your Speedbo accomplishments. YAY.

Your name is in the bunny dish.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks VALRI, That is really valuable info. smiling

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

Sandra I just love your flyer and especially that you use glossy. Whenever I go to events I will definitely hold onto something like that. I like the QR code too! Anything that makes connecting easier is a blessing.

I am always looking for bookmarks, and I love when I get them from authors I love. I use them until they are worn out. They serve as a great reminder to keep my eyes open to what my favorites are working on next. I also love emory boards. I haven't seen one by an author before, but I work at a radio station, and whenever we would go to events like Women of Faith, that was our top item. We also have given lip balm which is wonderful here in Arizona.

Sandra thank you for always sharing in such a delightful way. Wishing you the best for your Speedbo goals!

Cheering you all on in fact! I am at 1715 words today and really hoping to squeeze lots of time in this week but not sure as my station is having its gift drive.

Blessings to you all!

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KELLY, Thank you for the feedback and ideas. I'm glad you like the flyer. And yes, that QR code is a great tool.

CONGRATS on 1715 words today. woohoooo You're definitely on a roll. Great going.

Happy writing and blessings to you also. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Well Folks, I see Pam is on board.

Thanks for joining us today.

Keep going with those Speedbo goals.

Happy reading and writing.

Loraine Nunley said...

I have been so torn over what kind of SWAG to have printed... These are some great ideas. I remember reading somewhere that an author would "accidentally on purpose" leave one of their bookmarks in library books that they had read.

Speedbo update: Can I slow time down? It's getting away from me!

Dana McNeely said...

Hi, Sandra! All your ideas were cool - I never would have thought of that square bar-tag thingy - the QR. (What does QR stand for?) I can see right away that folks would love the convenience of being able to scan it with their smartphones. But my favorite SWAG is still a pretty bookmark. :)

May the K9 Spy (and KC Frantzen) said...

How fun to find a familiar face at the Festival too! Know it was great.

Thanks for this. Have been *meaning* to do a postcard and just haven't. Will tackle this after Speedbo.

Once again, Sandra, and all at Seekerville, such timely info.

#NoLimits #Speedbo2015

Amber Schamel said...

Very interesting! Thanks for sharing. I haven't done any in-person promos yet, since my schedule is so crazy, but I intend to begin soon, so this is helpful.

I have done the Bookmarks though, and I think they work pretty well. I've also thought about post cards, or businesses cards since they're pretty inexpensive and can fit in a card, newsletter or book. Since I have a background in marketing, I usually design my own materials too. Julie's hubby does a great job!

Happy SPEEDBO everyone! Who's getting close to their goal?

Amber Schamel said...

Cindy W, I love bookmarks too. I have a WHOLE STACK of bookmarks on my shelf. I probably have a bookmark for every book I have-and that's saying something.

The magnetic bookmark idea is brilliant!

Missy Tippens said...

Sandra, I'm late! But I really liked seeing the different swag we all use. Thanks for the ideas!

Deanna Stevens said...

SWAG.. stuff we all get: sweet, wonderful & gifted: signed, wonderful, awesome gifts... Or in any order of the mentioned words.
I enjoy a bookmark with the book. Chocolate is nice. I've received the folding magnet bookmark & that is nice..
please put me in the dish.
cheerleader for the speedbo.. hope you are all doing super this week :)

Natalie Monk said...

Love these creative ways for sharing about books! Great ideas for SWAG buzzing in the comments, too! I'll have to keep all of this in mind for the future!

Thanks for a great post, Sandra!

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI Loraine, Great idea to leave your bookmark around. I leave my books in the airplane also. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Dana, QR stands for quick response. And it is quick. Try it.

I like bookmarks too. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi KC. Glad to remind you to send out the postcards.

We can always use that extra push. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi AMBER, It always helps to plan these things ahead of time and have them ready. You never know when you will have the opportunity to send something out. I have a friend who puts her bookmarks in all the bills she pays. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

HI MISSY, Thanks for sharing your bookmark. smile

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi DEANNA, I like your definition of SWAG. Great going.

Have you reached your speedbo goal?

Yay for all who have.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi NATALIE, Great to hear from you. Glad you were able to read the ideas shared. There were lots of great ones.

Rachael Koppendrayer said...

I like the bookmarks - they're pretty and effective - but the reality is I only use one bookmark for years until it is destroyed or irretrievably eaten by the couch. It's so rare that I have two books going at the same time, that I really only need the one, so the rest just pile up on top of the bookcase, out of sight and out of mind. (I primarily use notepaper in my bible so I don't have to go searching for it all the time).

But I do like the notion of advertising on tea - I'll hang on to tea-bag envelopes if I particularly like the tea and want to remember the brand and flavor. I suppose not everyone is so nutty. But I REALLY like tea. And I would check out a book advertised on it.