You go to a conference or book event, and there’s swag all around you, as far as the eye can see … bookmarks, lip balm, buttons, magnets, tote bags, notebooks, posters, chapter samplers, and more. Sometimes you see something utterly creative that you never even imagined could be made into swag!
This sounds fantastic, unless you’re like me and you really just don’t like swag all that much. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a sucker for a pretty bookmark just like the rest of you. But usually when I get home from an event or big conference, I end up thinking, What am I going to DO with all this stuff?
I’ve made a vow that I’m going to be better about turning things down. But a lot of times these things were shoved at me with exuberance and I felt guilty when I said no thank you. The look on an author’s face when you turn down their free stuff can sometimes be sadly comical. I just imagine them thinking, What, you hate me and my book so much that you don’t even want to take home a FREE memento? (I’m probably reading too much into that look, but…) Or sometimes swag is put directly into my bag, and I actually can’t say no.
The result is that I’m left with a lot of swag I don’t really want.
Swag I’m not crazy about:
- Posters – They’re big and often end up looking a mess by the time I get them home. And I’m not actually going to hang them, so then I just have a large swag item that’s hard to store. If I was a librarian, I think posters would be awesome. But I’m not, so…
- Chapter samplers – I don’t like to read samplers. If I’m going to read a book, I want the whole thing. And unless it’s my ultimate favorite series or author, I don’t see the point in collecting them.
- Temporary tattoos – I don’t get these at all. Does anyone actually want these? Do you actually wear them or do you just put them in a box somewhere until they end up destroyed?
- Stickers – Unless they’re something really special, I’m not a fan of stickers either. I just don’t know what to do with them. Though I will say that my daughter loves stickers, so if they’re cute or interesting I give them to her. Bumper stickers are the worst. They’re giant stickers and I’m definitely not putting them on my car, so…
- Postcards – I have lots of random cards for books, and again, I just don’t know what to do with them!
- Random stuff – Mirrors, keychains, lotion, magnets. Honestly, most random swag makes me twitchy. Unless it’s for a book or author that I LOVE (for instance, I have playing cards for the Three Dark Crowns series, and I adore them!). OR if it’s something that really uniquely relates to the book (and I can figure out what to do with it).
Swag I’m on the fence about:
- Tote bags – Gasp! What heresy is this?! Actually, I do like tote bags, and I’ve got a few adorable ones that I’ll probably hold onto forever. But how many tote bags do I really need? Right now, I already have an overabundance and I often get more at events. (And since my mom and I got to a lot of events together, we usually get two bags). I’m at the point now where if it’s not a “special” tote in some way, I just don’t want it.
There are a few types of swag I DO like:
- Bookmarks – I mean, they’re useful, right? It’s nice to always have a bookmark close at hand. Of course, there can still be too much of a good thing here. I think I own more bookmarks than a human could possibly actually use and they’re piled in a drawer. Sigh.
- Buttons/pins – This is actually my favorite swag. I collect all of my bookish buttons on one tote bag. The only problem with this is that they sometimes fall off and you risk losing those precious buttons. I’ve been seriously considering employing some super glue to make sure they stay put. What do you think? Am I crazy?
- Character art – This is an exception to the postcard thing. I don’t like cards that just have a picture of the cover or something, but if it’s character art or some other beautifully artistic rendering, I’m happy. I still have no idea what to do with it (it’s in a drawer right now), but I’m happy to get it.
- Lip balm – Actually useful. ‘Nuff said.
Well, like I said, I have a lot of swag I’m just not going to use. (In fact, I threw a whole bunch of it out.) But I know that a lot of people absolutely love swag, so I thought I’d rehome some of this stuff.
I’ve decided to make the process simple: comment on this post and tell me what you want. I will mail it to you. First come, first serve. The end.
(I numbered everything, so feel free to just tell me what number you want if you’re lazy. Also, I’ll have to contact you to get your mailing info, obviously.)
After 2 weeks (2/27) anything that hasn’t been claimed will be thrown out, SO if you are one of those people who loves swag, feel free to say something like, “I really want the Illuminae sampler, but I’ll also take anything that’s left at the end of two weeks.” And, guess what? Your wish is my command! (I’d much rather give it to someone than throw it away.)
Here’s what I have:
- Epic Reads Retelling poster
- Fierce Reads poster
- Epic Reads Periodic Table poster (I have two of these)
- Illuminae Sampler (I considered keeping this one, but I decided not to hoard)
- Glittering Court Sampler
- Red Queen Sampler
- Four Sampler
- I LOVE Boys in Books bumper sticker
- Captain Underpants button (pin)
- Warcross keychain (2)
- A Gathering of Shadows button (pin)
- The Diabolic magnet
- Traitor to the Throne wristband
- Reign of Shadows sticker
- Books magnet
- Adorable Sourcebooks girl shushing button (pin)
- Tiny Pretty Things sticker
- Ivory and Bone sticker
- Bloodmark Trilogy tattoos (the two black ones)
- I LOVE Camp tattoos (2)
- Crow tattoo (I can’t think of the name of the book this is for)
- Press Back tattoo (Kristen Simmons)
- Tonight the Streets Are Ours bookmark
- Liars Inc. bookmark
- Signed Lailah bookmarks (Team Jonah and Team Gabriel)
- Ask Again Later bookmark
- Meg Cabot bookmark
- Dead House wooden bookmark
- Signed Defy and Ignite bookmarks
- Signed A Mad Wicked Folly bookmarks (2)
- I’ll Meet You There bookmark
- Simone Elkeles bookmark
- Victoria Scott bookmark
- Shadow Bound card thingy
- Tiger’s Curse card (2)
- UnForgotten card
- Reboot card
- Vanishing Girls card
- Dorothy Must Die card
- Spirits and Thieves card
- City Love card
- Get Even card
- Something Strange & Deadly card
- Sharing You card
- Signed Lailah cards (2)
- The Orphan Queen card
- Stay With Me card
- White Hot Kiss Roth photo card
- Signed Sleep No More card
- Signed Styclar Saga (Lailah) booklet thingy
- Ruined card
- Empire of Dust card
- Pre-order letter from I’ll Meet You There (I somehow ended up with two of these, even though I only pre-ordered the book once. She asked us not to share, but it’s been a long time since this book came out, so I feel like it’s probably fine by now.)
How do you feel about swag? Is there any that you love? Any you hate? Do you want some of mine? I want to know!
This post has been linked up to the 2019 Book Blog Discussion Challenge.
Bookworm pic by Primsy Doodle Designs