What the Heck is Swag?

It’s Tuesday, March 23, 2021. I never heard the term “swag” before today. A Facebook friend of mine who’s an author told me she didn’t have any swag at the moment because with the COVID-19 restrictions, she hasn’t been going to conferences. We were discussing the 250 pens that I’d ordered two days ago with “Jeanne Moore Writes” and my website address printed on them. COVID-19 restrictions or not, I still go to the grocery store, Walmart and the drug store. I figured I could hand out pens to whoever I talk with when I’m out.  

After concluding the discussion, I had to look swag up on the internet. Swag is a gift that a person gives away to promote his or her business or products. In the case of authors, you’re promoting your website, your writing and ultimately where people can purchase your books.

Almost anything can be a swag. Pens, highlighters, sticky notes, bookmarks, even a copy of your book. With your contact information on them, they’re an ideal way to put that information in other people’s hands. I always have enjoyed receiving free pens. Don’t you? And I keep them and use them until they run out of ink. 

Jane Friedman in her blog How to Use Swag to Support Your Book Marketing explains why swag is a very effective marketing tool and she also gives a list of companies that specialize in proportional items. 

There are many companies that specialize in promotional items. Do your research before jumping in and ordering.

For writers, the goal of marketing is to get your books out there so people will notice them, to direct traffic to your website and to direct them to where they can purchase your eBooks and paperback books. Swag can help you with that.