YA Indie Carnival: It’s All About the Swag

YA Paranormal bookmark

Just this week, I received brand new bookmarks (left) for the upcoming Mothman Festival in Point Pleasant, West Virginia. I love the beading on the end of the tassel. You can’t tell by the pic, but it sparkles like the whole night sky is jammed in it. Stop by the booth and I’ll show you what I mean. I hear that I’ll be located near the nefarious Mothman statue.

And speaking of bookmarks, this week’s Main Attraction in the YA Indie Carnival is SWAG. Swag can be anything from bookmarks to t-shirts; from refrigerator magnets to jewelry. The author’s (or the marketer’s) imagination is the only limit.

Over the last month, I asked book reviewers about their favorite piece of swag. I also asked for comments on the most unusual swag they received.

The Unusual

To my surprise, according to those that responded, there’s not much unusual swag out there. (Hint, hint, indies.) The one most unusual item reported was from Reader Girls who once received a crystal bookmark.

I’ve been known to send out pajamas to help promote my Midnight Guardian series. I hear that’s pretty unusual too.

The Favorite 

Practical items ranked number one. All reviewers, except one, reported that they enjoy receiving bookmarks as swag. Several commented that they actively collect author-signed bookmarks. Other swag favorites were listed by reviewers: pens, refrigerator magnets, pins (jewelry), t-shirts, and tote bags.

What now?

Based on the responses, I think now is the perfect time to get creative. Indie authors with original, practical swag have a great chance to garner much needed attention for their work. However, if you would rather walk the tried and true path, you better learn to tie a decent bookmark tassel. Here’s an awesome tutorial: http://www.wikihow.com/Make-a-Bookmark-Tassel

Check out what these authors/reviewers have to say on the subject of swag…


1. Laura A. H. Elliott 2. Bryna Butler, author Midnight Guardian series
3. Heather Self 4. T. R. Graves, Author of The Warrior Series
5. Suzy Turner, author of The Raven Saga 6. Rachel Coles, author of Into The Ruins, geek mom blog
7. K. C. Blake, author of Vampires Rule and Crushed 8. Gwenn Wright, author of Filter
9. Heather M. White, author of The Destiny Saga 10. Liz Long | Just another writer on the loose.
11. Ella James 12. Maureen Murrish
13. Valerie Sloan 14. YA Sci Fi Author’s Ramblings
15. A Little Bit of R&R 16. Melissa Pearl

2 thoughts on “YA Indie Carnival: It’s All About the Swag

  1. I love the tassel! I wish I could come to the Mothman Festival. Sometimes it’s so annoying being stuck in this little corner of Europe grrrrr

  2. Love the tassel demo! Great post Bryna. It’s always fun to come across tips and new swag ideas. Have a great time at the festival and be sure to post lots of pics!

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