Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To bookmark, or not to bookmark

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about promo material. From my time working at a bookstore, I know most of it gets junked immediately if sent to a store. Bookmarks are the only thing to survive, and their effectiveness depends a lot on the store in question. Placed in books in genre, bookmarks might just earn a new writer a second glance. Typically though, bookmarks are placed on the counter where most the people who pick them up are interested only in the fact it is a bookmark and not in the book, or worse, the bookmark is stuffed in a bag—where it will likely stay.

Conventions, conferences, and signings are a little different. At Dragon*con the ‘freebie’ tables were covered in all kinds of things: postcards, bookmarks, flyers, fold out pamphlets, pens… Some were really cool. Most I would consider tossable (so I didn’t pick them up.) About the only thing I grabbed were bookmarks.

I like bookmarks. I’ve bought several books after staring at a bookmark in books I was reading at the time. Bookmarks work for me. (Meeting an author and talking to him/her works even better—I took home books by about everyone I liked at Dragon—but I’ve always thought bookmarks were nice.) Most other things end up as clutter and get tossed, but bookmarks are utilitarian. That’s just me though.

What gets your attention? What kind of freebies do you treasure picking up? Do you ever end up buying titles by the authors you find on freebies?

Thanks everyone for your opinions!

1 comment:

Kelley said...

I'm a fan of pens. When it comes to other swag, I don't really know what to do with it. Oh, stickers are okay.

I've never bought any book based on swag. But I have bought books from authors I have swag from. Most of my recent book purchases were because I had met the author at a convention and liked them and subsequently decided to support them (whether I really liked the book or not).

Speaking of, when is your book scheduled to be released?