Friday, October 28, 2011

Promo Goodies

By: Casey Crow

I'm up to my eyeballs in grits. That's right -- the good ol' southern, comfort food. It's what I use for my promotional item since my tagline is "Sexy, Sassy & Southern." I attach my card to a little packet, although I don't use the Quaker kind because that would totally defeat the "southern" aspect.

I'm getting ready to be a featured author at the 2011 Southern Magic Reader's Luncheon in Birmingham, Alabama next weekend. This got me thinking about all the different promotional items authors use. I'm sure you've seen some great ones, memorable ones, and not so great ones. You can rack up at conferences with pens and bookmarks, postcards. Those get an author's name out there and are inexpensive. It's especially nice when a Hersey's Kiss is attached. Who doesn't like to be bribed with chocolate?

Ipersonally like to see a promo piece that represents YOU or YOUR BOOK. I also like to see items that you'll actually use because the more you use them, the more often you'll see that authors name until it is engrained in your memory. That's why pens and bookmarks are popular, but let's think outside the box. Here are some other examples:
ChapStick - Hank Phillippi Ryan used it for her book FACE TIME
Keyboard duster - Keenia Kincaid probably isn't the only one who likes to eat crackers while working
Pecker Puppets & Condoms - popular with erotic authors
Enviro friendly reusuable shopping bags

Do you have any ideas or remember seeing a great promo goody?


Wynter Daniels said...

I love your grits idea! I've done laminated desk calendars since people will keep them around a whole year. One erotic romance author did little handcuff key chains! That made me remember her.

Michelle Polaris said...

I am partial to pins since I think people like to collect them and will take them out to look at them from time to time. The everyday items, even the most practical ones, we might zone out on often. I'm always afraid of that happening when I have to commit to promo. But the grits idea is great! You've made me hungry.

Callie Croix said...

Casey, the grits are such a cute idea! But I wouldn't know what to do with them, as we don't have grits up here in Canada. (horrifying, isn't it?) Maybe you could attach a quick recipe for them, for clueless grits cookers like me? Something to make them delish.

The only thing that really stands out for me as a promo item was a stack of plotting/characterization notecards one author gave out at a conference. They really appealed to my anal retentive/control freak soul :)

Ashlyn Chase said...

Great post, Casey!

I love grits. Unfortunately I'm on the Atkins diet right now. I can eat a side of beef, but no grits.

Like you, I enjoy tying my promos to my books. This Northern girl's books are set in Boston, but cans of baked beans would make my suitcase way over the limit, and I like to take my promos to conferences. LOL.

For a while, I used matchbooks that said Hot Romantic comedy and my website. Can't transport them on planes or send through the mail. Phooey.

I found pens with a metal spiral and a ball on the end. I advertise my "Hot screwball comedy" on those.

I've also found small packets of chick-lit chewing gum. I attached them to a card showing my early contemporary romantic comedy Heaving Bosoms.

Now I'm looking for something new. Most recently I bought 7 inch rulers and added a tag line of Books that measure up. Too generic. Maybe an erotic author could do better. 7 inches of hotness? LOL.

My husband works for Vista Print now, and I'd like to figure out something I can get from them with a clever tie to my books.

If anyone has ideas, let me know! My discount is the same as everyone else's 25%.

Casey Crow said...

So sorry ladies for my late response. If someone else decides to pack another event, party, or last minute errand into this month, I might cry. Thanks for all the great comments and ideas. I like your idea, Wynter, to do something more permanent. Callie, here's my recipe - add water, microwave for one minute. LOL Actually, come to think of it, I do have a couple of recipes I've used for brunches. I'll have to find them. Ashynn, the chick lit gum would be such a great idea for anybody, but especially chick lit authors. Love the ruler idea for erotic stories. So many ideas popping into my head. I wonder if its better to do something more related to your particular current release or something that represents YOU. I bet either is fine as long as it gets a reader to remember you!

Jax Cassidy said...

I love promo goodies. I personally am a pen collector so I like to pick up a bunch as well as notepads and stuff that writers like to carry around. I especially love highlighters but lately there's been so many paper products and not so much cool promo items. I'm looking into eco-friendly items that won't break my promo budget. :)

Naima Simone said...

Hi, Casey!
I'm late but just wanted to say I looove your grits promo item! I came across them while stuffing goody bags for the luncheon Saturday and they were definitely one of the items that stood out to me! Cool idea! I'm jumping on the pen bandwagon. I adore pens and so keep those longer than most other items. One unique author promo item I saw was a frog in a soap dish. I saw a really cool chinese fan and a mini-calendar. Next year I'm hoping to be way more creative!
Can't wait to meet you in person Saturday!