How to Build Buzz Around Your Book with Author Swag: 15 Creative Ideas

Do you know that a person has to see an ad seven times before they decide to make a purchase? It's a crime not to use this rule for book marketing! Author swag is something that will definitely help with this.

Miblart has recently launched a new service – author swag design. So today, we want to tell you more about what it is and how you can use different themed stuff to create buzz around your book. 

In this article, you will learn:
  1. What authors swag is
  2. Ideas for author swag
  3. How to use swag to gain reader loyalty

What is author swag?

Author swag includes free items dedicated to your book  meant to encourage and excite your readers. It usually creates a wow effect, makes receivers smile, and feel a deep connection with your work.

Newcomers often confuse author swag with merch, which means paid goods. But, in fact, swag can easily turn into merch and vice versa if needed.

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What are the benefits of author swag for book launch and marketing?

Why do you have to spend some money on getting bookmarks, stickers, bags, mugs, and other cute things? By using author swag, you can:

  • Launch a word-of-mouth machine. When people receive your author swag, the joy and excitement motivate them to talk about you with their surroundings.
  • Expand the reach of your brand. People will see your mentions about your book not only in stores but literally everywhere, from cafes to streets.
  • Set your book apart from the rest in your genre. You can offer your audience unique souvenirs to immerse them into your story deeper.
  • Take advantage of free advertising. Fans flaunting your author swag in the real world can spark curiosity in potential readers who might spot a bookmark, keychain, or sticker.
  • Give people that fuel for generating social media content. Who can resist the temptation to take an aesthetic book photo and post it on their page? Meanwhile, your book will become even more famous. 

Thus, author swag can become a powerful tool for your book release campaign.

What do you need to know before designing author swag?

But before leveling up your book promotion campaign with author swag, you should consider a few things.

Types of author swag

Author swag comes in different forms:

  • Paper (e.g., bookmarks, posters, stickers, trading cards, door hangs, notepads)
  • Non-paper (e.g., buttons, mugs, t-shirts, hoodies, pens, pencils, chapstick, jewelry, hats, keychains, candles)
  • Digital (e.g., backgrounds, planners, exclusive content).

Actually, these lists can be endless and limited only by your imagination. Depending on your story's peculiarities, each object can serve this purpose. If you write about green witches, a plant in a tiny pot can become swag. Does your protagonist have a tattoo? Then, create some temporary ones and put them in your books.

Thus, before designing your author swag, the first thing is to decide which items will work for your book best. Indeed, you can use some versatile things like bookmarks or buttons. But why miss the chance to stand out from the crowd?

Permission to use any images

You probably already have a book cover and logo. If you want to use them on your author swag, find out if you have the right to do so to avoid legal issues. You may need to purchase extended licenses for images used in your existing designs. It’s especially worth thinking about if you also plan to sell your items.

But you don’t have to use your book cover to create fantastic author swag. Instead, just follow the same color palette and typography style. This way, readers can easily associate themed items with you and your book.

Author swag quality

Your book swag should be of excellent quality. Otherwise, potential readers may think your story is not worth their time and money. Moreover, nobody wants to share and show things of poor quality.

That’s why hiring a professional graphic designer makes sense. They will create images of the required size and shape that match the swag type perfectly.

If you have a limited budget, you still don't need to skimp on quality. Then, it's better to stick to a simpler swag type, such as just bookmarks or stickers instead of T-shirts or a large number of items.

15 ideas on how to use author swag for your book launch campaign

Okay, so you've decided to design stickers and notepads, but what do you do with them next? Try these 15 ideas.

1. Pre-orders

Encourage readers to pre-order your new novel by promising to add author swag when the book ships.

2. Newsletter subscribers

Your subscribers are people already interested in your works, so sending them themed gifts will delight and motivate them to spread information about you.

3. Independent bookstores

Bookstores usually have bookmarks and postcards near the cash desk. Contact some of them and ask whether you leave your free author swag there.

4. Author swag boxes

You can prepare boxes full of your author swag and send them to influencers and book bloggers. Their unboxing videos will draw potential readers’ attention to you.

5. Book launch party

A book launch party is an excellent way to celebrate your achievement and connect with your readers. Bring along author swag that guests can take to the masses.

6. Limited edition swag

Announcing a limited edition swag will increase the audience's desire to get your themed products and show them off to their friends.

7. QR code

Don't forget to place a QR code on your bookmarks, notepads, and postcards that will lead interested book lovers directly to your website with more details.

8. Giveaways

A giveaway on social media with your author swag as the prize will help you reach a wider audience and get new subscribers.

9. Libraries and book clubs

These are places where bookmarks and notebooks are always in demand, so don’t miss the chance to build buzz around your novel among literary fans.

10. Fan art contest

Take advantage of your audience’s competitive spirit. Host a fan art contest, let your readers showcase their creativity, and reward them with author swag.

11. Book fairs

At such events, people usually aim to discover new novels to read and find some souvenirs as a keepsake. Isn't this the perfect match for placing author swag?

12. Two-sided bookmarks

Such a format can contain more details. It's also an excellent option for series authors. You can place your new book on the front side, and prequels on the other one.

13. Cafes

Free mugs and scented candles are author swag that cozy cafe owners might enjoy. Moreover, such places have new visitors, aka potential readers, every day. 

14. Specific settings

Does your story take place in a famous castle, gallery, museum, or university? Reach out to these establishments and ask to place your author swag there. 

15. Postcards  

Postcrossing is still a popular hobby with over 800,000 members worldwide. Take a pack of postcards with your characters to the post office. Let your book find its readers on other continents, too.  

How do indie authors and influencers use author swag?

Libby Waterford, a contemporary romance author, encourages her audience with cute stickers and vibrant pencils. Such author swag is always a good idea and please any taste.

Libby Waterford

Sierra Godfrey, a romance author, prepares for her fans little swag packs with stickers, bookmarks, bookplates, and postcards.

Sierra Godfrey

Brittany Montgomery, who writes romantic fantasy and paranormal romance, offers her readers stickers, mugs, bookmarks, jewelry, and even special lipsticks.

Brittany Montgomery

Rektok Ross, a fiction bestselling author, offers her readers cute shiny bags full of book swag. She has buttons, postcards, stickers, and business cards.


Finally, imagine how much happiness you can bring your readers with your author swag? You can see an example here:

How to use author swag to build loyalty with your readers?

You have already learned how to use author swag for book promotion. But how to use it to enhance connection and trust with your readers?

  1. Take polls on social media or via newsletters. It’s a fantastic tool to discover their preferences. Moreover, polls will make your readers feel heard and create a sense of community, helping their favorite author.
  2. Create signing stickers. Not everyone can attend book signings in person. But you can send your fans stickers with your signature so they put them in their books. This personalized touch adds value to your readers' experience.
  3. Design exclusive swag. Consider creating a few limited edition swag items, such as special edition book covers or one-of-a-kind accessories. This will not only boost your brand's desirability but also reward your most loyal readers.

Summing up

Now, you have the tools to use the power of author swag effectively. It can be your secret weapon to build anticipation, delight your fans, and reach new readers.

Have you already used author swag to build buzz around your books? Share your experience in the comments.

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