You know all that cool swag (promotional items) you get when you go to a conference? Pens, bookmarks, postcards, post-it notes, candy? Yeah. That stuff. Apparently I need some.
I have to admit. I'm a conference junkie. I love being surrounded by like-minded people, whether teachers or writers. And when shoving my way through the hordes of overstimulated people to visit vendor or author booths, swag (at least for me) has become somewhat of a consolation prize for managing to not get trampled in the mayhem. Yay me!
It doesn't matter that I don't really need yet another pen, or that I'll never plant that packet of flower seeds. I can't resist picking up the promotional items just lying around waiting to go home with me. But does it work? Does it entice me to visit that website and make a purchase from that author or vendor?
In truth? Sometimes it does. Figuring out the right items to create and spend money on is the tough part.
So how is a new writer supposed to get her name out there to bolster sales and garner positive reviews?
One simple way is to create a street team who will act as marketing cheerleaders for an author. They blog, tweet, pass out promo items, write reviews, and share Facebook posts about the author and her books. In exchange, the author might treat her faithful street team members to extra cool swag items or sneak peeks of her upcoming book and the opportunity to read it before it hits stores. Sounds cool, right?
I gotta say, I find it really hard to market myself. The last thing I want to do is spam my friends and family with constant reminders to buy my book and write a review. Chances are, they've already bought the book within the first week it came out. Starting a street team might be a better way to go. I'm sure I have a few friends or fans who would be more than willing to spread the word for me. It would let me get back to writing while still promoting my books.
So how about it. Anyone feeling brave enough to join my street team? I could definitely use your advice on promotional items and marketing, and I promise to make it worth your time and effort. Come on! You know you want to.