Authors & Book Publishers: Readers Love Swag

The latest in our series featuring printing and promotional product ideas for specific industries turns to the book world. Jag’s Director of Sales and Marketing also runs a book blog, Novel Novice – and has found that many of her friends in the publishing world are now turning to Jag for swag to promote their latest book.

Publishers have been utilizing promotional products for quite a while now — giving away goodies at conferences like Book Expo America and ALA Midwinter, as well as creating tchotchkes for authors to give away to readers or hand out at events and signings. But with many publishers slashing their marketing budgets, a lot of authors are procuring their own promotional goodies to promote their books.

While we LOVE brainstorming creative, new ideas for authors based on their specific book, here are a few items that we’ve found popular with all of our publishing clients.

nn boomarksBookmarks & Postcards

Readers – especially hardcore readers, who don’t even want to break their spine – love bookmarks. Folding a corner to mark your page? Blasphemy! And authors love handing out bookmarks featuring their beautiful cover artwork. These are great for spreading the word about an upcoming release, as well as for mailing out and distributing at events. Lots of readers even love to collect bookmarks signed by their favorite writers.

Many authors are also using postcards as a way to both spread the word about their books — and as something physical they can sign and hand out to the increasing number of readers turning to e-books.


Team Edward. Team Jacob. That was just the beginning. Authors are using silicone bracelets to spread the word about their books, and the themes or character rivalries within its pages. Available in just about any color, with decoration methods for every price point, these are a fun item that readers seem to adore.

chapstickLip Balm

In a market that is largely dominated by women — both the writers and the readership — Young Adult (or “YA”) authors have found that lip balm is great giveaway. The full color label is a great way to showcase your title and cover art, but the usability of lip balm makes this a coveted item for readers — who will show off your book every time they use it. And while a variety of beauty products are available (like custom nail polish, lip gloss, and eye shadow palettes), lip balm is great because it also appeals to the oh-so-elusive male reader.

Chocolate & Candy

Mints, fruity hard candies, and of course chocolate! Everybody loves a tasty little treat, and more authors are finding creative ways to incorporate their books into sweet hand-outs — be it custom-imprinted containers filled with mints, or individual chocolates with a custom wrapper.

For the comments: What other promotional items would you recommend for books and authors? When you customize a promotional product to a book’s specific theme/genre/plot, the possibilities really start to get exciting!

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  1. Publishing & Authors: Promoting Books | Jag Forms - April 23, 2014

    […] talked about popular promotional items for authors and publishers to use promoting books in the past, but with Book Expo America, ALA, and other publishing industry events coming up soon, […]

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