Tag Archives: swag

Got Swag?

Barbara Vey -- March 17th, 2014

virna-2Many thanks to today’s guest blogger, Virna DePaul.  Virna is a former criminal prosecutor and national bestselling author of paranormal romance, contemporary romance, and romantic suspense. She writes for Harlequin Romantic Suspense, HQN, and Random House. In her off hours, she loves broadway musicals, spending time with her family and friends, and connecting with other romance readers. 

 

Swag (noun, verb)

Swag from a Lori Foster event

Swag from a Lori Foster event

1. Slang

a. plunder or booty, as in promotional merchandise

b. The way a person carries herself; confidence, appearance, or style

Romance readers love swag. Which is good, because every year, romance authors go to great lengths to fill hundreds of conference registration bags with little goodies. Why? Because we’re hoping to introduce ourselves to new readers and to remind readers who are already our fans how awesome our books are.

-6The problem is, however, it is very possible—no, probable—that our swag will get lost among the sea of other swag in those bags. That can be a disheartening thought—just like imagining our books lost among a sea of other books would be. But romance writers are a hearty (and creative) bunch, otherwise we wouldn’t be putting our hearts and souls on paper for public consumption to begin with.

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Swag is just another extension of our professional brand, one to be taken seriously. It’s a greeting and a handshake to readers when we can’t be physically present. As such, the swag should truly be a representation of ourselves and our stories.

These tips on how to stand out in the overcrowded job market apply beautifully to author swag!

Continue reading the blog here at my new home, BarbaraVey.com.  And stop by tomorrow for my final PW Blog!

RWA: Swag, Panels, Parties

Barbara Vey -- July 31st, 2012

One thing I’ve learned from going to RWA conferences throughout the year is that there just aren’t enough hours in the day.  The official schedule is filled with workshops, panels, publisher spotlights, lunches, breakfasts and book signings.  The unofficial schedule includes meetings, coffees, meals, parties, promotions, greetings in hallways, visits to the goody room, chatting with friends (old and new) and my favorite, naps.  I never seem to get everything in that I want to do or see everyone that I know is there somewhere.

Kimberly Lang, Kira Sinclair, Andrea Lange, Sharon Sala, Marilyn Puett and Barbara Vey

Kimberly Lang, Kira Sinclair, Andrea Laurence, Sharon Sala, Marilyn Puett and Barbara Vey

 

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Every year since my first RWA, I have breakfast with my friends from The Writing Playground.  When I first met them, none were published but now three of them are.  We were joined by Sharon Sala who is my favorite person to follow on Facebook.  If you don’t follow her, go do it.  She writes the most amazing little stories of her life every day.  It’s like following a mini-series and I don’t want to miss an episode.

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Some swag I collected

Some swag I collected

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One of the things I always get asked about is the swag that is given out.  The goody room was a treasure chest this year.  I got a Zombie Survival Kit, bandaids, gum, audio books, cookies, candy, pens, jar openers, magnets, calendars, a massager, tattoos, lip balm, popcorn and grits.  And don’t even get me started on the books.  The tote bag at registration was filled with books, there were books at the luncheons, books in the goody room, all the free books at the publisher signings and you could even purchase books at the Barnes and Noble store in addition to the Literacy signing.  People were shipping home boxes of books like there was no tomorrow.

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I did a workshop with James Rollins, Sheila English, Nancy Berland and Rebecca York on Building Reader Loyalty.  I’ve got to say that I could listen to James Rollins talk all day.  He is incredibly funny in that laid back way by just telling stories.  He’s got a ton of them from book signings to posting on Facebook to meeting with fans.  James had the room eating out of his hands.  The rest of us had our say and it was a lively group, but when Jim talked it was like when E. F. Hutton spoke (if you don’t get the reference you’re too young).

Barbara Vey, Sheila English, Nancy Berland, Rebecca York, James Rollins

Barbara Vey, Sheila English, Nancy Berland, Rebecca York, James Rollins (Picture by David)

 

Harlequin had their annual pajama party and I heard it was a blast as usual.  I also missed St. Martin’s party, but Sheila sent me a couple of pictures.  I was off to the ocean with the Sourcebook authors for dinner.  There was a terrific party bus, but since I get motion sickness, I can only sit facing forward.  The wonderful food and company made up for it.

Harlequin PJ party

Harlequin PJ party

 

Sourcebook dinner

Sourcebook dinner

 

Carol Fitzgerald, Christina's daughter, Christina Dodd at St. Martin Party

Carol Fitzgerald, Christina's daughter, Christina Dodd at St. Martin Party

 

Tomorrow is picture day.  I’ll be posting pics from many signings, so stop back to see who you may know.

 

Bottom Line:  Time is the one thing we can’t buy, but we should value the most.