Friday, January 22, 2010

Opinions Requested about Bling and Promos

Okay, so this is the first year (obviously) I'm going to be doing any promotional stuff for 13 to Life. I'm headed to RT Booklovers' Convention in April, BEA (just to prowl it and maybe research another book if we can track down the right museum) in May, an event (shhh--sekrit) with the book's launch in June, RWA in July and a bunch of smaller things scattered between.

Talking to the RT Convention Director, Jo Carol Jones (she's fabulous and so funny!), I learned a bit about promotional items for a special promotional lane they have (you rent space to display your stuff, unlike at RWA where it's kind of just try and figure out where to squeeze your freebies).

She pointed out something I'd noticed at RWA: everyone does bookmarks and postcards. Not that bookmarks aren't great--I mean, we do write and read books, so bookmarks are a natural choice. And postcards are pretty, but would you send them to anyone or just keep them (and how many are keepers?). A few people had bumper stickers at RWA, and there were some free post-it note things, pens and book flats (that's the cover without pages) and a couple authors had CDs of stories and booklets of a couple chapters of their book to tease it.

But I wonder how different things are in the YA world. Author Heather Brewer (The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod) gives away "Minion Bling"--cool buttons with her fanged smiley face icon on them. I like that idea. There's a tattoo thing that runs through my books, so I'm thinking of custom temporary tattoos that relate... And there's definitely a phrase that comes up again and again, making me think silicone bracelets might be cool...

And there will be web-based freebies for followers to snag continually.

So here's what I'd love you to do. Think about the coolest freebie an author offered (or one you wish they did) and share it, please. And out of these ideas, what do you think readers would enjoy? Buttons, silicone bracelets, temporary tattoos...?

Want more details? Here are the three companies I'm scoping out: http://www.busybeaver.net/ (for buttons), http://www.theawristocrat.com/ (for bracelets) , and http://www.tattoosales.com/ (for, yeah, tatts).

I always love to know what you think--marketing is unfortunately a growing part of creating a viable writer's livelihood and I'm on the steep end of the learning curve. ;-)
~Shannon

13 comments:

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Hi there - what a cool idea to ask LOL...

OK, this is expensive, but the author of The Pace, Shelena, within the pages of that book the characters go to a carnavel, so she sent me a bear that would be like what you would win at one...

Also, bumperstickers are fun, I have one stuck to my car for a book I really loved - The Hollow.

Book marks are cool, but yea I keep them unless there's more than one then I put them with a book I am giving away.

Personal notes are awesome - even like a book plate for someone to put in there copy - Lisa who wrote Chasing Brooklyn sent me one, that was personal to me - which I loved and adored.

Bracelets are cool but I have one for Beautiful Creatures and I just dont wear it...KWIM?

Tattoo's are a cool idea, never thought about that one...

you could also look into moo cards - they are SOO fun and quite unique...

I have not read 13 to life yet, but I hope to once it comes out - I am excited...so I cant give you book related items...

OH another thing, not sure if it's cost effective but I collect key chains, that might be cool to have a key chain with your fav. book title ect on it, I know I carry one around with Twilight on it! :)

LOL and at a convention or something - M&M's with 13 to Life on them would be SOO cute! LOL

Just a few idea's maybe it helps with the creative juices? or then again maybe not LOL

Book Crazy Jenn said...

One other idea - again from the author of The Pace - for book 2 they did a photo shoot, in it they used little crystals - she sent me a few and made up a few little gift bags little little one's they are in that mesh kinda kwim - anyway - that was something I will always treasure since it's like "part" of the book LOL.

Another idea might be, if there's a really unique scent, to see if you can have little "scent" bags done - like with that scented flower stuff in like Michaels, just little but something to bring the smell closer to us KWIM?

OK maybe these are just crazy ideas! :)

And these are not idea's you can use for "mass" production but maybe idea's to do for giveaways or something?!

Lauren said...

Oh, I love the temporary tattoo idea! I think it's great when freebies tie in with the story or characters. I've also always felt vaguely envious of anyone who got one of the freebie t-shirts for The Hunger Games, or the perfume for The Hollow.

I'm from the UK, and a lot of grocery stores tend to sell these thin cloth bags that people can reuse instead of the environmentally unfriendly free ones. Something like that with character quotes on would be cool too.

SarannaDeWylde said...

Shannon, that's so smart!

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inthehammockblog said...

Ooh, I like Lauren's idea of the bag! The buttons are a great idea too, something that people might put on a bag or whatever would give you more exposure :)

inthehammockblog said...

Ooh, I like Lauren's idea of the bag! The buttons are a great idea too, something that people might put on a bag or whatever would give you more exposure :)

Shannon Delany said...

Wow! Look at you all over-achieving! I absolutely love you for all this input!

Jenn:
1.) Love the stuffed animal idea--we went looking for wolfies last month and came up with a few possibilities (and some really freaky non-possibilities). Maybe I can get a few and use them as a very special something...Oh! I'm the June author of the month at The Book Exchange in OH (and I need a couple gift basket-type prizes for RT, too...). Hmm.
2.) Bumper stickers. I like the idea but I'm not sure about the level of commitment it takes to stick something on your car that you may later need to scrape off. I'll have to think about that one. What about removable window decals?
3.) I'm thinking of offering a few more gemstone bookmarks (like I provided for The Daily Dose's Holiday Giveaway--they incorporate 2 important aspects of the story). Probably need some standard paper ones just because (I think I'll keep their numbers relatively low--don't want to be so swamped with them that I wallpaper a room with them ;-).
4.) I did not know Beautiful Creatures did a bracelet, too--I did just see they're doing an online treasure hunt for a necklace. Clever girls.
5.) Yeah, the tattoos are very specific to this story (and a very old--little known--part of werewolf lore). I think they're a must-have.
6.) Okay, this is how uncool I am *sigh* I'm looking up moo cards because I've (sadly) never heard of them... Hey! Those are pretty cool. Interesting idea...
7.) I'm looking for keychain fittings because there's something that ties in directly with something that would work on it, too, but it'd be very small numbers do to a certain item I have on hand and can't find anywhere else.
8.) Love the M&M idea. What about a wrapped candy with 13 to Life on the wrapping & something expressing it's not what's on the outside that matters (since werewolves can look quite scary)...
9.) The crystals are a cool idea. You've definitely got me thinking, Jenn.
10.) Scent bags absolutely would work--too funny! There are two scents that are very important between book 1 and 2...Wonderful!

Wow, Jenn, you totally knocked my socks off! I am sceduled to do an interview at your site, right? If so, I definitely wanna ramp that up to include a cool giveaway since you really came through with great thoughts!

Lauren:
Our grocery stores here are starting to do the same thing (and I like the idea of a reusable tote with character quotes). I'm going to have to see if I can find a producer of those that can print them up--they'd be so cool for using instead of the "basket" part of gift-baskets (I mean, how many baskets does a person need in life, right?). Excellent suggestion! Am I booked for an interview with you (don't have my planner handy)? Let me know, I'll happily do a giveaway on your site, too, if you like. Thanks!

Saranna, baby, you taking notes and thinking RT/RWA thoughts? ;-) I hope so! These girls brought up some great ideas and I'm totally excited to try a bunch of them!

Ladies, again, thank you, thank you! You rock!

Shannon Delany said...

Hi inthehammockblog!

I agree, I think the bag and buttons are both cool ideas. :-)

Thank you so much for giving me your input too. I need to contact you (or have you contact me...).

Thanks again!

alybee said...

I think temporary tattoos and decals are kind of fun. Bookplates are nice. Kimberly Pauley offered them up to readers before Christmas. She signed them and sent them to fans who requested them.

Beautiful creatures had key chain kind of thing, bracelets that said beautiful creatures in black or purples, lemonhead candies in minature boxes, red hots in minature boxes, and decals. Some things are only available at signings. Though I like the bookmarks, my students seem to like the tattoos and decals better.

I did a contest at school for Kimberly's book with the signed bookplate and runner's up got tattoos & decals.

I think of there is a prominent quote that works on a removable bumper sticker then that is good too.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...

Wow, Jenn got most of what I was thinking. I'm totally uncreative but this is all that's remaining that I could come up with:

1) Expanding on the bracelet/necklace idea, I have one for BC though I don't wear it that often either. It's cool and all, but think I would love one that used metal instead of rubber/silicone. Like a metal dog tag, a choker, or a link bracelet with a small werewolf or something. Actually, I would wear a bracelet like that all the time. *o*

2) Also not cost effective really, but a journal would be pretty. Especially since 13 to Life's cover is so gorgeous.

3) Again expanding. You could do double-sided bookmarks and erasers. Like the outside vs. inside? As for pencils, those heat sensing ones are awesome, the ones where you rub them and then they turn colors. It might work with the inside vs. outside thing?

4) And, just saying, I would LOVE a stuffed animal. With a little T-shirt that says 13 to Life or something? Lol. So cute. I would also hang a keychain, though I'd be scared if it fell off. That seems to happen a lot to my keychains. D:

I'm sorry I'm totally not creative! If I think of anything else, I'll let you know.

Jenn (Books At Midnight) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Book Crazy Jenn said...

LOL well glad some of my idea's might have sparked something :) That is good...thoughts are fun!

As for the bumper sticker, LOL lots of people put them different places, and I put my on the window - easy to get off...if I should ever want to :)

As for the interview, I would love to, we are not scheduled but I would love to, if your game! :D

Book Crazy Jenn said...

Oh and the Moo cards - LOL I know about them because I am a photographer, and since you can have 100 cards with 100 different photo's on each - so one photo per card they are a big hit with us! :)

They are so fun, people do tons of cool stuff with them too...I love getting them - I collect different kinds LOL I am strange!

I also love your idea on the candy thing LOL - see once you get idea's coming, they just keep coming!

HMM...Oh another idea that you could give away - you could get them even printed at Vista Print - magnets - how cool would a magnet with your info on it be to see every day? I love your cover! LOL

Sorry, I love brain storming can you tell?