Author Promotional Material - Yay or Nay?

This week we welcome co-founder of Beach Read Authors, KIM HORNSBY to the beach to talk about promotional material for conferences and guest appearances.
Take it away...

I'm heading to a conference tomorrow and am packing my promo stuff. Sometimes I take 400 DREAM necklaces to put in the registration bags. Sometimes I have book marks. I've used pens, recipe cards, even little chocolates with the book cover on the packaging. Who knows if anyone sees the promo and goes to the site to buy books BUT, if you can spare a hundred here and there, it never hurts to give out free stuff.
Book signing- with Author David Schoonover. I gave out chocolate!

Especially if you put your web site link on the material. Or, at least your name.
It's never a good idea to hand out freebies if the recipient can't remember who gave it to them. That makes pens a good idea because they are a useful item with room for lettering.  I have a purple sparkly pen from author Sabrina York and that thing travels all over the house, then to my purse, my car and back in to my office. That pen is a great example of money well spent.
My DREAM necklaces weren't a genius idea because they did not have my name of them, BUT, I had fun making them and liked the finished product and got loads of tweets and posts in about them before they went in to the registrant's bags at InD'Scribe Con in California last year. For the posts alone on social media, I'm glad I spent the money, even if no one ever thought afterwards, "This is a nice necklace that Kim Hornsby gave me. I think I'll buy her book about dream jumping."

I like recipe cards, maybe because I love to eat. I like to get recipe cards too. Unfortunately, my favorite recipe cards have what I like to call half-assed promo on the back. On these ones to the left, I did a wacky bad job of lining up my books and left off my web site! (Imagine me hitting my head with a one of my books.)

The conference I'm attending this weekend in Spokane, Washington is for anyone wanting to pitch their book to producers and film makers. I'm teaching a workshop called Channeling Your Inner Rock Star which draws upon the idea that rock stars are the epitome of confidence and branding. I'll be teaching people how to have confidence in public situations. Like pitching, Or just talking to a group. I love this workshop. I love teaching. We talk about digging deep to create that celebrity side of you, then going forth to wow everyone.
Postcards had web address on back!
The swag I bought for this conference is mini guitar key chains. I wish I could tell you that they are inscribed with my web site link but they are not. However, anyone at my class will be offered the handout on tips and tricks for self-confidence by email and I hope to add people to my mailing list. Giving out the key chains is just a gift from me to my "clients" not intended to promote my books but to help the people who attend my workshop to summon bravery when needed.
Hand goes in the pocket, touches the smooth guitar, brain remembers "I'm a Rock Star! I Can Do This!"

Swag, as promo material is called, is something that might not pay off, but then again, it might. Are you willing to take a financial risk and hope to sell some books? Maybe not get a return for your investment? Do you consider getting email addresses a return investment?

If you decide to buy bulk key chains, pens, bookmarks, or make stickers to put on stuff you hand out, just make sure your swag makes the recipient want to know more about you and your books!

KIM HORNSBY is the bestselling Amazon Author of The Dream Jumper's Promise, Book 1 in a Supernatural Suspense series. She lives in the Seattle area and writes stories for women about overcoming tragedy, adversity and coming out the other end. Find her on Amazon Books.

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