Swag Guide: Whats, Hows and Whys

January 24, 2016     erinthebooknut     Discussion, Feature

Swag.  We love it, some of us collect it, and it’s a big part of our book world. What what is it for and how do we get it? These are some of the questions this post is going to try to answer.

So let’s start with the what. As in, what is swag?

Swag is a very broad term encompassing all the fun promotional stuff that authors and publishers hand out to help market something. Who gets it? Well, anyone can get swag! It’s not for an exclusive group of people. You just need to know what you’re looking for and where to get it.

When you think of swag most people think bookmarks and maybe some poster, but swag can be much more than just that. Swag includes:



Posters (in many shapes and sizes)







And other random things.

Next is the why. As I said above, swag is promotional material. It helps with marketing and is given to authors for signings and giveaways. Also, let’s be honest, it’s really fun to collect if you’re a hardcore book nerd.

So how does one go about collecting swag? Authors often bring swag with them to signings and events. You’ll also find it all over the place at conventions like BEA or ALA. A lot of times authors who have accumulated a great deal of swag will host giveaways on their websites, on blogs, or on social media. Many bloggers will also be given swag from either a publisher or author to help with promotion so they can give it away as well. The most common and easiest to find this way are the bookmarks. Sometimes libraries will also be given swag to pass out to their patrons, also for promotional purposes.

More recently, stores like Barnes and Noble have been hosting event such as Pop Culture month in which they have an entire table of swag for upcoming releases available. Whether this will continue? I’m not really sure, but I hope it does because the Pop Culture events are a lot of fun.

So that’s the quick rundown on swag. Got more questions? Want to share how you get your swag with everyone? Share in the comments!

From my shelf to yours,



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