Last weekend, I did my first-ever author event. Sort-of. I mean, I still don’t have a book out, so it wasn’t a signing or book launch, or any of those other events that I’m eagerly looking forward to. But I *did* run the cupcake table at Ottawa’s 2nd Annual Princess Party for CHEO (the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario), including providing 200 cupcakes for the princesses to frost and decorate.
Since the book isn’t out yet, I needed a way to advertise. I decided on two pieces of swag: an apron with my book cover on the front (bonus: it kept my lovely princess dress from getting dirty, and I can reuse it for any future cake book events) and postcards (pictured above), which I handed out to each family.
Because I came up with the postcard idea a bit late, I only had one day to design them in order to ensure they arrived before the event (although it turned out they came in two days, which was just amazing – Yay, Vistaprint!) Also, the company had a sale on at the time, which made my order pretty affordable (even though I got sweet-talked into buying more than I’d originally planned – I’ll let you know how that works out once I start actually doing events.)
For me, the most important parts of the postcard were:
- The Book Cover – this is my product after all, and it’s a pretty cute cover (if I do say so myself), plus the sub title tells you exactly what the book is about. I wanted this to be big, taking up at least the half the postcard.
- My Name – as a writer, my name is my brand. Books may come and go, but my name is going to stay the same (well, unless I suddenly decide on a massive genre-switch and start using a pen name). I made sure to get it on there twice: once on the book cover, and once over the QR code.
- A Reason to Look at/Keep the Postcard – after all, what’s the point in handing them out if people don’t look at them? For this I decided on a QR code that links to the Cakey Goodness page on this blog, where I display bonus recipes and designs, cake book outtakes, and any other random cakey goodness I can come up with.
Overall, I think the postcards turned out great. I will admit to one little oops, though (after all the point of this blog is to share my mistakes with you guys so you don’t repeat them). Aside from the QR code, I forgot to provide a link to my blog/facebook/twitter. Groan. Rookie mistake. However, I plan to print out some labels with the info and add them to the otherwise blank back of the postcard before my next event, so would-be readers with a QR scanner will still have access to my info.
And there you have it, my first excursion into author swag. What about you? What’s your favourite kind of author swag (as a writer or a reader)? Let me know in the comments.