Choosing the right promotional material

At some stage before a new book comes out, I spend a bit of time deciding what kind of promotional material to buy. It has to be the kind of thing that doesn't cost the earth, but will remind people about my books and hopefully encourage them to buy them. It's kind of a tricky process because it's hard to know what people want. 

For my first book, What Goes on Tour, I did a book launch and because it was only available as an ebook at that time, I printed a stack of postcards that I could sign. I didn't put much on the back of them because I wanted room for the signature but I probably should have at least included the blurb.​ Oh, and I forgot to put my website on them. I decided to stick with the postcards for the rest of the books because I liked the continuity, but I made the backs of them much better!

Texan Quartet Postcards

Also around this time, a friend found a stack of guitar charms online and bought them for me. So I had these cute little charms and wasn't sure what to do with them. I ended up making some really simple bookmarks with ribbon and they turned out quite well. That of course meant I had to find charms for the next three books which had me spending quite a bit of time online scouring sites like Ali Express and 8 Seasons to find charms that fit the story. ​

For the last two books in The Texan Quartet, I found these little metal bookmarks. To do the book covers, I bought shrink film that could be used with a printer and printer my covers on it, before cutting them out and shrinking them down to size in the oven. It was kind of nice to have a little craft activity to do.

People have quite liked these bookmarks, but I wanted to do something slightly different for The Flanagan Sisters. I didn't need postcards for signing as the print book will be out at the same time as the ebook (I'm actually anxiously waiting for the print books to arrive before the launch!)

So I went with paper bookmarks instead. I think you can't go wrong with bookmarks, because if you're anything like me, you have a hundred different ones around the house, though never one within arms reach when you need it! They are quite simple, just the book covers for The Flanagan Sisters on one side and The Texan Quartet on the other.​

I then bought some clear keyrings which I'll do up with the covers of each of the books. I'm still waiting for them to arrive, so I'm not sure how they will turn out. I figured, like bookmarks, keyrings are always handy to have.

What I would love to know is, what kind of promotional 'swag' do you like to receive? What helps you remember authors or books you've seen?​ Or do you not care and just want the book?

I'd love to hear your thoughts.​