Get swaggy with it

What’s swag? Merriam-Webster says it’s “Not just the swag that refers to free promotional items given to attendees, but also the swag that refers to stylish confidence. It’s likely that the sense of swag which means “loot” comes from a term thieves used to describe stolen goods.”

For authors, “swag” can mean anything from your book cover to bookmarks to free downloads.

In a guest post by Dawn Reno Langley on Jane Friedman’s blog, she writes:

Any kind of material used to market your book is considered swag—including little giveaway items that remind readers of your work. Book swag comes in many shapes and sizes, ranging from the basic paper bookmark to personalized bottles of expensive champagne. Some readers collect magnets that depict book cover art. Crafters design keychains featuring book covers or author photographs. Collectors treasure the subject-specific book swag, such as personalized candles, jewelry, or handbags.

In the OSV book world, swag can be your book cover used to tease readers on your author or Facebook page, or a webcast, or a freemium download of a sample chapter.

Dawn has GREAT advice and idea, so take a few minutes and read the entire post here.

If you want to talk swag with us, let us know!

How to make a great promo video (it’s easier than you think).

The rear LCD display on a Flip Video camrea

The rear LCD display on a Flip Video camrea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A promo video is a great way to improve your online searchability, and it has the potential to go viral when it is shared and reshared via social media. But best of all, when viewers can see and hear your passion about your book, it can help drive sales.

Don’t have any experience doing a video? It’s much easier than you think!

You’re on camera! There are lots of options, none of which are expensive or difficult. Small “flip” style HD video cameras retail for under $100, and are very easy to use. Here’s one for just $89. But you don’t even have to go to that expense. You can use your built-in or separate webcam on your computer or laptop. You can even get a decent quality video with your smartphone or tablet. Continue reading