I made a vow not to go crazy on the swag and promo this year. For RWA, I would print out mini-books of “The Warlord and the Nightingale” to promote CLOCKWORK SAMURAI and I would order a box of Liliana’s Princess Shanyin trilogy to sign at the Indie Signing. That was it. No more promo.
Then when the THIS WEDDING IS DOOMED continuity was coming out, I vowed I would promote on release day only. One day. One blog. (We ended up doing four.)
Then I found myself plotting how to deliver cakes to giveaway winners.
That wasn’t all. Wouldn’t it be cool to try to create little cake wedding favors for the Berkley signing at RWA?
That was when I realized I was certifiable. I was a complete swag addict. But why? Why was I so pathological about swag?
People have told me time and again, swag doesn’t sell books. I know that. Do you think someone makes Asian steampunk books because it’ll sell more books? No!
The thing is, I love the romance reading community. I love the tropes and themes and the idiosyncracies. I love how excited readers get. Over books! And swag just feels like a fun way to reach out. To start a conversation. To celebrate romance. To enhance the experience around the stories. And it uses all those nooks and crannies of my brain that don’t get used often — the crafting, baking, graphics, artistic side.
I get to be a kid again when I make swag. Like I told my Little Girl, Mommy is doing arts and crafts for adults.
Anyway, long story short. While I was plotting how I would make little tiramisu jars at Nationals — involving packing jars into my suitcase, procuring mascarpone and lady fingers in NYC–I realized I was CRAZY. @!*ing mad. I also realized I needed this. I also realized…
There was a place for this. Something people might appreciate, that would make them happy.
So there will be no cake favors at RWA. I’m not going to swag for myself anymore. I’m taking my swag addiction to a whole ‘nother level:
I’ve banded together with my partners in crime, Amanda Berry and Shawntelle Madison. You may not be aware that the three of us were involved in a completely non-profitable venture before that Romancelandia had a lot of fun with a few years back.
We’re in research and development now, and are planning to hit the pavement at RWA to network with authors and publicity folks. We’re even putting together a prototype box, what I dub “Box X”, to use in focus groups. (Looking for bloggers/readers/reviewers who would like to volunteer for that. Sign-up on the website link below.)
Unless the sky falls, we plan on making The Ever After Box happen.
We hope this is something people will want to join in and be a part of. Because it’s going to be AWESOME.
Sign-up for the RWA meet-ups and updates at: www.everafterbox.com