Before I give you links to my favorite purveyors of personalized swag, let’s address the elephant in the room. Space and money for bulk orders. We don’t all have it. This is where having a community is key. When you design swag that is unique to your genre, but not your books, you can split the larger orders with your author friends.
- Collect the money (including shipping for both the original order and sending their portion on to them – in advance because despite best intentions, things happen and ruining a friendship over money isn’t the way any of us wants to go).
- Take delivery of swag merchandise.
- Disseminate to other authors involved (in a timely fashion if you ever want your friends to participate in a group effort like this again).
That said, I rarely order more than 100 items at a time and often less, so the links I’m posting below offer merch in the quantities I like to get it.
PLEASE READ BEFORE CONTINUING: I have no affiliation with and am not endorsing a particular product, site or app. The following reflects my experience with the sites mentioned. Yours may be vastly different and you use them at your discretion and full responsibility.
Slapco: I wait for the sales, but once you get on their mailing list, you’ll get offers at least a couple of times a week. And they offer items in sample runs (which are smaller and usually all I want).
Stickybrand: consistently good prices and usually a discount on site.
KOOZIES, WRISTBANDS, etc.
Custom Lanyard: I’ve ordered both koozies (they call them can coolers) and personalized wristbands from them. I had to air out the merch because rubber/synthetic needs some off gassing when it arrives.
Lip Balm Express: they offer different flavors, cap colors and the option to put a wrap around image on the tube. They also come individually sealed in plastic bags.
National Pen: I’ve been using them for nearly two decades. I prefer retractable pens but they offer pretty much every kind of pen imaginable. Their other merch can be affordable, but always check around because sometimes is silly expensive.
These are by no means an exhaustive list of options for reader swag, but they are the companies I use. In the bookmark post, I gave a couple of options for designing your promo graphics. Canva is by far my favorite program for this. However, as long as you can save a high resolution image in the format the site wants, it doesn’t really matter where you design it.