Just 98 days until Christmas. Time to think about gifts for cousin Sam even though you’d rather focus on marketing your books. Hey, why not do both? Indie author merchandise is a chance to demonstrate the same amazing creativity you put into characters, scenes, plot twists and narrative. Two birds, one stone, right? You wrote a great book–you can come up with great gift ideas.
Face it, as an indie you might benefit more by giving stuff away than trying to sell everything. Marketing is always wise and a tax deduction, so why not make gifts that advertise (in a cool way) or get yourself some items that display your message in front of a lot of people. Just beware of gifts that won’t be appreciated or used. Think fun.
12 gift ideas for merchandizing your books:
- Book marks — yep, done a million times but still a good one and you might be able to pawn off a bunch at local bookstores or libraries.
- Coffee mugs — again, pretty common but should get used. Might try taking a few to a local coffee shop and letting them sell mugs to customers.
- Coasters — still with the drinks theme, and a chance to target the happy-hour crowd and pub owners.
- Hats — bald guys like me absolutely must wear hats on sunny days and prefer a bunch to choose from. Target those on your list with less hair.
- T-shirts — I’ve done this and the shirts made great gifts and actually got worn by friends and family for years. Make sure the shirts come out looking sharp and use quality products that will last and be comfy. Long sleeve or short is fine, but don’t skimp on low-grade cotton.
- Car magnets or License Plate covers — (see above photo) pretty smart since this will get seen by thousands of people in time. Better for drivers in busy areas of course.
- Stickers — another one I’ve done but can get surprisingly expensive. At least you can enjoy the thrill of sticking them in public places and running.
- Greeting cards — on your ‘must buy list’ anyway. Merry Christmas and Happy Little Universe!
- Coupons — gift free books to fans on your blog. Easy at Smashwords with Coupon Codes plus a great way to enlist readers and hopefully get some reviews.
- Fridge magnets — most people could always use another way to hold up photos of kids and pets.
- Playing cards — who wouldn’t like an extra set of playing cards? Erotica authors, think Strip Poker!
- Calendars — great for those with multiple books or artwork from scenes within.
This list could go on and on. The idea is to think of anything fun, useful, worthwhile and hopefully cost-effective. Here are a couple of places to get almost anything on this list:
Zazzle – http://www.zazzle.com/
Vista Print – http://www.vistaprint.com/
Have another suggestion? Share it in the comments section.