How do you get swag? | Fun Questions

February 22, 2014 Fun Questions 12

Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…

How do you get swag?

This question is really on my mind because COYER is kicking off next week (go sign up if you haven’t yet!) and we like to do a Twitter Party with swag giveaways. I love the Twitter Party and I’m happy to say that my co-host, Michelle @ Because Reading, and I have managed to get a pretty decent collection of swag together for the party. But when we were working on the details this item was the highest concern for us. And it was last time too. I got to thinking, how do most people get swag for these kinds of giveaways?

We collected swag a few ways.

  1. Street Teams. Michelle and I both belong to at least 1 street team (I think she belongs to a few actually). Naturally these were easy places to ask authors for donations because there’s a lot of communication already and comfort. But even there I don’t want to be over asking my 1 street team. And I’m not joining tons of street teams just to get swag, that would be against what I believe I’m saying to you when I say I’m part of a street team (that I love said author and want to support them beyond the basics, because I believe in them).
  2. Giveaway wins.  I don’t think Michelle did this, but I’m going to raise my hand and confess. I’ve won a couple giveaways that came with tons of swag items. I want a good deal of those items and no one is getting their hands on them (just to be clear). However, sometimes giveaways come with lots of the same swag item. I don’t need 4 of the same bookmark. I’m happy with just the one. So the other 3? Yep, I’m re-swagging them. The fact that I’m being given so many makes me think that this is the expectation. Is it? Or am I being tacky? Seriously, tell me. I don’t want to be doing something that’s frowned upon.
  3. Contacting authors I’ve recently given good reviews. This isn’t my favorite method, but it’s worked really well actually. If I’ve read something by an author that’s not extraordinarily well-known and I gave it 4 or 5 stars sometimes I’ll reach out to them and ask if they’d like to contribute to the swag prizes. I let them know that I really enjoyed their work and would love to help them get some publicity. It’s the truth, but I feel a bit like when I was in sales. You know, I need something, but I’m emphasizing why it’s good for you not me. But I don’t ask someone who I didn’t enjoy their book and can’t give good reviews. And I really do want to help spread their name around. What do you think? Ok approach?
  4. Changing a proposed giveaway. I’m participating in a tour during COYER that allows you to do an optional giveaway on your blog. I asked if they would be willing to use my giveaway item for the Twitter Party instead and they said sure. I also had an author offer a giveaway to go along with a review I’ll be doing and I asked if they would do it for the Twitter Party instead. I don’t feel so bad asking for these since the giveaway offer was already there and I just asked to change it up a bit.

And that’s how I get swag. The thing is, I love swag items. I love my collections of bookmarks. I use them all the time and the remind me of favorite books. They’ve introduced me to books and authors I was unfamiliar with. I know that’s why authors produce it. But I also know it costs them money, so I really can have a hard time asking for it. Am I missing a secret approach or is this how everyone goes about it too?

Do you like getting swag?

Do you giveaway swag ever?

How do you get it?

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

12 Responses to “How do you get swag? | Fun Questions”

  1. Ashley

    I wish I would get swag. I do think it is nice when certain authors send extra out there because then i can give those away.

    I dont live close to a big city where authors do signings so no swag there

    I like all the different ways you gather your swag.


    • Berls

      I’m in Dallas but not clued in enough to know when events are happening and haven’t made it to any yet… I know, I’m seriously wasting my advantage! I also really love it when authors send swag with books :)

  2. Julie S.

    I’ve tweeted and posted on facebook for any author followers to donate any swag if they felt like it. I also tweeted a few specific authors who have reached out to me in the past. I was pretty surprised that I got a few replies with authors willing to send swag to us :)

    • Berls

      Oh now that’s a good idea – just making an open request. I need to consider that, especially when I start trying to accumulate books for my blogiversary giveaway.

    • Berls

      Awesome – it’s the reader events! I need to start going to them!! We could always use more for COYER – can you email me( and we can sort it out – I could send you stamped addressed envelopes :)

  3. Bea

    I rarely ask for swag but sometimes I win it or an author includes with a print book they have sent. I am on a couple street teams and get some swag that way; like you I keep one or two items then distribute the rest.

    I think asking to include a giveaway that was offered into an event you’re planning is an excellent idea. I’ll have to remember that.

    I have accumulated some swag and have been thinking about doing a swag giveaway. I need to sort through what I have but maybe I could contribute some to COYER.
    Bea recently posted…The Friday 56 #16 The Execution by Dick WolfMy Profile

    • Berls

      If you do end up having swag you’d like to contribute for COYER we could totally use it for July’s COYER… just email me ( and we can sort it out – I could send you stamped addressed envelopes :)

  4. A Voracious Reader

    I’ve gotten bookmarks with books sent to me and while I enjoy them it doesn’t really matter to me. I just don’t care about collecting swag.

    As for the approaches, since I don’t go looking for swag I’d say all the approaches are fine. Even #3. “You don’t know unless you ask” is my motto. And #2, I’d re-swag. It’s like when someone gives you a business card and then hands you a couple more, you know, to give to friends. I think of it the same way.
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…Guest Reviewer ~ A Saint’s SalvationMy Profile

    • Berls

      I’m glad to hear that I’m not way out there with my approaches – I always worry :/

      I only care about collecting swag for series that I’m way into. But I love swag of all kinds in general – bookmarks are a favorite of mine. Useful and pretty lol

  5. Angie

    I don’t get a lot of swag. The few times I have were just lucky I think. One time I was contacted by a local theater to help promote Beautiful Creatures movie and they provided me with a lot of swag which I gave away on my blog. And then only other swag I have received was from San Diego Comic Con but that was really only just a few chapters of books. I gave those away in the Beautiful Creatures giveaway… LOL! I am sure people who attend BEA get a lot of swag that way!
    Angie recently posted…Symptoms of InstaloveMy Profile

    • Berls

      I think reader events like BEA probably do account for a lot of swag – I haven’t ever been able to attend any of them though. It’s in my goals for next year :)

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