Most authors give away some swag. Pens, notepads, mugs, water bottles, mouse pads, and more. Giving away that stuff is just money tossed down a hole, and you often never know if it’s doing you any good.
Then I discovered Zazzle, where you can design your own swag, post it for sale, and other people can buy it. So if I design some Ann Aguirre mousepads and order 50 of them for a convention, I earn a commission on that, even on my own purchase. How cool is that? It’s sort of like a cashback rebate, I guess, and the more you order, the more the price drops, which is also awesome. I’ve decided I’m not going to order ordinary swag anymore. From this point on, it’s Zazzle only.
That way, any money I spend on promo, I get a little of it back, and I’m going to take that saved money and donate it to First Book. They’re a nonprofit organization who get kids hooked on reading. Since my childhood would’ve been immeasurably impoverished without my love for books, I think this is a very worthy mission. Obviously, anyone who takes a liking to something I have up on Zazzle is welcome to buy it, and the proceeds from each sale will go to First Book in entirety. I won’t be profiting from any of these things, but I wanted to do my promo in a different way, as I had been growing discontent with giving my money to various imprint companies. This is better for me. It makes me happy.
Not all of this stuff will have my name or website info on it. Sometimes I just get a funny idea for a product and I want to implement it. For instance, I’ve ordered 50 “recovering death girl poet” buttons for RWA, and they don’t have anything about me at all on them. I’m sure I’ll be adding stuff as we go along because I love designing stuff on Zazzle. I’m toying with the idea of making some kind of gamer geek button, but I did enough designing yesterday (I am so happy with how the Team Chance & Team Jesse shirts turned out! Spent ages finding good pictures for them.) And I need to work on Hell Fire today.
This post is mainly to explain the new widget in the sidebar. That’s why it’s there. Don’t feel pressured to click but if you do happen to find something you want, it will make some kids very happy.