Monday, January 29, 2018


One way to creative passive marketing that has legs is to swag. I have two forms of swag that serve as passive marketing because they hang around for a long time. The first one is a recipe card.

Some of my books discuss food. Favorite recipes or dishes are mentioned. I have created recipes for those foods and put them on postcards with the cover of the book that mentions the dish on the other side. This serves two purposes – 1) it has a reason for being, is useful, and not as likely to be tossed out as a promotional postcard; 2) it also opens up the possibility of being passed along to someone else. The cover on the other side is bound to raise some interest.

I give out recipe cards at book signing and romance reader cons. Having them gives a good opening line to people walking by. “Do you like to cook?” Some shake their heads, but most do. The first cards were so successful, I used my own recipes and put them on the back of postcards with a cover of each book in the series. Now I have a packet of nine recipe cards, each with a different cover on the other side. Makes a great hand-out, prize in a Facebook take-over or party or are easily mailed out to a snail mail list of fans.

Cost? Very inexpensive on Vistaprint, especially during a sale period. Vistaprint has sales all the time, so you can load up when the prices are low. You don’t have twelve books out? Get together with another author or two or three. This is great because you split the cost, making it dirt cheap for you to give away calendars. They are easy to mail, too.

The next passive marketing idea is brand new. I had it last year, but no time to execute it. It’s a calendar. Vista print has a small wall calendar size (6.5” x 8.5”) that is easily mailed. I created a different piece of art for every month. Each picture has one or more of my covers on it. Thus, whenever the reader turns the calendar for a new month, she will have my covers staring at her for the entire time.

Using bright, colorful pictures as the background for my covers makes the calendar pretty while it is also useful. It does cost more than the recipe cards, which are cheap during sales. The calendar, during a sale period can range from about $8.00 to as low at $4.00, depending on the quantity you buy.

Calendars make great giveaways, instead of free books. You can also mail them to some of your best readers. I’ve even sold three of them for $15.00, including shipping. I like this form of passive marketing the best because you will be in the home for a full year, and because the item you’re giving away is very useful and will remain visible and not end up in the garbage.

Passive marketing through swag can make you stand out in a good way while offering readers things they can use and will want to keep.♥ 

PART 1:  To read Jean’s SELF-PUBBING TIPS AND TRICKS:  PASSIVE MARKETING PART 1  check out her article of January 22.

Jean Joachim is an award-winning, multi-published author of contemporary and military romances, of romantic suspense and sweet romances. Visit her at


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