I’ve noticed pens are a very popular promotional item with both readers and writers. I certainly like to replenish my pen supply when I go to a conference. Of course, like many promotional items, pens don’t make me want to run out and purchase the relevant author’s book. I haven’t personally ordered pens for myself (mainly because I haven’t found a reasonably priced source in New Zealand) but I look upon pens as an additional tool to help gain name recognition amongst the buying public.
Pens are a good promo item because they’re relatively cheap. Everyone likes pens and uses them on a daily basis, no matter a person’s age, sex or locality. They’re a universal item and appeal to everyone. That’s a big plus.
Pens come in all shapes, sizes and colors. These days you can often purchase pens to match books - a specific color or design. For example: you can buy pens with puppies, in a leopard print, a sea theme or even a holiday theme. If you have a book with a builder hero, how about a builder’s pencil? If you have a book with a magical theme, how about a pencil that changes color with the heat of your hand? The possibilities are endless and limited only by your imagination.
As I’ve just mentioned as well as pens you can order pencils, coloring pencils, Sharpies or highlighter pens to fit your needs. Writers LOVE highlighter pens or this writer does. Most pens I pick up have black ink. I’m not sure why that is but I have a decided preference for blue ink. Most people won’t care but I’m a blue girl all the way!
Jane Porter is an author who does lots of promotions with pens. I have several of her pens.
What Do You Put On a Pen?
Maria Zannini has an excellent post about author signatures at her blog. The taglines you put in your author signatures are great for pens as well. The thing is to keep the info to two, maybe three or four lines maximum. Too much information is confusing and the writing is too small. You should definitely include your name and website and either a tagline or a book title on your pen.
Here’s a few examples from pens I have:
Jane Porter’s pen has three lines of writing.
Line 1 - Jane Porter
Line 2 - (slightly smaller) Harlequin Presents
Line 3 - janeporter.com
Terri Brisbin’s pen has four lines of writing.
Line 1 - Looking for love?
Line 2 - Find it in a Romance by
Line 3 - (large writing) Terri Brisbin
Line 4 - www.terribrisbin.com
Tielle St. Clare’s highlighter has three lines of writing
Line 1 - Exotic & Erotic - Books by
Line 2 - (larger writing) Tielle St. Clare
Line 3 - www.ellorascave.com
Pens are good promo at conferences. They’re excellent for goodie bags. Give them out to friends and family, your hairdresser, vet or librarian. Leave them in restaurants after you’ve signed the check. Add them to Christmas or birthday presents because everyone likes pens!
There are lots of places to purchase pens, especially if you live in the US. The best way is to ask other authors for recommendations. Here are a few websites for you to start with:
Vista Print does do pens as well, but they’re quite expensive compared to some of the alternatives.
Do you like pens for promotional items? Do you favor a particular pen style more than others? Have you purchased pens for promo items? Which company did you use and what was your experience during the ordering process? Do you have any other ideas of places to use your promo pens once you’ve purchased them?