Before I proceed, please be assured that this post is not, by any means, a complaint about my readers.
It ISN’T! Truly! Okay?
I adore each and every one of you who makes it possible for me to continue doing what I do.
This post is merely an informational post, to help you guys all understand how things jive behind the scenes a little better.
Right here goes:
I get a lot of requests for bookmarks and swag for my books. Be it via Goodreads, or emails, whatever, readers send me messages to ask for swag.
If I had the resources, I would comply with each and every request. I really would.
However, sending swag out isn’t as simple as just sticking a bookmark in the post, and all’s done–I mean, how much trouble can it be for an author to send someone a bookmark, right?
Well, here are a couple of facts.
Posting stuff costs money
Sure, if someone in the UK asked me for a bookmark, it’d only cost, like, 60p to send it off. BUT, what if I had 10 people in the UK asking for bookmarks? My 60p expenditure would then zoom to £6.00. AND most of the folk who come asking for bookmarks aren’t from the UK–so, that 60p per person suddenly goes up again.
Chances are, if I’m not able to send you a bookmark, then I’ve hit my marketing expense budget for the month. It happens. I’m sorry, but, even though I’d love to send swag to each and every one of you, sometimes I just cannae afford it. Please understand.
Posting stuff takes time
I don’t mean only the time it takes for it to reach the receiver once it’s been taken to the post office. I’m also referring to the time an author (who doesn’t have a PA) has to take out of their morning to grab those addresses folk have provided them via email, sort out what’s going to whom, properly package them, make sure the right name and address goes on the right package, and then take them to the PO. Seriously, it takes time. When you have deadlines to meet, it can occasionally be hard to find those minutes required to do other stuff straight away.
I’m not the greatest organiser of my time–I’m truly not. And I have to have a certain mindset at the beginning of each day. Sometimes I have to have a certain mindset to make me open up my WIP and hit concentration mode. Pausing for anything–even eating–can alter that mindset. So, please have a little patience and give the author a chance to finish up with whatever they’re working on.
Marketing materials occasionally diminish
When an author orders their bookmarks/swag–or their publisher does–they’re usually ordered in a batch. Sometimes a couple hundred bookmarks are ordered. Sometimes, it’s a couple of K. The quantity mostly depends on what funds I (if ordering myself) have available to spend on marketing products–because from an author perspective, one who has to provide self-employed details of her income to inland revenue, that’s exactly what bookmarks and swag are. Sooner or later, whatever batch of goodies the author has ordered will run out, and if they were for an earlier title written by the author, then chances are they’re not going to replenish them when they have new/upcoming titles to start pimping to you guys.
So, I guess what I’m asking for is: Please have a little patience & understanding
If I ever have to tell a reader no to a request for bookmarks/swag, it’s not out of meanness. Trust me when I say that I consider each and every response carefully before turning someone away, and it always pains me to do so.
Also, if I do agree to send you some swag, please show a little patience in awaiting its arrival. The same applies to if you happen to win swag/prizes from me. I’m now asking for anyone waiting on deliveries from myself to allow a good 6 weeks before they start panicking over its whereabouts.
The reasons for this are:
1) That whole international posting I mentioned above? That takes extra postage time than just the couple days of national posting, and I’ve waited as long as 3 months for some stuff to make their way to me from the US from posted date to received date;
2) The Boy (my son) helps out and does a lot of the prize posting for me. He’s now in college full time, and so he’s not always available immediately to race straight to the post office for the eager beavers out there;
3) the money aspect of it I mentioned. Contrary to the belief of some, authors ain’t sitting on a bed of 50′s whilst typing at their laptops. Some weeks, I just don’t have the spare cash to be spending on postage, and so I ask you to please wait until I’m not starving my kids to get the goods sent out.
As ever, thanks for listening. Thanks for reading my stuff–it totally rocks my socks that folk are enjoying my books enough that they even want Holloway Pack bookmarks. And thanks for understanding and your patience.
And if all else fails: I do sometimes have bookmark giveaways, so why not try your chances with those.