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BrainstormingAugust 4, 2009

Hello, my chickens (Chickens! I want chickens! Yes, we've still lost our minds and want chickens. They will coming to a Yarnagogo blog near you soon. But not till after Labor Day).

What was I going to ask you? Oh, yeah. I remember.

Collectively, you know everything. So I'm wondering. I'm sitting plum in the middle of the best spot ever: Book-wise, I'm post-sale, and pre-review. This is the honeymoon phase of my writing career. No one has shouted. No one has broken any of the new dishware. No one has left beer bottles perched on the edge of the bathtub and no one has left anyone else's cowboy hat out where the border collie can get it and chew it up (just as an example, of course, not saying anything). Me and the book, our rings are still shiny and new and we don't have tan lines yet on our ring fingers.

So I'm thinking excitedly about everything I can do to charm the book, to keep the romance alive and sparkly (Lala, at this moment, is thinking HEY! WHAT ABOUT ME? Don't worry, sugar. Romance kindles romance.) I'm thinking promotion.

Promo. Goodies to give away to promote the book. I'll keep it simple and do bookmarks and pens, sure, nice and for the non-knitting venues, regular bookstores and muggle libraries. But when I go to knitting places, Stitches and Rhinebeck and such, what should I give away? Do you have clever ideas? Better yet, do you have clever ideas that require precious little time on my part (because my time really has to be spent on writing, and not on crafting promo items) and even less money? Something knitterly and fun?

Thanks in advance for your genius ideas. MWAH!  


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Rachael, this may seem like a crazy idea for a giveaway, but my favorite little gift from Meg Swansen's Knitting Camp is a little wooden 6" ruler for measuring your knitting. Meg says a plastic measure tape will stretch. Also, it is always handy and available and you can put your name on it. Mary in

Do you hoard tiny ends of project pieces of yarn and fleece like I do? What about pre-printed tags/business cards/bookmarks with a piece of your leftover project yarn tied in a nice little bow? A little bit weird and stalker but I'm sure I'm not the only person out there who thinks those wee ends are charming and somehow personal? OR I'm a crazy stalker and you should delete this before anyone else gets ideas...

Um, yarn in the book's exclusive colorway? A raffle for that maybe, 'cause it could get pricey. Stitch markers? Even only a single one would be nice. A cable needle?

My LYS (Table Rock Llamas and The Dyeworks in Black Forest, CO) has cool oversized nail files/emery boards with photos of their llamas and the shop info printed on them. They are great for knitters b/c you can keep one in your bag or purse to file those rough nails (or calluses) that can snag the knitting. Bonus- muggles use nail files too. You could have sheep or llamas or sweaters or your book cover(s) printed on them. Another thing that seems popular at conferences are those spongy stress balls- you could do a sheep or a ball of yarn. Stitch markers with a shrinky-dink of your book (with a lobster claw clasp muggles could use them as bracelet/necklace or cell phone charms). A printed felt sleeve for your *bucks cup? Must go make tea and file my snaggy nails now! Keep us posted on the pub date so I can stalk the bookstore (and so my friend who works at Borders can harass her boss to make sure there are plenty of copies prominently displayed!).

If you weren't planning on marketing the sweater pattern your character knits in the book, you could always name it after her - or after the book - and use it as a promo at knitting events. If it came with a picture of you modeling the one you made and your autograph, it's something your fans would treasure.

Maybe business cards (MOO cards aren't expensive) with your picture on one side and the book's name & release date on the other?

You could partner with indie dyers to do yarns for the projects in the book - even exclusive colorways and cross promote, so it wouldn't cost you a thing. Just a thought from one such indie dyer and fan ;)

We got our latest batch of chicks from mypetchicken.com, because they will ship small numbers of chicks in the varieties we wanted, and they were awesome (the store, not the chickens, though the chickens are pretty great, too). Chicks are generally available in the spring and early summer, not so much in the fall, of course. I love having chickens; they are such great little friends.

No great ideas on giveaways; I always like stitch markers, myself, but it's hard to make those be personalized in any way.

Just as a suggestion from a soon-to-be-librarian, consider doing some promo with libraries that offer knitting groups. Pretty much every public library has one these days and it would be such a fun idea to have a meet-and-knit with the author.

I'm charmed by the idea of little fimo stitch markers, little heart shaped musical notes would be adorable. Perhaps one of the fine etsy artists would be willing to work with you on pricing for the opportunity to include their shop name on the card? One of the handiest things I use tons of with my knitting are post-its, I use them for jotting notes, pattern adjustments, and to keep track of myself on charts. The wide post-its, which I have a hard time finding locally, are my favorites for chart tracking.

I won't be able to attend any book events, but I would love the opportunity to purchase a swag kit *hint hint*.

Oh, you! I still remember meeting you for coffee in SLO, and you were talking about a novel you wrote and that it wasn't very well crafted, and geez, it was so funny. You are a star!

For quick and dirty promo ideas, how about really awesome bookmarks that can double as rulers or even needle measurer thingies (you know, the ones with holes) or something? I love all the stuff that Pinball Publishing in Portland prints.

I thought stitchmarkers, as well.

When Ravelry was first starting up, they came to all the fiber festivals with stitch markers attached to a business card. I guess that kind of combines two of the ideas above. Another option could be if you can order row counters with some kind of logo related to your book. Or a bookmark that doubles as a ruler and/or needle sizer? I'll keep brainstorming!

If you get serious about Real Live Chickens, holler. I ran a chicken farm for years.

Do you really think that leaving beer bottles on the tub is on par with someone's dog eating someone else's cowboy hat? Because there are those who would beg to differ.
Just sayin'.

Headbands, obviously.

"The headband series could be customized size, color & logo.

They are made by cotton & elastic & nylon knitting together. The headband suits for the people when they are on sporting & in leisure time because of their easy usage, strong absorb sweat and good breathe freely etc.

Various logo processing are suitable for different usages and designs. You can choose embroidery, woven label, silk print label, leather tag, heat transfer print, luminous stitches, TPU and diamond etc.

Our products passed the GB 18401-2003 criterion system which means it could touch the skin directly without any harm"


Yer Dad

Hi there, one thing that I've never seen around as a promo (so am researching if this is a viable idea) is audio samples. The idea is that a voiceover person (ie, me) reads a riveting sample from your book and allows you the copyright to the performance for a certain time, as well as allowing you to distribute a certain number of copies. It's usually anywhere from 3 pages to a full chapter. Let me know if this strikes your fancy...for all the pleasure of reading your blog over the years, I'd do it for free :)

Lovely, romantic stitch markers. They would be easy to haul from event to event, knitters love them because they are always handy, and they shouldn't be too expensive. Does the pattern in the book require a stitch marker?

I read "Promo" as "Porno" and thought you might be on to something.


OK, super cheap idea that doesn't involve removing your clothing: make a bookmark that has accurate ruler marks printed down the side. Maybe print some helpful knitting info on the back side too, such as how to do kitchener stitch or what US needle sizes mean in mm.

What about the chickens? We have 6; 2 ex-batts, 2 blackrocks, 1 speckled leghorn and 1 welsummer.
The blackrocks are the most prolific layers, the leghorn has white eggs and the welsummer choclate brown. No. Not chocolate flavour...my 9 year old daughter was momentarilly excited :)
And, for promo you could print your and the book cover photos onto recycled cardboard egg boxes. Not only are they unusual (possibily a first?), apart from the obvious you can store small balls of yarn, soap balls, bath-bombs and seed potatoes in them...

My first thought was stitch markers, but I also really like the wooden ruler suggestion from one of the earlier comments...


I am in love with Measuring Tapes, depending on how many you were planning on getting, these could be affordable, and what knitter actually has enough measuring tapes? So that's my vote. Not like you'll make it to VT, but still!

Tape Measures! I can never have enough and they are big enough to put a logo/graphic of some sort.

I'm all for tape measures, gauge measures, or anything else useful. An emery board would be cool too, oddly useful for knitters too, I'm always snagging stuff with a broken nail and it slows down my knitting ;)

I vote for tape measurers and stitch markers. There have got to be dozen of tape measurers hiding in my house but there is never one at hand when I need one.

I love Elizabeth the Librarian's idea (and I will help arrange with the two Tucson libraries that have knitting groups)!

And I think the bookmark/ruler idea is good, too. (You could even die-cut a hole to check gauge). And think of all the cool promo things that you could print on a ruler.

Or we could have a virtual stitch marker-making party! Send me the beads, I'll make you stitch markers.

This is Rachael's agent chiming in to say that the Yarnagogo community rocks. I love the library knitting group ideas and the stitch markers and rulers!

I like the idea of the bookmark with the needle guage in it...preferably with the canadian sizes of dpns...also, i have a knitting pattern promoting one of debbie macomber's books that i picked up at madrona...i could mail it to you as an idea.

My knitting group is in a library...love to have you come to Alberta...where you can get a replacement cowboy hat quite easily ;)

Two words: Baby. Alpaca.

Rulers, tape measures, and needle gauges are the things that come to mind first. Seems like they could be easy, fairly cheap, and every knitter always needs more. LOL

My LYS (A Major Knitwork, Van Nuys) has a clear acrylic needle gauge that's also a 6" ruler, with a 2" section of the ruler "missing" so you can see your gauge in the empty space. Handy. Especially since it's fairly thick, so it feels sturdy.

I like the bookmark ideas, reasonable expense consideration. How about having them printed with a Standard Yarn Weight Table(http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html)?
I also like the needle sizes Kristi suggested, or a needle inventory table to fill in.
I am very excited and please come to Seattle!

How about a pattern for a knitted bookmark? Bron Parry gave me a woven one that I use all the time -- the yarn is laceweight so that it isn't too bulky.

I immediately thought "little rulers!" and, lo, it's already been suggested. :)

Tape measure? http://www.epromos.com/product/8833077.html

I thought I was all original suggesting a card with the book info and a needle gauge or ruler, but I see folks all already on top of that. Kay Thomas had great cards for Better than Bulletproof that had a "bullet-hole" in them. Very cool.

What if the tape measures were actually little metal tape measures - so they wouldn't stretch out. I used to carry one in my purse, when i was buying curtains, blinds, etc. Very handy!

PS - I'm talking where the "tape" (metal) is about 1/4" wide.

Tape measures, stitch markers, chickens. I vote for chickens.

Or your graphic wife could put together some really cute cards with a quote from the book, and have a little chart that people can keep track of what needles they have. I have seen them and they list by sizes, and type (circular, length, etc) they would be uber easy and useful. ANd for extra charm, they could fold (4 would fit on a page from printing) and the front could look like your book. ANd, if you really, really want to, attach a stitch marker!

Sorry, no ideas on the promotion but CHICKENS! Get them! I wanted them for so long and we finally got some this year -- five of them. They are so fun to watch. They seem so perfectly content living their little chickeny lives. I've read that getting an aquarium or a cat can help lower blood pressure -- I wonder that chickens are never mentioned. It's so calming to watch them but not so good for the yardwork -- I'd rather visit with them instead.

I like the ruler and needle gauge marker on a book mark idea - but how about customizing for you book promo by having just the needle gauges needed for the book patterns and on the ruler, put extra emphasis on the size of the swatch gauge. (So if the swatch is to be 3x4 - have the 3 inch and 4 inch ticks be different color, larger, or an arrow saying "swatch to here".

Does that make sense?

20% discount coupons please!

I got a little plastic, flat, see-through ruler as a promo item from a knitting store. I love using it when I'm trying to figure gauge. Rulers are handy for everyone. And they can double as a placemarker in a book.

I'm sure this was said. Buttons. Everybody at sock summit had/wanted buttons

See if your marketing department has ideas. They may not have a budget, but they may have suggestions, and they can probably get you good high-res art.

Love all the ideas already mentioned but the two I like best are shrinky dink stitch markers [for one thing, you get to say shrinky dink] and heart musical notes. Instead of the book cover since I'm not sure if the detail would come through, how about shrinky dink hearts and sweaters? Or a sweater with a heart?

well I don't have any promo ideas better than the ones mentioned but I do have a request. Can you come to the DC area? I would LOVE to meet you in person!

Chiming in - my vote is also with the stitch markers or tape measures. I also think that knit and meets at libraries and bookstores are a great marketing tool!

Heart shaped tape measures? (I didn't read any other comments, so if I double-up on an idea, I'm sorry). A quickie pattern--perhaps for a heart-shaped ornament--with book promo on back? A chatelaine-type thing for clipping small items to. I'm not great at this stuff..

Hmmm...what a wealth of ideas! How about a scarf or hat pattern that complements the sweater pattern in the book (i.e., with a knitted-in heart, or something?) Perhaps the pattern could go onto a bookmark, if it's not a complicated one?

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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