To swag or not to swag...that is the question.
As I look at my calendar, Malice Domestic is just 4 weeks and 2 days away!!!!
First of all, I am so excited. Finaling in the Agatha, being on a panel, signing books, meeting my editor for the first time...it's all so exciting. Not to mention, this is literally THE conference to go to if you want to meet diehard cozy fans! And so many fabulous cozy authors will be there.
Like a lot of smaller conferences, this one starts on a Friday and ends on a Sunday. I'm driving, so I thought most things don't get started until around 3pm. Check into the hotel, register, and then get ready for the opening ceremonies at 5:15pm....right?
This sucker starts at 9am Friday morning. Eeek!!! Malice 101 is an introduction to all things Malice. Since I've never been, I actually would like to go to that. But, it won't kill me if I don't make that. Although, the goodie room is open at 9am and I have a lot of stuff to put in there for both Mysteries & Margaritas as well as the Killer Characters blog I'm on. Double Eeek.
To drive from my house to MD will take 6 hours if I don't hit traffic...that means leaving at 3am!!! WHAT was I thinking? I never should have cancelled my room for Thursday night. Ugh. Although, my schedule at home is too busy for me to leave on Thursday anyway. It just means I go to bed early and bring lots of coffee for the road!
The event I really don't want to miss is called Malice Go Round! That starts at 10am. It's like speed dating with your favorite authors. You literally get 2 minutes with each author participating. I am not participating this year, but I wanted to check it out and meet a bunch of new authors to me, etc. They say it's insane, a complete whirlwind of an event, but exciting and fabulous. I wanted to see what it's like in case I get to do it next year :-)
And they break for lunch at 11:30 which is when I will hopefully check in to my room if they have it ready then. And then start the workshops at 12:30 right up until the opening ceremonies at 5:15 where they announce all the Agatha nominees and we get our certificates.
Next, we have the Berkley dinner to go to at 6:30pm, followed by the Agatha Best novel nominees and the live charity auction. Only to get up Saturday and start all over again. On Saturday morning, I get to host a new author table at breakfast. You sit there with 8 empty chairs around you and hope like hell some of the fans choose to sit at your table. I have to make favors to give away and be prepared to talk about my book.
Panels start up at 8:45. My panel is at 10:15, followed by a signing. Then it's lunch with my editor, more panels, and then the Agatha banquet where we find out who wins each category. And we get to sit at the Berkley table...yay! Finally, as the conference comes to a close, there's a breakfast Sunday morning, followed by even more panels, a lunch break on our own, and then the closing tea ceremony. the whole thing doesn't end until 3:30pm, so my drive home will get me there by 10PM.
This is going to be one busy conference, but again...I am more excited about this particular conference than I have been about any conference in a long time. I really plan to make myself network and meet new people. Fans, authors, industry professionals, etc.
Now, here's my question. With such a great opportunity for cozy authors, what kind of swag to do you think is best? I have bookmarks for fans, business cards for authors and industry proffesionals, custom made fortune cookies and pens for favors at breakfast and some special people. And even postcards to advertise M&M as well as my teen superhero series. And I'm bringing my M&M totebag to carry around, and I have a Killer Character pin on that as well.
What do you think fans like most for swag? Calendars, notepads, pens, bookmarks...what???
I want to be creative but not break the bank. Any ideas?