General News and Updates

New Swag Items

I’m so excited author season has kicked off! I have so many fun events I’ll be attending (either as an author or a reader) and I can’t wait to meet some new bookish friends. As we went into the season, my husband and I got to brainstorming about swag and giveaways.

My table at Indie Author Book Expo, Mason City.

Those of you who have been at my table in the past have probably seen the “raffle basket”, where if you purchase a book or sign-up for my newsletter, you get entered for a raffle. We decided to do things a little differently this year for two reasons:

One: What if people don’t like the raffle basket?

Two: Not everyone gets a fun item.

So, we decided to do… A Prize Wheel!

This is a picture of the “old” prize wheel. You’ll have to wait for the next event to see the new one!

My husband decided to handmake a prize wheel for me. It was cute and I loved it…but it only spun the number 5. It was really funny — and we went through A LOT of stress balls! So we broke down and bough a professional one.

But of course, having a prize wheel means having more prize options. So what can you expect at the event?

As you can see, I have had to organize a few things. We have reusable totes and pencil bags (which I made with my cricut), stress balls, door hangs, coasters, bookmarks, and keychains (just to name a few)! We are working on adding a few new things too, but haven’t gotten them finalized yet. Most of the items my husband and I are making by hand, which is a lot of fun (though it can be time intensive).

In addition, we are making items to sell, like runes, tarot cards, and meditation stones. We have really enjoyed doing resin pouring, but don’t have an outlet for items we make, so we decided to sell them!

This last long weekend, we spent doing MASSIVE resin pours to get ahead of the game a little bit. It was my first big pour–which was fun but man did my arm feel like falling off afterwards! We tried out a lot of new molds and techniques. All we need to do now is sand edges and paint things.

Some of the items won’t be as prize wheel items or at my table, as they are too big or we feel they are too niche of an item (Like the little potion bottles), so we decided to reopen our etsy store (it’s open but nothing is listed yet)! The other items will be swag items — such as those fancy new book holders, pens, and cool keychains!

Needless to say, I have been crafting most nights when I get home from work in preparation for my next event (which is in two weeks!). I’ll be sure to post more pictures on my social media of the items once they are finished, so be sure to check them out!

Until next time, happy reading and happy crafting!

Shanna Pikora

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