Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Merchandsing? Should I or Shouldn't I?

"If we win the battle of the bands, it won't just be Knives wearing Sex Bob-Omb shirts, the cool kids will be too." - Stephen Stills: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

With being ill and getting prepared for my 40 birthday, I haven't done much in the way of business for my books. But that does not mean life doesn't throw you a curve ball.

Last Friday, a friend and now a major fan of my books, kept coming up to me and telling me what parts she loved. It would have been creepy except I have known her for years and we were at work, so the conversation was splintered.

She wants copies of the jewelry featured in the books!

Then I get two requests for a particular image from Killer made into a T-shirt!

I am floored. Part of me wants to jump on it. Hell most of me wants too. I had already worked out the logo for the Burgundy Rathskeller and that was going to be my first set of T-shirts. Its saved on my hard drive and I never thought much about it, until last week.

I have not sold that many books. Word of mouth is slowly growing my fan base, so there is the extra publicity that these t-shirts and jewelry could give me. I do know some great artisans that could hand craft the jewelry for me. I have a few places in mind for printing shirts. So coming up with the product is not a problem either.

But one little thought nags me. Does this make me an author or a pimp of my stuff?

I want to give my fans a little extra. Because even if it is a small base, it is full of really awesome people. I love the idea of the jewelry and the t-shirts. Not just for them, I would wear them too.

I don't know many indie authors that even think of doing this, I might be the first for all I know. So if I do take the plunge (it feels like I will right now) I want to do it right,


  1. Part of being independent is being responsive to your readers, even if there are fewer of them. If the fans wants merchandise, make it for them. Just remember where your priorities are and don't get carried away, but I think this is an awesome step.

  2. I think it's an awesome idea. One of the things I've noticed and loved about some of the writers that I favor is that their creativity extends beyond the bounds of the book/story. They make the characters/world a little more real by also doing music, cups, T's, etc. Look at CrookedFang/Texistenial (sp?) Or Holly Lisle who has her daughter create the 'artifacts' for Holly's books and sells them at Etsy. Also, Meyers did it. Look at all the merchandise she has for the twilight books.

    I think, sometimes, writers (most of them anyhow) are creative in many areas and that's awesome to include with the stories. And if you have fans, what better way to help them feed their love of the 'world' you created as well as support you?

    Go for it!

  3. hey i say you should go for it.....

  4. @Autumn you are the reason for this post! LOL

    And I am 99% sure something will be up, either through Zazzle or Etsy. I just have to find the time!

  5. Go for it. If you've got good artwork and a T-shirt works well in its own right, why not? I'm thinking of doing a T-shirt from some of my book's artwork just for my own amusement and if I can make a nice one I'll offer it as a prize at some future date.
    I love the idea of making artefacts from novels - why not? As you say, some of us are too creative to stick to just one medium. Some authors make CDs of music from their books. I used to write music and I've already written the songs that are going to feature in one of my to-be-written novels. Trouble is, I had to leave the piano out in the rain...