Designing freebies to go in the conference goodie bag

2013-07-04 22.22.14


I’m going to the Romantic Novelists Association conference next week. I’m so excited about this, it’s ridiculous. It’s a whole weekend talking about writing and romance. More importantly, it’s a whole weekend being just me. Not the wife, not the mother, not the tech transfer lady, none of those thing. It’s just me, being me and being the writer. I. Can’t. WAIT.

I’m making lists – what to take (chocolate, teabags, wine… oh yeah, clothes), what notes to make on my WIP, people I need to talk to. One of the fun things about the conference is the goodie bag. We can all contribute something to go into these goodie bags. Some of the bigger publishers give away free books (I’ve discovered many new authors this way), a lot of people put in things ranging from bookmarks, to pens to sweets. All very welcome.

Last year, I made some business cards with my book cover on the back. They looking nice and were fun. I was particularly pleased with the wording on the back – it’s hard to fit a full blurb on a business card, I had to cut it down to ‘The story of a girl ran away from fame to become a lawyer’.  They were okay. They did the job of putting the name of an unknown book in front of people.

This year, I wanted to do something different. I wanted to put in something that was actually useful. I looked into branded Post-Its, notepads, pens, pencils, key chains. You can get just about anything personalised nowadays. Some of them appear quite reasonably priced, but if you multiply it by 200, suddenly it’s not exactly affordable.

So here’s my solution:

RNA conf 3

200 mini cards from

m    (around £ 30)

200 of those tiny craft clothes pegs (off eBay) (around £6)

One tube of good glue from Poundstretcher (£1)

A couple of evenings sitting at the kitchen table gluing and chatting with DH (er… priceless?)

And this is the result:RNA conf 2RNA conf 1

The idea of the big blank space is so that they can be used as labels. Hopefully, they’re cute enough and useful enough that they won’t end up in the bin on day one.

I’ve got a few spare now, so I can use them to clip my receipts together (because the Fairy Godmother says ‘Keep your Receipts’). What would you use yours for?

PS: If you’ve not used Moo cards before – they are beeeeeeautiful. If you click through from here, you’ll get 10% off your first order. It’s a referal link, so I’ll get something off my next order too (Yay!).

15 thoughts on “Designing freebies to go in the conference goodie bag

  1. They look lovely and I’m sure they’ll be very useful too. Great idea.

    I always have pens in my bag, in the shed, at work from goodie bags from conferences and I love the postcards too they always look so lovely with writers’ covers on them.

    I’m going to have to wait to hear all about the conference from everyone else this year because I won’t be able to attend, which is a shame.


  2. Rhoda, great idea – they look really cute. I went with flyers which is v. boring, but has my name, book cover etc thereon. It was a thrill to realise I could send in something. I’m really looking forward to it, too. Anne


  3. What a great idea! I shall try to think of something for next year connected to my WW2 novel. Hmm …


  4. I am likewise excited! I also had to wrack my brains to come up with something affordable, useful and unforgettable – hope I’ve succeeded half as well as you, those look adorable!


    1. Funnily enough, the pen I use at my desk (i.e. that thing under the big pile of paper) is a Jane Lovering branded pen from RNAconf2010. So that one worked.


  5. I’m soooo looking forward to it too. Fingers crossed that by this time next year I’ll be having to think of something to contribute to goody bags too!


      1. So I do. Although apparently I have to give my little cup back now 😦 Slightly concerned that when I get to that bit I might weep hysterically and cling to the little cup shouting, “Mine! Mine!”


      2. I hope you’ve taken lots of pictures of it while it was stationed at yours. Especially ones including the list of the other famous authors who also won it in the past.


  6. Ditto to your first paragraph – it could be me saying that (except not the tech transfer lady bit). I am super excited about conference too – will look out for you.

    Love your peg labels, great idea. 🙂


    1. I know! It’s about the only time of year when I get to be just me.
      I’m really pleased with the way the peg labels turned out. I’ve made some more now, because they’re so cute (and I had a few pegs to spare).
      See you next weekend. *Huge grin*


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