Beach Theme Gift Tote

In September, I’ll be at the Alpena Book Festival, signing books and speaking about writing. I’m donating this beach bag full of swag, too, for a raffle that benefits literacy. I had so much fun putting it together, I thought I’d share. It’s a good marketing tool, although that’s not why I’m doing it. I’m doing it because it’s fun.

That’s the key to just about everything for me. Is it fun? Does it do no harm? Do it!!

It started with the tote, spied at Lord & Taylor cosmetic counter. The colors were perfect for a series titled Blue Lake. Snagged it and solicited ideas for swag on social media. Women know what they like to take to the beach, I’ll tell you that. I would have added more but my budget was $150 value including books, plus it almost all doesn’t fit now.


Also, I hope I can resist wearing that hat all summer. If not, I bought it at Hallmark. No wait, I bought it at Bed, Bath & Beyond. They had every color but as you see I mostly stuck to blue. And I went for quality stuff. I’ve been the winner of several raffles at writing events, and the swag can range from delicious to dreary. I wanted delicious, of course. I tried as hard as I could, since the event is not until end-of-summer, to wait for sales.

But the thing with sales is, sometimes by the time stuff goes on sale, the good things are gone. I did not want that to happen to my first ever swag bag. I wanted everything to be a fresh delight. I even snagged some Michigan Lakes themed items, like this “keeps hot or cold” mug. Good for beer or coffee or water. Oh I saw the cutest wine glasses but they were glass and I’m thinking glass + beach = not so great. This mug will hold wine just fine.



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