NaNoWriMo Promos: 15 Promo Items for National Novel Writing Month Participants

It’s November, so you know what that means: it’s National Novel Writing Month!

While the majority of America is gearing up for Thanksgiving and Black Friday, a niche group of writers – lovingly called the Wrimos – have put pencil to paper and fingers to keyboards in an attempt to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.

According to the Office of Letters and Light (the organization that runs NaNoWriMo), 256,618 people participated in 2011, and the number of participants grows every year. These participants are a tight-knit community who attend in-person write-ins and spend lots of time in online forums.

What am I trying to say? I’m saying that NaNoWriMo participants are a very connected and loyal bunch. And if you want to promote yourself to this group of writers, there are a couple of promotional items that I am sure they would love to have.

For their computers…

Imitation Neoprene Laptop Case

Imitation Neoprene Laptop Case

While some Wrimos still scribe their novels by pen and paper, the majority of them have taken to lugging around their laptops (or for me, my new Microsoft Surface) to libraries and coffee shops. This is when a Ludano Laptop Sleeve would come in very handy. If they also carry around a mouse and charger, then an Imitation Neoprene Laptop Case would give your writers plenty of room to carry around all of their extras.

Some custom mouse pads would also be welcome so NaNoWriMo participants can plug in their USB computer mouses (mice?), and then navigate around their screen with minimal resistance.

Keeping your novel backed up is also extremely important. So while writers may email it back and forth or store it in a cloud service, they can also carry their novel around with the Wristlet USB Memory Drive. The bright colors will make it easy to spot and also bring attention to your logo. Or, give them the option to write or type with the Rainbow USB Drive Ballpoint.

For their creative process…

Multifunction Timer

Multifunction Timer

Every single writer has a different creative process. Some need to mind map, some need to scribble ideas in notebooks, some might need to squeeze out some tension, and some just need to sit down and get going.

For those that thrive on challenging themselves to type as many words as possible in a certain time frame, hand them an imprinted Multifunction Timer. With this timer, they can see how many words they can write in seventeen minutes or set alarms for mandated mental breaks.

Pen, Pencil, Highlighter Set

Pen, Pencil, Highlighter Set

Those who rather brainstorm on paper would love a personalized pencil and custom notebook to toss in their bag. So when inspiration strikes, they will always be able to capture that idea. Also useful would be a few pads of sticky notes to organize plot lines or visualize structure.

A Pen, Pencil, Highlighter Set would also make a great giveaway. It contains three different color pens, a pencil, and a highlighter all in one box. NaNoWriMo participants could use the writing utensils during the initial draft or just when they need to start editing.

For their long nights…

Some Wrimos spend hours each and every day typing away at their novels. You can make sure that your brand’s logo is always within reach by passing out some aluminum water bottles. These are perfect for NaNoWriMo participants because the screw-tight lid makes sure that no water will spill out on their laptop if they end up flailing their arms over an exciting plot point.

Sugar Free Energy Drink

Sugar Free Energy Drink

For the writers who stay up late to crank out some extra words, a boost of caffeine is exactly what they need to push that word count from 49,000 to 50,000. So equip those writers with sugar free and FDA approved energy shots or energy drinks. If your budget is a little tighter, then opt for logo koozies so the Wrimos can keep their soda nice and cold all night long.

If you’re in the publishing or writing industry, growing brand loyalty with NaNoWriMo is a must. Libraries and coffee houses who want to attract a group of writers could also benefit from handing out these promos.

Have you heard of NaNoWriMo before? Have you ever participated? Which other products would you use to market to writing enthusiasts?


Mandy Kilinskis

Mandy is proud to be a part of QLP’s content team. A self-professed nerd, her interests include video games, sitcoms, superhero movies, iPods and iPhones but never Macs, and shockingly, writing. Her claims to fame are: owning over forty pairs of Chuck Taylor All Stars, offering spot-on coffee advice, and knowing an unbelievable amount of Disney Princess facts. You can connect with Mandy on


  1. Eric

    Coffee. Accessory. Anything. If ever I’m on a roll with my own writing (yep, one more random thing Labanauskas does) and I don’t want to risk having to crash at the keyboard, it’s always good to have a cup of hot tea or joe ready to go. Apart from that, I’d stress small notepads…I can’t tell you how many times I’ve eavesdropped on an inadvertently hilarious conversation on some form of public transportation, and hadn’t the means to write it down. To the honest, the latter comment I’d say is far more important than the former (Amy may argue otherwise). 🙂 Great post, Mandy!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      So coffee mugs and notebooks for Eric!

      I’d also like to second (well, third, I suppose) the compact notebook. They’re great for instances you mentioned, and when you just want to step away from the keyboard. I love typing on my computer, but I need to brainstorm on paper. And it seems that no matter how many mini notebooks I own, I never hesitate to take/find/receive/purchase more!

  2. Amy Swanson

    Excellent product selections here, Mandy! Those USB drives are so cool, I’ve never seen anything like them before. Where were those when I was in college? Here I was carrying my drive around on the same ring as my car keys like a sucker!

    Haha, thanks for the shout-out E-lab 😉

    Companies could totally hand out promotional tumblers with an inspirational quote on them to keep those creative juices flowing almost as much as the coffee that will be poured into them in the wee hours of the morning. I’d totally suggest putting something like “NaNoWriMo 2012” on the mug somewhere too, promo items with dates always seem more special to me for some reason (IMHO).

    Great post and keep up the great job with your goal, you seem to be killing it!!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      I had a USB drive on a lanyard. And most of the time it lived in my purse. But during midterm or final weeks, I wore it around my neck with pride/necessity. I just couldn’t risk it falling out of my purse. At least with a wrist one I could’ve looked like less of a noob. Ah well.

      Dates definitely make it a little more special. You can tie your tumbler back to the year you wrote that epic about a pirate who rode a dinosaur. On the other hand, though, if you leave off the year, you can always give out your leftovers next year! NaNo has different stickers every year that matches their theme, but I think they leave off the year. I’ll check mine when I get home to confirm.

      And thanks for the encouragement! I just reached the point of the story where I don’t really have a firm plot anymore, so I’m a bit nervous. Hopefully I can keep chugging along, though!

  3. Rachel

    Great ideas, Mandy! I especially like the Imagination Writing Tool Caddy and the Wristlet USB Memory Drive. USBs seem like an especially great idea because in addition to picking out a cool flash drive design, you can also load something onto the drive before handing it out — maybe a Word doc of tips to overcome writer’s block or a few motivational images (like this one!!). USB drives have always struck me as a great promo product for all kinds of situations, given how versatile and crazy useful they are. I love it when I receive them!

    I never knew that a quarter of a million people participated in NaNo — dang! Good luck to all you awesome people doing NaNo this year. Halfway there! 🙂

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      That motivational item is highly relevant to my interests! I need to print that out and hang it up at home.

      I have to say, one of the coolest promo items I’ve ever received was a USB drive wristlet from Kellogg’s. It was when the last Star Trek film was released and it had the symbol of the Federation in addition to the Kellogg’s logo. It’s not just useful, but it looks cool, too!

  4. Mikey

    These are some great ideas for promo items. Any of these could be really useful for an aspiring writer. And I have to agree with Amy that those wrist band/flash drives are pretty neat! I also agree with Eric on just how plain useful those little notebooks would be. There’ve been plenty of times when I’d get some great idea for a story or dialogue or something, but didn’t have anyway of writing it down.

    I also really like those pen/flash drives. I’d never seen or heard of those before, but that also sounds really handy! Kinda surprised I haven’t seen something like that before. Now you have the perfect tool for your notes, whether they’re analogue or digital! Great list with some great ideas!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Right? Those Pen USB drives are super cool. Then you could just carry one writing tool around with you instead of carrying around a personalized pen and wearing your USB on your wrist.

      Regardless, I know that personally I would love receiving any of these!

  5. Jenna Markowski

    These are all great ideas, Mandy! If I had the motivation and dedication to write a novel in a month I would love to receive the Imagination Writing Tool Caddy. In fact, I want it anyway! I think you pretty much covered every base you could for those hardworking Wrimos. I’d also suggest something like the Maze Puzzle Pen or the Unlock Puzzle to serve as a brain teaser to get creative juices flowing when they get a case of writer’s block!

    • Mandy Kilinskis

      Definitely excellent additions, Jenna! I could totally get behind the Maze Pen. Just play with that maze for a while and as soon as inspiration hits, you can be back to writing! 😀

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