I need new business cards.
If you’re a writer, whether you’re published or not, business cards are important. Even before you’ve sold a book, you need to be carrying your cards with you. If you attend a writers’ meeting or conference, a business card is a must. You simply never know when you might meet someone who may want to contact you in the future. Sure a bookmark is nice, but a business card is easy to slip into a wallet or purse, or paperclip to a pitch for your new book.
If you’re a published writer (even if you’re self-published. Or maybe especially if you’re self-published), you definitely need a card.
Why? Because you never know when you might meet another writer, agent, or editor (especially at a conference) who would like some way to contact you. You never know if the person cutting your hair, sitting next to you at an event, or attending a party you’re at, might ask—after discovering you’re a writer—if you have a web site or are on Twitter or Facebook or any of the social media.
In the last six weeks I’ve given my card to people during a Christmas gathering, a writers’ meeting, to a librarian, and to the woman who cut my hair. I always try to have a few cards with me.
So what should you have on a business card?
When I first started writing, I put way too much information on my cards. Back then I planned on handing them to agents or editors, so I wanted them to know how to reach me. Soon I discovered lots of people wanted to know if I had a business card, people I’d never met before, and I realized I didn’t really want my home address that visible. Also, over the years the Internet has become more prevalent and an email address has become a better way of letting people contact me.
Nowadays, I do put my phone number on my card. (Cell phone.) and I do use my personal email address. (Some writers use a secondary email for their business cards so only family and friends know their personal email address.) And I put my web address on the cards. My hope is that will bring strangers to that site so they can see what books I have written and what is available.
With my last cards (see above), I put an image of my most recently published mystery, which gave color to the card and also, I hoped, would help the person holding the card, find the book at a bookstore (either a physical or on-line store).
Now I need to decide what to put on my new cards. Some writers I’ve noticed use generic images. Some, like I did, use a book cover image. Others use a self-portrait. (Those writers, I’ve noticed, are young and very pretty.)
In addition to the basic information (Name, phone number, email address, and web address) some writers put how to contact them on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. Some indicate the type of book they write: mystery, women’s fiction, erotica, poetry, etc., some include several titles, and some add a short quote from a review and/or how/where to purchased their books.
What I’ve noticed is (and this may be due to my age), light colors and small print are difficult for me to read. Dark print and pure colors stand out, catch my attention, and are easier to read. Getting a lot of information on a card can backfire if the information is too small to read.
On-line at VistaPrint.com I can order 250 cards for $10. Or…I can get fancier cards—brilliant colors, metallic finishes, raised print, and more—250 cards for $25. At GotPrint.com I can get 500 cards for $8.50. At PrintStaples.com I can buy 250 cards from $15.00 up to $43.00, depending on how fancy I want to get. At Us.Moo.com it will cost me $20 for 50 cards, but they will be printed on both sides. Cost goes up if I want fancier paper, and 200 “classic” cards runs $70.
Then again, I may go to one of the nearby print shops. I don’t know what they charge, but there I can talk to a real person. We can work out a design that is personal. Hey, that might be fun.