Early in my writing life, when I first joined NJRW, a writer spoke on the business part of writing. You’ll need business cards, she said. Keep them simple. Show only essential information – name and contact details. With a card you can begin networking. You can keep in touch with other writers you meet at a conference. You can enclose it in a thank-you note to a contest judge. And, while an editor you meet may not ask for your card, you’re ready in case she does.
Despite early advice about keeping the cost down, I had my first card printed on high quality linen stock. It was clean, classy, and included my personal home address – a no-no, I soon learned. My email address was outdated a year so later when we changed internet providers. Yeah, what was I thinking? I ordered 500. There are still about 459 aging nicely in my desk drawer.
I learned that it’s cheaper to buy paper and print the cards myself. Avery has clean-edge business cards available online, or in office supply stores. Using a template you can print your own card then break them up, 10 per sheet. The clean edge looks much better than the mini-perforated edge cards, also available. By printing your own cards before a conference, you can print only as many as you think you’ll hand out. You can also personalize them for each use.
Keep in mind that your name is your brand. That is what you want to be prominent on your card, whether you pay to have it printed or if you print it yourself. Make sure the font is readable, and the card is not crowded. Keep it orderly, professional.
I am still aspiring but I’ve written enough novels to know the direction I’m taking. A bit over a year ago, I contracted for a website design. The design, by Stonecreek Media, Inc., captured my writing voice. When I started Stringing Beads last June, I wanted to bring my website into it. I customized this WordPress blog template with my copyrighted image from the top of my website.
A few months ago, I began thinking about upcoming conferences, especially WisRWA’s Write Touch (featuring Sherrilyn Kenyon) in June and RWA National in Washington, DC in July. I wanted to bring my site image onto my business card as well. Enter VistaPrint. Going online, I designed a card using the image header Stonecreek had designed for me. It didn’t take long, and the cost was low. There are thousands of pre-designed template images also available. This method worked for me.
If you are attending a conference or workshop this year, remember to make up some business cards to tuck in your bag. Whether you use VistaPrint, PsPrint, NextDayFlyers.com, your local printer, or if you do it yourself on an Avery template, you’ll be glad you did.
→ As a fiction writer, do you have a business card? What information do you put on the front? Do you give out many cards when you go to conferences or workshops? Has there ever been an occasion when you wished you had a card? Please comment.