Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Got Business Cards?

I'm going to a conference at the end of this month, and I've realized it would be really, really handy to have business cards to hand out to all the lovely media people there. But... I don't have any. And "author" isn't exactly a common profession, so it's hard to say what should be on them.

From the research I've done so far, authors should include:

* Your name
* Your contact information
* A tag line, if you have one
* Your logo (um... I didn't know I was supposed to have a logo!)
* A representative graphic and/or color scheme of your work, if you don't have a logo

And authors should NOT include:

* Your photo (apparently this makes you narcissistic, pretentious, or a real estate agent)
* Your backlist (must keep things current)
* Glossy card stock (in case the person you're handing the card to needs to jot something down)
* "Stuff" (in other words, keep it simple - don't clutter up the card with all the amazingness you can cram onto it)

I think this business card thing is going to take me a while to sort out. Meanwhile, here are some helpful articles for you on author business cards:

Business Cards for Authors

Author Business Cards are Different

Author Business Card Templates

11 comments:

Marta Stephens said...

I just use my bookmarks. I set them up four to a page (landscape setting) front to back, and am able to print 4-color inexpensively here.

B. Miller said...

I have simple business cards with my name, contact info, and the definition of "author": One who originates or creates. I felt I should make them for a con, too. Good luck with your endeavor!

Terry Odell said...

I've always made my own business cards so I can update them easily. I also hand out bookmarks which I get from Printing For Less at a very reasonable price and they're sturdy and professional looking. For "strangers" the bookmarks are great conversation starters. At conferences, where I'm meeting agents or editors, I'll use business cards (but I offer them bookmarks too)

Cassandra Frear said...

This is really interesting. And practical. I hadn't thought of it, honestly. I've bookmarked it for later reference.

s.w. vaughn said...

Nice, Marta - bookmarks work too! My printer, alas, uses way too much ink to print anything myself. :-)

Thank you, B. Miller! I like that definition of author - it's awesome to have something short and punchy for a business card.

Terry, having both bookmarks and business cards seems like a good idea. :-) I haven't heard of Printing For Less - will have to check them out!

Thanks, Cassandra - hope this helps some! The articles are really interesting.

Book Maven said...

I've just had some new ones done, double sided, in six beautiful colours, using artwork (permission asked of and granted by the artist) detail from the cover of a book that came out last August.

The front says:

Mary Hoffman
Writer
email address
website
publishers' website for YA series

The back says:

The Book Maven

http://bookmavenmary.blogspot.com

These were hugely popular at the Bologna Book fair. They don't need your address and phone number. let people get in touch with you by email and THEN you can give them that very personal information if you want.

s.w. vaughn said...

That's a good point about the personal information, Mary. Thank you! And ooooh, you were at the Bologna Book Fair? Cool!! :-)

s.w. vaughn said...

(stoopid blogger. it just posted my comment six times. :P)

Kim Smith said...

SW, this definitely is a popular medium for cons etc. I picked up a TON at the con I went to recently and there were some reallly lovely ones. You can learn a lot about a person by the card they carry :)

s.w. vaughn said...

LOL I'd better be careful about the cards I have made, then. Thanks, Kim!

Aaron Paul Lazar said...

Hey, S.W. I love your business card - very professional and also eye catching. Thanks for sending it to me. I do the bookmark route - I've changed the design a lot, but probably need to freshen it up again with the new books coming out. Thanks for the reminder!