Do writers need a business card?

January 6, 2015

If you don’t treat your writing as a business, no one else will.

 

Whenever I meet someone who might be interested in what I do, the website, blog, fan fiction or my books it very convenient to just give them my card. Aside from ensuring that the other person remembers my name and has my contact information, a business card provides a certain credibility and validation.

 

Now, I know that business cards can be very boring to look at and very redundant when it comes to the information that’s on there. Let’s be honest people might take them and then later that evening toss them out along with the jumbled receipts in their pockets. But let’s also be honest, business cards constitute as one of the cheapest, easiest methods to build a readership and increase sales.

 

Below are some recommendations to use while creating a writer’s business card. I hope these help you avoid the trash can fate.

 

  • Display a picture of your book(s) - This is as high of a priority as your name especially if you have really cool cover art.

  • Use your publisher’s logo, even if you've made your own publishing company putting a logo on the card will give you some added credibility.

  • Don't give out your phone number/address - as a writer you need to control when/how you are interrupted.

  • List your website, but also give them a reason to visit your website. For example: Free EBook download, Blogs, etc

  • Include your twitter, blog, and email. These are all acceptable ways to reach you.

 

Once you have the cards you’re still not done. Here’s the next step...getting them out there. Remember, If you don’t treat your writing as a business, no one else will. The purpose of a business card is to help people re-connect with you later. Your card must remind them why they would want to. The whole point to this is so you’re not scribbling your information down on a piece of paper.

 

That’s just sloppy. Time consuming. And if you’re like me… your handwriting is shit.

 

Below are some of my recommendations for getting your cards out there. 

 

  • Every time you pay a bill at a restaurant include your card (and tip, don’t be cheap.)

  • Drop them in every "free lunch" drawing you find. Don’t get me wrong those things are a scam but someone has goes through those cards and they just might go “hey this looks interesting.”

  • I’m a poet who sometimes performs at open mic nights. Anytime your speaking somewhere is the perfect opportunity to tell people to come up afterward and get your card.

  • Be brave and social. Strike up a small conversation with people on the train or bus reading a novel in your genre talk to them for a few seconds and give them your card.

  • If you have any casual conversation where you happen to mention that you write don't leave without passing out a card.

  • When you go out to dinner with a friend and a bunch of their friends that you don't know don’t feel shy to give out your card when they ask you "what do you do?"

  • Ask local coffee shops if you can leave a small stack at the counter.

  • Punch a hole in the corner, tie a pretty ribbon threw it and pass them out as book markers at an event.

  • Writing conferences are great places for handing out cards but carry them with you wherever you go – you never know when you might run into someone who shows an interest in your book.

 

Look, business cards are such a small expense, which if you execute just right they can do so much for you. Make them attractive, no duck face photos of yourself, no butterflies or dogs unless you write about butterflies or dogs and use them often.  Trust me. 

 

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