To be honest, I still have a stack of them from last year that I never gave out. A BIG stack that have to be thrown away because I've changed my phone number and I don't really like the style anymore.
Below are a few reasons WHY, in my opinion, you should have a business card:
- Repeat after me: I are a professional writer. Even if I'm unpublished, I need to act like a professional, dad gum it.
- An Agent/Editor might ask for one. Okay, so the chances are slim, but IF they want to remember you, very rarely if ever will they take a copy of your proposal. Sometimes they'll take your one-sheet, but doubtful. Business cards, however, are easier to carry. It's still a slim chance, but better to have one then to sheepishly say, "Uh, I don't have one. Can I write my number on a napkin?"
- It is common for writer's to share business cards. In fact, last year we did so just to say we gave them out, and it was fun. We compared each others and by the end of the conference, I had a neat little collection. The ones that had blog addresses on them, I visited.
- They are cheap. You can go to someplace like vistaprint.com and get a bunch printed for very little if any money. (They have free versions too...)
Okay, so now that I've convinced you to run out and get business cards (or you've rolled your eyes at me and told me to put a sock in it...) I'll give you a couple of KRISTA tips, or ideas, for creating business cards. This is not an end all, and everyone has their own needs, so take ideas at will.
- You can design your own using a publishing software like Microsoft Publisher, this is what I did last year. It gave me control over what I wanted, and even though my business cards didn't turn out EXACTLY how I wanted them, I was happy.
- You can also use a graphic designer to help with yours (similar to one-sheets) but that costs money. If you are trying to create a "brand" with your look though, this might be the way to go.
- You can use a pre-made template from Vistaprint.com or other Internet business card printers. Perfectly easy and acceptable (but don't be surprised if you find someone else with a similar design.)
- What to Include:
- Your name (duh)
- Your job title. Mine is "Contemporary Romance Writer". I don't add "Christian" or "Inspirational" because it's a Christian conference so I figured that was a safe assumption. Either way is fine though.
- Some people who have a slogan for their writing include that as well
- Your personal info: Schools of thought vary on this, but I put ALL my personal info on mine. Well, not like my SSN or DOB. But I have my home address, phone number, e-mail address. I've seen others that just list an e-mail. But the way I see it, if I'm a writer, I'm working from home. People will mail things there. If it bothers you, get a PO Box. A phone number, IMHO, is a must.
- Website/blog address. A must include for networking purposes
- Other Tips:
- Don't spend a lot of money! You should be able to do this VERY cost efficiently.
- If your business card has a colored background, I think they look nicer on "glossy" finished paper. I had an all color one last year and I regretted not going glossy.
- If you can, get them professionally printed. The business card perforated sheets are okay, but leave noticeable edges that aren't nice and crisp.
- Feel free to shove your business cards into friends hands at conference, uh, like me. I'll take it, I promise! BUT! Please don't do that to an agent/editor. They might not find it so fun. Only give upon request to them.
Questions? Comments? Anywhere you don't agree with me, DO agree with me?