Business Cards for Authors

The other day I was perusing Lindsay Buroker’s wonderful blog, and I came across an article she wrote about business cards for authors: Adventures in Business Card Creation. My interest was immediately piqued. Part of that might have been due to an overwhelming desire to procrastinate the editing I really need to finish, and part of it was because I’m currently working on some graphics I’ll be using across my “internet presence.” Yes, I match myself! What I came up with is, as yet, a work in progress, and will be printed on the back as well.

Lindsay’s tips from her designer friend, Syd Gill, suggest “Business cards should make an instant statement, actually you may only have an instant to get recognized. In a pile of cards if your card stands out you’re ahead of the pack.
How does one go about doing that? You’ll want to read the article to get some good advice about card stock and shape, simplicity, typefaces and QR codes (a barcoded designed to be scanned by smart phones and giving instant access to a brand’s website.) Lauren Ruth, author of Slush Pile Tales, has an excellent article on how to make your business cards useful instead of trash in Author Business Cards.

1. Print your pitch on the back of the card.
2. Put your photo on the front of the card. (Head shots only!)
3. Have a tag-line that you use during your pitch that is quick and compelling.
4.  A professional email address and a website or blog address is great to have on your card.
5. Don’t get cute. Be careful what kind of imagery you use, as it implies a topic for your book(s).
6. Be clear and concise. If you have a branded look with colors and graphics, go ahead and put it on the card if you’re going to be consistent about it. Use fonts that are easy to read.

In her article about author’s business cards on 1st Turning Point, Lillian Cauldwell lists some information you’ll want to include on your card:

Name
Email Address
Website Address
Pen Name (Writing By ______)
Photo
Tag line
Back of card, an author can leave blank OR consider these options:
Display jpg of book cover(s)
List upcoming book title releases with dates
Upcoming book tours (signings)
Upcoming events
Upcoming interviews – radio, television, blogs,
Blog address
Social website addresses that RELATE directly to that particular book and/or genre.  (Facebook, Twitter, Ryze, LinkedIn).

 

And what, you may ask, can a writer do with business cards?
  • Pass them along to the folks you meet every day
  • Give them to the people you meet at conventions or workshops
  • Put them into all the “free lunch” drawings you can find
  • When you pay your bill at restaurants, leave one along with your tip
  • When you chat with someone on the train/bus/plane reading in your genre, have one on hand
  • Tuck them into genre-specific books at the library (but be thoughtful; don’t get carried away!)
  • Leave some in your vehicle, “just in case”

Have you got a business card? Share pics! What are some of the ways you use it as a marketing tool?

10 thoughts on “Business Cards for Authors

  1. Robin,

    My business card is my headshot. I got the idea from a child actor who was signing cards with his picture on one side. I like them but I rarely hand them out. I've got about 900 that I've had for YEARS.

    CJ

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