Only big wigs need business cards, right? Don’t you only give them out at boardroom meetings? Don’t they have to be super-expensive in order to be of any use?

As authors and editors business cards are as important for us as any other professionals. You can (and should!) give them out anywhere, anytime, because they are portable advertisements. As for cost, people just need your information; if you want to impress them, your writing/editing is supposed to handle that!

Design: A business card serves one purpose only, that being to supply others with your vital information. If a person can’t tell who you are, what you do, and how to contact you by looking at your card, well, you’ve wasted your time and money. A snazzy look doesn’t hurt, but if it obscures the info you’ve defeated the purpose. When it comes to graphics there are plenty of options—ask talented friends and colleagues if they’ll help out, out get the printer to show you their stock graphics. However, if you have an existing logo be sure to use it.

Creation: For a previous business venture I went to Staples and had 1,000 business cards printed at a very low price. I was able to select the paper stock, the fonts, and they even scanned in our logo. While it was nice, it was overkill in terms of what I was doing at the time. I could currently make use of that many cards—actually, much more—but our budget is better put into the various ads and mailings we do. The option we chose was to purchase blank sheets of business cards for use with home printers. Sure, they aren’t four-color jobs with aqueous coating, but the important thing is I always have cards with my full contact info available for people. They ain’t the prettiest, but I’ve gotten several opportunities because of them.

Usage: Once you have business cards in your possession give them out at conventions, at your readings, the readings of others, put them in your books and mailings, include them with your submissions, put them in books similar to yours at the store or library, leave them around on the tables at conventions, tack them up on the cork board at the coffee shop or other hip joints, make little airplanes with them to hit your enemies in the head when they’re not looking—well, not really, but you get the idea. As you can see, the business card is a true workhorse and jack of all trades in the arena of promo.

current mood: dorky
current music: “The Business Card Boogaloo” by Kid Card and the Printers

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