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payitforward
02-06-2009, 09:05 PM
Hey All:

Not sure if this is in the right place, but here goes:

I am making business cards to hand out whenever I go to conferences and such. What kinds of info should I put on there?

My first novel is represented by a great agent, but do I put any of that info on the card?

Thoughts?

ChaosTitan
02-06-2009, 09:15 PM
My business cards have the most basic info: My name and genre, my email address and website addy. It didn't occur to me to put my agent's name on the card, but that's probably not a bad idea depending on how you use the cards to network. Don't make the card too flashy, but make sure it the important contact info.

Mayntz
02-10-2009, 07:27 PM
My business cards have name, contact info, website, and a short list of what I write (Newspapers, Websites, Magazines, etc.) since I'm a freelancer rather than a novelist. Be sure you have good white space for a crisp presentation, as well.

I would really hesitate to put an agent's name on the card, however. If I were another agent and saw that, I'd assume you were "taken" and not interested in connected with me. Furthermore, you may very well have conflicts with that agent down the road so you're no longer associated with them, making your business cards inaccurate. Just my two cents.

Kryianna
02-11-2009, 05:53 AM
I'd also pay for professional cards. A card that looks/feels cheap is not going to be as professional as a card on good cardstock with high quality graphics/text.

And for heaven's sake, don't get the free ones online that have "free business cards from xxx.com" printed on the back.

This is your career and business. Show the people you're giving the cards to that you're taking it seriously. The fifty bucks it costs to have them printed well is worth every penny.

Toothpaste
02-11-2009, 08:53 AM
I disagree on that last point about paying for professional cards. That is, so long as you have a bit of design savvy you should be fine. There are high quality card stock available at any stationary store, some come even with a glossy side (which I rather like), I know Avery have downloadable templates. I have designed and printed every single one of my cards, and have had nothing but complements on their quality. Plus it helps when your situation keeps changing to be able to change your cards in turn. Many print centres print in bulk, and you can wind up with a box of cards you never use when you change your email, or you get agented, or publish another book etc.

That being said Vistaprint.com is an excellent online resource for cheap business card printing. They offer you a discount if you put their name at the bottom, but you are free to remove it as well.

justsomeguy
02-12-2009, 01:38 PM
I have a similar question with slightly different details. This thread seems a better place for it than a new one.

Very soon I'll be attending my first writers conference, but I still haven't had printed up the business cards EVERYONE seems to agree I ought to bring.

The thing is, I'm not all that far along in my writing career. At all. I've never had anything published, and still haven't even submitted anything.

On the other hand, I take it pretty seriously, write consistently, have a couple shorts I think are just about polished enough to send out into the world, and am about halfway done with the first draft of my first novel.

I'm still trying out different genres. I don't have a website, or even a blog.

So what goes on the card other than my name, phone number and email address?

"writer"?

Nothing but name and contact info?

Something else I'm not thinking of?

I've already spoken to the printer and been told that since all I want is text there's only a couple minute wait involved. I haven't quite run out of time, just almost.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

KTC
02-12-2009, 02:24 PM
I agree with Toothpaste. You do not need to go professional. I notice you have a website. Think of your business card as your elevator pitch. Name. Email. Website. Your name is kind of cool in a catchy way...I'd display it prominently on the card. Web addy below it. Email below that. Phone number if you want...but not necessary.

I have sort of moved away from business cards...not entirely, but they are getting a bit prehistoric. That's why I stay with basic info. Think hard about what else you include. I'd stay away from the agent name for sure. You could include your genre or writer or some such...but I would keep it brief...down to a word or two.

Mayntz
02-12-2009, 09:57 PM
Justsomeguy - I do put "Freelance Writer and Editor" on my business cards, in a smaller font just below my name. While some writers will disagree with adding a title, I think it is helpful because if you hand your card to someone and they file it away, after a few days or weeks they may forget what services you offer or who you are, and the card can be tossed. If they can at least tell what you do, you stand a better chance of the card being useful and resulting in a productive contact.

You could put your mailing address if you are comfortable doing so; I have it on mine and have never had a problem with it. In my opinion, having all of one's contact info -- name, email, phone, address -- shows more professionalism, as you don't have anything to hide, and it is more convenient for the card's recipient because it allows them to choose how they'd like to contact you.

Epiphany
09-05-2009, 02:38 AM
So I just registered for a conference and decided to have some business cards made. Should I put the genre that I write under my name? On the same note, should I put the name of my unpublished book that I'm trying to get an agent for?

Ravenlocks
09-05-2009, 04:55 AM
You could put your mailing address if you are comfortable doing so; I have it on mine and have never had a problem with it. In my opinion, having all of one's contact info -- name, email, phone, address -- shows more professionalism, as you don't have anything to hide, and it is more convenient for the card's recipient because it allows them to choose how they'd like to contact you.

I put city and state but not my full address. That way they know where I'm based. I'm not comfortable including my full street address.

Gillhoughly
09-05-2009, 05:04 AM
All contact information. Don't be shy.

Try not to mention you're a writer. That's a given.

Mentioning genre is okay. Leave the back blank in case you want to put the name of the conference and a note there as a crib note for the person getting it.

I've gotten cards from Publish America victims who have declared "published author" on theirs. Yikes.

Skip artwork & pics of yourself. You're a writer, not a realtor.

This bunch does an amazing job, FAST, good quality color work. You don't have to buy many. They have a sale on, 15% off.

www.printrunner.com

veejbrown
09-12-2009, 11:58 PM
All good information, but what about business card bookmarks? Would this be acceptable? I thought it would be cute. Just my opinion though. I, like justsomeguy, isn't published yet, so all of this is new to me as well. I'm working on my website and just set up my blog.

Thanks

Kathleen42
09-13-2009, 12:02 AM
All good information, but what about business card bookmarks? Would this be acceptable? I thought it would be cute. Just my opinion though. I, like justsomeguy, isn't published yet, so all of this is new to me as well. I'm working on my website and just set up my blog.

Thanks

Resident graphic designer jumping in. It's cute but I would keep in mind that this won't fit in anyone's wallet, Rolodex (do people still use those), or business card folio.

veejbrown
09-15-2009, 11:02 AM
silly me, didn't even think of that, thanks Kathleen

terrylynn
09-16-2009, 03:37 AM
I've read all these suggestions with interest - and even though it may not be good to include your photo, I'm considering it, just because it shows the nature of my writing. But in trying to stay within the boundaries, I'm now frozen with indecision. Would appreciate if someone could take the time and gander my blog with the 4 card choices I've posted and leave comments.

http://terrylynnjohnson.blogspot.com

Gillhoughly
09-16-2009, 06:21 AM
Use the second from the bottom. There's a dynamic element with the angled pen.

It goes against my no picture rule, but that's an *interesting* picture and I'm a sucker for dogs. I'd want to know the story behind it.

Have one. ;)

hillaryjacques
10-12-2010, 09:16 AM
Resurrecting this.

Anything have any thoughts on putting your twitter handle on the card? If using it for networking, not just seeking agent/editor.

shaldna
10-12-2010, 03:21 PM
So what goes on the card other than my name, phone number and email address?

"writer"?

Nothing but name and contact info?

Something else I'm not thinking of?
.

i personally wouldn't put 'writer' or 'author' etc on them because to me it comes across as very amaturish. But that's a personal thing.

happywritermom
10-12-2010, 05:46 PM
My cards identify me as "writer/editor" and then have the basic contact information. I think it's important to identify your profession in some way. I don't see anything wrong with "writer," but "published author" sounds amaturish. I would definitely not put your agent's name on it. Twitter handle is a good idea if social networking is important to you. Whatever you include, keep it simple and readable and remember that it takes a long time to distribute 250 cards, which is often the smallest order. Don't include any information that might soon change.

Carlene
10-12-2010, 06:09 PM
I have professional cards and keep them with me always. I give them to EVERYONE! Hey, I need to sell a lot of books - I have hungry dogs to feed!

Carlene

Toothpaste
10-12-2010, 06:51 PM
Resurrecting this.

Anything have any thoughts on putting your twitter handle on the card? If using it for networking, not just seeking agent/editor.

Don't see why not. It doesn't take up much room. Just remember to keep it uncluttered and easy to understand, and the rest is up to you!

hillaryjacques
10-12-2010, 08:07 PM
Thanks!

Sunnyside
10-13-2010, 03:31 AM
I'll throw in here -- I order business cards from American Stationery. They're inexpensive, on good stock, and they have cool fonts to choose from.

As for what goes on a card, I was skittish at first about putting my address on it (the first cards I had done had only my phone number and e-mail, but looked a little too spartan.) But I was at a writer's conference and discovered that most of my non-fiction brethren (including a Pulitzer winner) had their addresses on their cards. And that makes sense, because when you're out doing research, it's helpful to have a mailing address where people can send information if they can't e-mail it.

I struggled, too, with whether to put "writer" or anything like that on it. I ultimately decided to put a short slugline under my name -- though rather than saying "writer," it says "I write stuff," which is just casual enough to let me get away with it, IMO. I decided to do that, again, because when I'm out interviewing sources or researching, I can hand people my card and they don't pull it out again later and go, "Wait, who was this guy again?" And to answer a question from waaay up above, no, I do not have my agent's name on it -- but I do have my website, where people can go to FIND my representation, should they so desire.

Your mileage may vary, of course.

CAWriter
10-13-2010, 06:47 AM
All good information, but what about business card bookmarks? Would this be acceptable? I thought it would be cute. Just my opinion though. I, like justsomeguy, isn't published yet, so all of this is new to me as well. I'm working on my website and just set up my blog.

Thanks


I actually did this for a conference a while back; I was promoting an author-promoting business. Folded, it was exactly the same size as any other business card. By making the bookmark 2 inches wide, I folded the card in such a way that my 'logo' was on the top 3/4 of the card, with my name at the bottom. When you unfolded the card, there were the details of my services. My slogan made reference to 'book mark' too, so the whole package made sense.

Qbynewbie
10-13-2010, 07:55 AM
Business cards are used for business. And for casual personal things where it's just easy to hand someone your card.

There are no rules but there are some good practices to follow, so long as people are still using printed cards.

1. Use a standard size business card. It drives me crazy when people use odd-sized cards and I end up discarding them quickly.

2. Place the print on the card horizontally. Most cards do this and this is the reason that the others should. It's all about ease of access to your information. Believe it or not, lots of people still use rolodexes.

3. Cards should have your name, contact info, company (if applicable) and title. Don't be shy. If you are a writer, put "Writer" on the card. If you have multiple professions, put them all on the card: "Writer/Freelance Editor/Personal Chef".

4. Keep the design simple. Lots of people go for artsy-fartsy designs. It's aggravating to the person who needs to use the card for its intended purpose, which is to access your contact information. Classic cards have a classic look simply because that look has stood the test of time over many decades. No one EVER lost a contact or a job because their business card was too conservative or too classic but I actually chose not to hire a designer one time because I hated the design of his business card. I didn't even call him in for an interview. If he'd had a more classic card, he'd have at least gotten in the door.

5. Don't waste time obsessing over business cards. Choose a simple, classic design, put all of the contact info that you want public on there and be done with it.

:)