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Button
03-06-2012, 08:42 PM
I'm planning to go to a few conferences this summer. So I'm reading up on what to bring and what to say and what to do. :) So if you have those tips, spit them out because I want them. (The tips, not the spit.)

But I've read to bring business cards. I'm wondering what to write on them besides name, email, phone, etc. Maybe a line or two about what I write? The title of the book I'm pimping? Favorite quotes?

Any hints would be the shizzle. :D

Evelyn
03-06-2012, 08:52 PM
At the Conferences I've been to, the people who bring business cards are the agents and editors, not the attendees. If you're lucky, an agent will give you one and invite you to send pages to their email; if you're very lucky, the email on the card is their private line for requested materials and you'll bypass the slush pile.

I'm thinking it could be a good idea for attendees to have cards available to give to other writers. It could facilitate writing groups and such - but I didn't come across anyone who did so.

Have fun! Conferences are exhausting but well worth the time and money.

Mr Flibble
03-06-2012, 09:11 PM
I always come back form conferences with loads of business cards - mostly other writers, some agent/editors if I'm lucky.


A hint of the sort of stories you write might be helpful (I'm just getting some new ones done, and I'll be putting a tagline on to that effect)

Button
03-06-2012, 09:13 PM
Well that would make things a whole lot easier. :) I was wondering how an agent or editor would figure out who was who.

"Button? Was that the writer who sneezed seven times in the middle of my workshop?" *trashes business cards!*

Button
03-06-2012, 09:15 PM
At the Conferences I've been to, the people who bring business cards are the agents and editors, not the attendees. If you're lucky, an agent will give you one and invite you to send pages to their email; if you're very lucky, the email on the card is their private line for requested materials and you'll bypass the slush pile.

I'm thinking it could be a good idea for attendees to have cards available to give to other writers. It could facilitate writing groups and such - but I didn't come across anyone who did so.

Have fun! Conferences are exhausting but well worth the time and money.

Really? I've read a couple articles that said to bring some.

I may just bring a handful to the first one and see what happens. If nothing else, I'll give them to other writer friends I'll meet. :)

dangerousbill
03-06-2012, 09:22 PM
But I've read to bring business cards. I'm wondering what to write on them besides name, email, phone, etc. Maybe a line or two about what I write?


Generally, you want contact information, and perhaps the legend 'Writer' under your name. Leave the back blank for writing notes on.

EDIT: The downside of the legend 'Writer' is that some folks will ask, "Oh, what have you published?" If you haven't, there will be that awkward silence and a quick moving on to someone else in the room. In my own case, I'd have to say, "Oh, yes, a couple of smut novels. How about you?"

It's not a bad idea to put your photo on the card, too, since at meetings like these, you will have many fleeting conversations. A photo will help someone remember both you and the conversation.

Normally, it's expensive to put a photo on a business card, but using Avery business card stock and a color laser printer, you can make your own cards very cheaply. Kinko's or a copy shop can do the color printing if you don't have a laser printer. I say Avery because many of the cheaper stock papers don't separate well and look sloppy.

(Try to use laser. Inkjet printing comes off with sweat or spilled beer and fades with time.)

job
03-06-2012, 11:20 PM
Yes. Bring business cards to conferences.
They are endlessly useful.

The back of the business card has the titles of your books.
If you have no books, leave it blank.

When you give the business card to the editor, write on the back --
Time travel with an elephant
or
Psychic Detective in Space
or whatever.
You are not trying to make the editor remember you. You are trying to make her remember your story.

The front of the card has your name, your website, your blog, your e-mail address.

Under your name it says:

Middle Grade Fiction
or
Young Adult Fiction
or
Historical Mystery
or whatever.

Probably best to stop there,
but you can add a small, legible illustration on the front of the card. Something that has to do with your books, probably.

White or just a shade off-white card.
Invest in good quality card stock.
Zazzle or cafepress will give you more cards than you could possibly want for very little money.

donroc
03-06-2012, 11:35 PM
I carry my business cards everywhere. Each has the cover of my novels on one side and and contact information on the other.

Toothpaste
03-07-2012, 12:46 AM
My advice for printing cards: use Vista Print (http://vistaprint.com). They are really reasonably priced, they do everything for you, and they not only get you the cards for when you requested them, they often deliver early.

I am a huge business card nut, I love designing them, I tend to create a new business card each year (usually because the information on them changes). Advice, write your name and an email that you wouldn't mind total strangers contacting you at. No phone number (in case someone drops it and gets ahold of it). If you want to give someone your number, you can write it down on the card for them.

You might want a nice graphic detail that reflects your personality and the kind of stuff you write. Maybe a short snappy quote from your work. But make sure to leave a lot of negative space. You don't want to overwhelm someone so they can't easily find your contact info. Here's an example of the front and back of one of my old cards (click the image to see larger versions):

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/th_timothybus.jpg (http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/?action=view&current=timothybus.jpg)

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/th_backtimothycard2.jpg (http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/?action=view&current=backtimothycard2.jpg)

IceCreamEmpress
03-07-2012, 01:18 AM
Yes, yes, business cards. I love Toothpaste's and donroc's examples. If you don't have books and cover art to be fancy with, follow job's recommendation.

Bogna
03-07-2012, 01:40 AM
What conferences are you going to? I'm looking for a few that wont break the bank.

I might just have to go and make some business cards now.

Jaligard
03-07-2012, 01:50 AM
I just got back from a conference. I wished I had business cards.

Hip-Hop-a-potamus
03-07-2012, 02:00 AM
My advice for printing cards: use Vista Print (http://vistaprint.com). They are really reasonably priced, they do everything for you, and they not only get you the cards for when you requested them, they often deliver early.

I am a huge business card nut, I love designing them, I tend to create a new business card each year (usually because the information on them changes). Advice, write your name and an email that you wouldn't mind total strangers contacting you at. No phone number (in case someone drops it and gets ahold of it). If you want to give someone your number, you can write it down on the card for them.

You might want a nice graphic detail that reflects your personality and the kind of stuff you write. Maybe a short snappy quote from your work. But make sure to leave a lot of negative space. You don't want to overwhelm someone so they can't easily find your contact info. Here's an example of the front and back of one of my old cards (click the image to see larger versions):

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/th_timothybus.jpg (http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/?action=view&current=timothybus.jpg)

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/th_backtimothycard2.jpg (http://s168.photobucket.com/albums/u179/adriennekress/?action=view&current=backtimothycard2.jpg)


Also, I designed a GORGEOUS one on Zazzle.com.

To me, it seemed like they had many more customizable designs for cards.

I can't wait to get a job so I"ll be able to go to the conference I want. No, strike that. I just want the money. Novel writing has taken over my life. Interviewing for jobs has become an exercise in frustration, since it's really hard to look excited when discussing writing about widgets.

But no job, no conference. :(

Mharvey
03-07-2012, 03:39 AM
It never, ever hurts to have your own personal business card. Not just for writing, but for life. It's like having a really nice suit: it's never going to hurt you and it's worth the money you'll pay to have a few hundred printed out.

Karen Junker
03-07-2012, 04:36 AM
You also asked about what to say and what to do...

I put on writers' events and I have also attended a few conventions with an editor friend. I can tell you from experience that agents and editors do not appreciate it when a writer comes up to them and asks about their submission status. Or why they were rejected--as in details.

It may be best not to approach them in the bar unless you are introduced by someone who is already talking to them. It is really not okay to approach them in the restroom.

Sometimes you'll have a chance meeting and they will ask you what you write. That's when it's appropriate to give your brief 'elevator pitch'. Don't go on and on, especially after their eyes glaze over. But let them ask you first, don't just walk up to them and start offering information about your work.

If you are given a pitch session as part of the conference, then by all means give your short pitch. In my experience, unless your work is really not something they're looking for, they will likely ask for more material. Don't bring pages to give them on the spot--unless your conference asks for it in advance.

Good luck!

Button
03-07-2012, 07:01 AM
What conferences are you going to? I'm looking for a few that wont break the bank.

I might just have to go and make some business cards now.

There's one coming up in Houma, Louisiana. I know Gini (from this board) is going and Heather Graham and a bunch of other awesome writers. :) I'm hoping to make friends.

But I know Poets and Writers has a list of conferences. I'm hoping to hit more of the local ones. There's a big one in Texas I'm tempted by. :)

Button
03-07-2012, 07:09 AM
You also asked about what to say and what to do...

I put on writers' events and I have also attended a few conventions with an editor friend. I can tell you from experience that agents and editors do not appreciate it when a writer comes up to them and asks about their submission status. Or why they were rejected--as in details.

It may be best not to approach them in the bar unless you are introduced by someone who is already talking to them. It is really not okay to approach them in the restroom.

Sometimes you'll have a chance meeting and they will ask you what you write. That's when it's appropriate to give your brief 'elevator pitch'. Don't go on and on, especially after their eyes glaze over. But let them ask you first, don't just walk up to them and start offering information about your work.

If you are given a pitch session as part of the conference, then by all means give your short pitch. In my experience, unless your work is really not something they're looking for, they will likely ask for more material. Don't bring pages to give them on the spot--unless your conference asks for it in advance.

Good luck!

Thanks. :) I'm very excited about the opportunity. I'm really just hoping for some feedback at the critique part that is being offered and I'm really looking forward to hearing them talk. I wouldn't mind ear time with anyone who cares to listen to me talk about my books, but I'm really happy just going. I haven't been to one yet and I've been envious to get together with others of our breed. ;)

Button
03-07-2012, 07:10 AM
I'm probably going to play with a few of the websites mentioned over the next couple of days and then get something ordered. :) I'm super excited. I won't shove them at people, but I enjoy the thought of having them on hand and being able to give them out when needed, at the conference and later.

AlishaS
03-08-2012, 12:03 AM
I just had business cards made up, but more for personal use and not because of confrences.
I was told by a few to leave off my phone number... maybe that was a bad idea? I just thought I'm not going to want readers or other writers calling me.. unless I invite them to.
Hmm... interesting.
Though I do have all my other info.

But I used Vistaprint, they should be coming any day. IF they turn out how others have said they would, I'll be making new ones! I mean it was so cheap! Like Toothpaste said, it's kind of fun creating updated cards.

job
03-08-2012, 12:17 AM
I won't shove them at people, but I enjoy the thought of having them on hand and being able to give them out when needed, at the conference and later.

At the conference you will meet wonderful writer folks at the same stage of their career as you are in yours. Some of them, if you can keep in touch, will be your crit partners ten years from now. Your beta readers. Your acks in the front of the book. Your friends.

When you get somebody's card, write on the back of it -- 'Fat guy. Plays guitar. Writes space mystery. Bar with red lamp.' -- so you remember him.