PDA

View Full Version : Bookmarks Versus Business Cards - And Other Things



Wyndsgal
07-10-2016, 11:35 PM
So yesterday I spent 10 hours working on business cards. It was a horrible day, as I had vastly underestimated the time and mental energy required to complete the task on my own. Or maybe I'm just a perfectionist. Regardless, I should have started sooner (I have a presentation this Thursday that I needed the cards for) or looked into hiring a professional. Fortunately, I was able to eventually track down a good template online, create my cards (after much trial and error and fiddling around), and send them off for rush shipping (the latter, of course, costing me extra, which only infuriated me more. Yes, I think I learned my lesson on this one).

So, I have a few questions for everyone:

1) Do you make your own business cards or do you hire the work out?

2) Do you prefer business cards or bookmarks? Which do you think is more effective in marketing yourself?

I thought that the bookmarks would be better, since they're functional and might be less likely to get tossed aside, but I scoured the internet for a bookmark template and couldn't find anything. So I went into Publisher and created my own 2" x 6" page, but I'm not very familiar with bookmarks, and I struggled trying to design it. Eventually, I gave up and settled on creating business cards instead. So, on that note . . .

3) Do you know of any websites that have bookmark templates? Something that sparks ideas for where to put the photo(s), text, etc.

Thanks, everyone! I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

BenPanced
07-11-2016, 03:50 AM
GotPrint has several downloadable templates for the products they print (http://www.gotprint.com/store/download-templates.html); no account or order is required. (I've used them for both bookmarks and trading cards. The order and review process is a bit wonky/lopsided, but the outcome is pretty good.)

Vistaprint also has downloadable templates. (http://www.vistaprint.com/vp/ns/propath/UploadResources.aspx?pfid=BPQ#SubHeading1) I've used them for other products and they're also pretty good.

zmethos
07-11-2016, 04:13 AM
My business cards are from Vistaprint, and while I like them I also had to resign myself to the fact that it was a template many others might use, so my cards might not look all that unique (despite having my author photo on them). I used UPrinting for my bookmarks and postcards. I haven't found postcards all that useful so far, however. Business cards have been good for trading at conferences, and people will generally also take a bookmark since those can be handy.

Denevius
07-13-2016, 08:56 AM
I have business cards that were created using a template. Maybe one day I'll go to a company and have them design something for me, but I think simplicity is key. The most important thing is the contact information.

I had bookmarks made for my self-published collection back in 2003. I wouldn't go that route again, as not enough people read, and not enough people read physical books, to make it worthwhile.

I *might* get some posters day at a certain point if I think I can convince business to hang them up for a while. But the best thing I think now is some online image associated with your book.

MaeZe
07-13-2016, 09:06 AM
My business cards are from Vistaprint, and while I like them I also had to resign myself to the fact that it was a template many others might use, so my cards might not look all that unique (despite having my author photo on them). I used UPrinting for my bookmarks and postcards. I haven't found postcards all that useful so far, however. Business cards have been good for trading at conferences, and people will generally also take a bookmark since those can be handy.

I started to order business cards from Vista. I have a private practice in infectious disease. But halfway through I thought, these guys are just going to make money off selling my name/address/email and phone number. The last thing I need is for my business email to be spammed like my Yahoo address is and more spam calls on my business line that pages me when a message is left (I'm on call for exposures). I had to change my fax number once already. I have a home office and those pigs sending junk faxes use auto redial every 30 minutes if your fax machine is turned off.

It's pretty easy to just print your own cards.

Wyndsgal
07-14-2016, 05:38 AM
I had bookmarks made for my self-published collection back in 2003. I wouldn't go that route again, as not enough people read, and not enough people read physical books, to make it worthwhile.

Good point. That definitely gives me something to think about.

And thank you, everyone else, for your input as well! This is helpful info.

Denevius
07-14-2016, 07:51 AM
No problem.

On a side note, I lived in Atlanta for 10 years. Midtown for most of that time. Been just about ten years since I moved from there. City changed a lot.

Anyway, nice to meet a fellow writer from there, Wyndsgal!

akaria
07-15-2016, 07:51 AM
I use Overnightprints for bookmarks. They are always running some kind of sale so 100 only cost 30 bucks after standard shipping. I'm not sure if they have gotten me any sales, but I've found them useful if the "so you're an author" conversation comes up. Around here, lots of people *talk* about writing a book, but very few have a product. I hope bookmarks tip the scale in my favor a bit.

I use Canva for design. It's a web-based design site and makes creating bookmarks, flyers, social media covers and other things super easy. It's nowhere near as complicated or flexible as Photoshop, but I'm satisfied with the handful of materials I've created so far.

Wyndsgal
07-16-2016, 04:56 AM
No problem.

On a side note, I lived in Atlanta for 10 years. Midtown for most of that time. Been just about ten years since I moved from there. City changed a lot.

Anyway, nice to meet a fellow writer from there, Wyndsgal!

Nice! Yeah, I'm in Sandy Springs, so not too far away from where you were. :)

SarahCat
09-01-2016, 09:43 AM
Hi everyone, I would like to thank you all for the input. I am going through this very same dilemma. I am considering making business cards but I am having trouble narrowing down the best print services. I am not very worried about the templates, because I have a design idea in mind. Has anyone ever used shutter fly or colorful images for their business cards? Im not sure if Shutterfly is the most professional choice. I am leaning towards Vistaprint as well or colorful images. Thank you.

Write On Pal
09-01-2016, 05:26 PM
I've gone both routes--had them printed locally and made them myself. The printed ones look more professional to me, but in all honesty the last time I made my own cards was prior to learning how to use Photoshop and when my printer quality wasn't as good, so maybe now with better tools my homemade ones would look better.

MichaelAnthony
09-22-2016, 05:09 AM
Anyone designing them, just use Fiverr.com, bunch of people on there can help create some awesome designs for just a few bucks.

Richard White
09-22-2016, 05:47 PM
Maybe I'm just old-fashioned, but I just went online to the Staples web site, picked out a template and a font, played around for about ten minutes. hit buy, and picked up the cards two days later at the local store.

That was easy. *grin*

Now, I don't leave my business cards out on my table at conventions - I get enough "stuff" handed to me at shows that just goes straight into the trash as soon as I get home, so I don't feel like wasting time and money that way. I will hand out my card to any one who asks for it and, of course, I exchange cards with other business professionals all the time. Same reason while I may make bookmarks for my next book, they'll strictly be on the table. I will not be handing them out to random people walking by. I've seen the trail of discarded bookmarks and flyers lining the floor between the dealers area and the front doors at NYCC enough times to know just randomly handing out stuff is a complete waste of time. Even if you hit one or two new readers, you're not re-comping the wasted money on the floor there.

I also made sure to put my P.O. Box on my business card after a friend of mine got his house broken into after some kids got ahold of one of his business cards. They figured since he was a comic writer, he must have some valuable comics at his house. Luckily he was home when they tried to get in and called the cops on them. After that, he immediately got a P.O. Box and I quickly did the same. Paranoid? Perhaps, but the P.O. Box is relatively inexpensive and the peace of mind is priceless.

veinglory
09-22-2016, 05:55 PM
I think business cards are more for handing to people for a particular transaction or networking. Bookmarks are table swag for potential customers.