Why writers need to carry business cards

We’ve all experienced this before: You want to get hold of someone but don’t know how. You could look them up online and probably find their email and phone number, of course…if only you could remember their name. Every time you try typing in something that seems close, you come up nada.

It’s in such a situation that a low-tech solution would solve your problem: the tried-and-true business card, kept in your trusty wallet.

Whenever you meet someone who might be interested in any way in your book, give them your business card. Besides ensuring that the other person remembers your name and has your contact information, a business card provides you with credibility and validation. After all, if you weren’t a legitimate author with a book to be reckoned with, why would you have gone to all the trouble of having business cards made up?

In short, business cards create connections for you.

What to put on your business card? Every card should contain your:
• Name as it can be found online or on a book cover
• Title/position, which might be “Author of (your book’s title)”
• Email address
• Website address
• Other contact info (such as phone, fax, snail mail)
Anything more than this – except maybe a recognizable logo for your books if you’ve published a series of them – just clutters up the card.

That’s only one side of the business card, though. On the flip side, you may want to include an “advertisement” for yourself. Commercial writers, for example, include a list of services on the back of their cards. Fiction writers might include a brief synopsis of their current title.

Most business cards boast a fairly bland appearance and are printed on cream-colored paper. That’s okay, though, as the card’s purpose is to provide your name and contact information. To make yourself stand out, though, consider having the tone of your card’s lettering reflect the book’s genre or subject (such as a gothic-styled typeface if you’ve written a book about vampires), but don’t be tacky.

Who should you give your business card to? Anyone you connect with who’s interested in buying your book, literary agents who might want to represent your book, publishers who might want to print your book, designers who might want to illustrate your next book’s cover, reporters who might want to interview you about your book, etc. Writing conferences are great places for handing out such cards but carry them with you wherever you go – you never know when you night run into someone who shows an interest in your book.