By Maria Ferrer
Yes, you need one. A business card is your calling card. It's the second most important card you can carry after your driver’s license, and a great promotional tool. They are the one thing that you can pass around indiscriminately to editors, agents, other writers, librarians….everyone.
FACE VALUE. Your business card should include your name, pseudonym(s), email, phone, website(s) and blog(s). If you are a published author, you could include a picture of your latest book cover, title and pub date. If you are pre-published, you could include a picture of yourself and the genres you write in. And do add your Facebook and Twitter IDs so people can find you easily. NEW: business card magnets are a fun alternative.
FREE CARDS. There is no need to spend too much on good quality business cards. You can even print them on your home computer with a little creativity. I get mine from vistaprint.com. They are cheap, have great designs, are on good paper, and there are often great specials where you can get 100-250 cards for free. Well, not exactly free since you still have to pay for the shipping, but it’s minimal and worth every penny. Their website is http://www.vistaprint.com/.
ONE FOR ALL. Who gets a business card? Everyone who asks; everyone who offers you one; everyone you meet. Everyone. Your business card may be the only thing another writer/ editor/ agent/ industry professional may keep after the conference. So pass them around like candy. Everyone is a potential fan.
YOUR COLLECTION. You want to collect as many business cards as possible at the conference. Try to take a couple of minutes as you get cards – or when you have a free moment while waiting for an editor or agent appointment or as you are sitting down to lunch – and make notes on them about the card giver. This one shares your love of erotica. This one has a blog full of writing resources. That one knows a good agent you can query. That other is interesting and you can to keep in touch. Make notes so you remember the person and your conversation. It will help weeks later -- heck, it will help hours later -- when you weed through your “collection.” After the conference, try to keep your collected business cards in an index box or a card folder. Label them with conference name and year. If you have a mailing list, add all the cards to that list. If you don’t have a mailing list, you now have enough names to create one.
INQUIRING MINDS WANT TO KNOW: Where do you get your business cards? What’s on it? Do tell. Do leave a comment on this blog. And have fun at your next conference.♥
Maria Ferrer is looking forward to the 2011 RWA National Conference, which will be in her backyard—the Big Apple. Her business cards are ready.