I’ve had a few people asking about business cards, so much so, I thought I’d post some information here.
Being an author is being a business of one, and like any well-run company, you should always have cards that you can hand out to interested parties (editors/agents/fans).
Now, of course, the question becomes: exactly what should you have (or not have) on your card. This is only my opinion, but some of the things you should look at including:
- Your name (obviously). If you’re writing under a pen name, use that moniker.
- Your website.
- Any social media you use: Facebook, Twitter, etc.
- Your email and/or phone number.
The other thing you may consider is some type of graphic or image to go along with the card. Now, big points:
- Use genre appropriate images. For example, if you are a sweet romance author, having super sexy images of men/women on your card can be misleading.
- Don’t use images you don’t hold copyright to. That could get you sued.
- There is some debate as to including a photo of yourself–I can see the use for this in certain situations. For example, pitching to an editor/agent, a photo business card might help them remember you when you submit. My RWiR business cards have my photo so that folks walking around the library can pick me out of the crowd. I will say, though, that my author business cards do not have my photo.
- You may also consider the benefit of a two-sided card. I use one side for my covers, the other for my contact information.
Lastly, use technology. I have a QR code on my business card that links to my calendar so folks know where and when to find me. If you have multiple sites or multiple books, QR codes may not be a bad choice.
As for places to go, try your local print shops, Vista Print (.com or .ca), Office Depot, Staples. Also, Avery has some fantastic clean-edge cards as well as a website you can use when designing your business card (when you buy their product, you’ll find the information on the website included in the package).
Vista Print & Avery are good options regarding images since you have permission to use their graphics for your company. With Office Depot/Staples/Local Print Shops, however, you’ll want to make sure you have copyright on any image you use.
Here’s a shot of my cards so you can see what I mean: