Real Writers Have Business Cards?

- by Victoria Janssen

On the romance author forums I frequent, the topic of business cards seems to come up every month or so.

I’m of two minds about them. First, they’re an expense, so getting them free is a good thing. Vistaprint and its ilk are popular sources for these; so long as you don’t add extras (all of which are presented to you), you’re only paying for postage. The cards are nice on the front, and on the back usually have information about the printing company. If it’s the information on the cards that’s important, how fancy do the cards themselves need to be?

I went the free card route, the first time I attended a major conference as a published author, and got cards from two different companies. I knew that cards were a necessity if I didn’t want to spend all my time writing down my email address. I handed out many, many cards and collected many from other people, as well.

I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the cards, though, nice as they were. I’d gone with free cards because, well, I’m cheap sometimes, but later it bothered me that there was advertising on the back of the card. Also, I changed my blog address, and I had a new book coming out, and none of that was on these cards.

When I got a second contract, I allowed to myself that I might be a “real” writer now and could get “real” business cards. And that’s the second mind; business cards are representative of you.

It isn’t just the information on the card, but the card itself that matters, similar to a person having a tidy appearance when they go for a job interview. People will look at the business cards long after their chance meeting with you is over. Business cards leave an impression.

So I went to MOO.com, from whom I’d once gotten some gorgeous free samples. I got a set of cards with the cover of my upcoming novel, and a set with the cover of my first novel. On the reverse, I stayed simple: my website address and my email address. I don’t plan to change either of those two things any time soon, so the cards won’t expire. I’m not worried about the book covers being out of date because, well, I wrote both of the books, and the covers are gorgeous (you can see one of them down at the bottom of this post). The printing is high quality and the paper feels thicker and more formal.

I’m getting a lot more intangible satisfaction from these cards, and several compliments on them as well. Besides being useful items, they’re confidence boosters. And what writer doesn’t want a little extra confidence?

3 comments

  1. As we are corporations of one, like all freelancers and artists. This was something I was going to do – it’s on my list to do – but I really appreciate your post to remind me and to highlight various ways of doing it. As an actress (and an aspiring novelist) I had a business card done with my headshot on. Thanks for giving me some ideas, Victoria.

  2. I always get the free Vistaprint cards, and there’s nothing on the back …

  3. I ordered business cards from Vista print because, like you, I was tired of writing out all my information… and I thought it was a little unprofessional. I paid for an upgrade, but I got what I wanted: simple, clean lines, all the info I used to write out.

    Great post. : )