Do you have a business card as a writer or author? Have you thought about it? Business cards are a good idea with lots of uses.
Just a quick tip: First, make sure your card stands out. A signature color, logo, or something that draws attention is good. Also make sure that you use a legible font and include only details you want widely public (for example, I omitted my address and phone number).
Here are ten ways you might not have thought of to use your business cards:
- One clever idea, which I will implement when the third Family Secrets novel comes out, is to use the space on one side of the card for thumbnails of three books. It’s almost a perfect fit. Then put your info on the back along with a link to where you prefer people to buy them. It’s an immediate sales tool in the guise of a business card.
- For non-fiction, put your cover on one side (vertical) with where to buy below and your info on the other side.
- Use mailing labels on the back to offer a discount code or free download. Include the URL and the code, and boldly say “half off” or “free” or “complimentary.” By using mailing labels you can switch out the codes and track results.
- Stick them in books as bookmarks when you sign or send them out.
- Put a QR code on the back and offer a free book or promotion.
- If you are still struggling to be discovered (as most of us are), take a box of cards with you to your next comicon type event. People stand in line forever at these things. Hand out cards with your book details to those who express interest (QR codes works great for this but be sure to include a website for the non-smart phone users).
- Again using the free code, write a brief personal note and hand out to your favorite waitress, carpool members, selected coworkers, and casual acquaintances. Though I’d say try to focus on people that might like your book, be generous. You never know and the six degrees of separation is an actual thing. Also, this becomes a gift rather than “buy my book,” which most folks appreciate.
- Take them to conferences and writers groups. Again, the more a card stands out and clearly states who you are, the better.
- When you meet someone you want to talk to further, write your phone number on the back along with where you met or a phrase to spark the recipient’s memory (especially useful for conferences and gatherings where business cards are frequent).
- Scan your card and put it in the sidebar on your website. A well designed card is a great image and your important information is right up front. (Hint: if you choose a dark color, it may be difficult to scan. See example below.)
Your business card is more than a networking tool. It is good will, an invitation, a gift, advertising, and promotion all rolled into one, depending on how you use it.