I’ve only been involved in romance author forums for about a year and a half, but during that time, 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 is a popular source 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 have a calendar and information about Vistaprint. And there are a LOT of other vendors offering free options, as well. 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, and got cards from two different companies. I was going to RWA National in San Francisco, my first RWA event, and I knew that cards were a necessity if I didn’t want to spend all my time writing down my email address for everyone. 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I’d gone with free cards because, well, I’m cheap sometimes, but later it bothered me that the calendar on the back was out of date. 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 them, 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 photo minicards. 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 put my website address and my email address, as I don’t plan to change either of those two things any time soon. I’m not worried about the covers being out of date because, well, I wrote both of the books, and the covers are gorgeous (you can see them in the sidebar). I don’t see myself growing tired of them.
I’m very satisfied with the quality of the printing, and the thicker paper just feels good to me. I’m getting a lot more satisfaction from these cards, and several compliments on them as well. I think in future, unless I really can’t afford it, I’ll stick with paying for them.
Tune in tomorrow for a guest post from Lucienne Diver!
I've been designing my own cards, laser printing them on the nice color copier at Kinko's, and printing them on business card paper on the color copier. Which is nice because it lets me do small quantities, but I've been feeling like it's time for a change, too, and pondering whether to actually print up a batch professionally once I resdesign them.
(The VistaPrint cards always bugged me, mostly on account of all the vista logo stuff on the back, for all that the price is nice!)
I guess if the ones you're already doing are nice, it becomes a time issue – do you want to spend time going to Kinko's, or simply wait for them to arrive at your door?
I have your business card (together with Jina's) on my desk notice board! :) Wasn't brave enough to give you one of mine. lol! I'm cr@p at promo stuff, I know.
I think you do all right!