Business Cards!

This week I’ll give a bit of documentation of my journey, as I promised to do along the way. I recently attended a wonderful writing workshop put on by the American Night Writers Organization. I’ve been a part of this organization since the very end of 2014 and it has been a fantastic resource.

One of the classes at the workshop focused on selling print books. I took notes and thought I’d save up this knowledge for the future when I publish my second book. Of course, when you’re selling books you should have a business card to offer, and why not get them before you even have a book? I decided to build a website first to try and gain some traction and show off some of my work before getting a book out. On your author business card, you can advertise your website, or you could get cards featuring the cover of a certain book.

I decided to go with a general card that focused on directing to my website and I was very conscious about the design. I’d love to hear your ideas but here were mine and here are the whys:

  1. I decided to order from vistaprint.com. Why? This was one of the recommendations I received and the price was right for me. A great thing about this site is that they’ll save your designs and while yes, there is upselling during the checkout process, it’s nice to know if you’re ready to grow in future and you like your logo/graphic/design you can have it plastered on anything like banners, posters, clothing, stickers etc.
  2. I chose rounded edges. Why? Don’t they just look softer and feel nicer to hold in your palm? When I first thought about starting a site and publishing I made a list of traits I wanted my “brand” to have. For me, even such a small detail as rounded edges helps to portray this. You don’t see as many rounded edges as regular straight ones either.
  3. I attempted to make the design match that of my website’s homepage. Why? I chose agave plants for the image at the top of my homepage. Agave grow well in my home state. I love the patterns and the variation of shades. To anyone who thinks the desert isn’t beautiful, I’d say you just haven’t truly seen it yet. So yes, I put agave on my cards. Also, did you notice the font I used for my website? I tried to match the script as closely as I could to how it looks on my homepage too. Hopefully when a person receives my card they’ll check out my site and they’ll already have a tiny sense of familiarity. People like the familiar.
  4. I used white space. Why? Who likes an overcrowded, busy design? No one I’ve heard of. No one likes to be overwhelmed with too much information. White space evokes a sense of calm. I don’t want people to pick up my card and want to toss it because it’s just too much. I want it to say, “Here, take me. Hold me a little bit and take a look.” The white space also allows for another possible personal touch. I purchased a custom made stamp for this purpose and am considering stamping them, maybe at the time of handing out, although I think they look good as they are.
  5.  I made them vertical. Why? Many business cards are horizontal. I wanted mine to be a bit different from the norm and to also work as a bookmark (again, to hopefully prevent the receiver from throwing it away or losing it).

So there you have it. Getting a bit of an aching back from hunching over my laptop while I made all the of the many choices to create my perfect business card at this time was worth it. Now, we’ll see about getting them in the hands of readers. That’s the scary part!

If you’ve created business cards before, how did you create yours? What was your process and the why behind your choices? How and where did you hand them out? I’d love to read about it in the comments.

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