Posted by Lauren Ruth
“This is a great post, Lauren, and your advice is sound. I would just like to suggest that conferees not overlook one fact: that the agents will not the largest segment of the intended audience for your business card. We all get excited about meeting agents at conferences, and once in a blue moon, an agent/author match is made. More important might be the networking you do with other writers and even presenters. Your relationships with these people will inspire and sustain you through many years of polishing your craft, and may eventually lead you to that perfect advocate for your work (my friend’s agent is looking for exactly what you write…). You might also meet other writers with expertise that can help you with your project in one way or another (research, ms swap, etc.). So include at least an e-mail address for that reason, and distribute your cards widely—and the agent, especially as one as kind as Lauren, can feel free to ignore it! “–Kathryn Craft, on “Author Business Cards” 4/6/12
This is an excellent point, which is why I’ve created a new post about it. Kathryn is right: there are more contacts to be made at conferences than just editors and agents. Critique partners in particular are a huge help when you’re learning and honing your craft, and even when you’re continuing with success. And of course events like Romantic Times Booklovers’ Convention which is in Chicago right now, are well-attended by fans and readers, booksellers, librarians and of course other authors.
Also, many authors provide services to their peers. One aspiring author comes to mind who specializes in marketing, because she is marketeer for a living. Some authors offer freelance copyediting or proofreading services. Some specialize in web design. If you offer one of these services, it would be a travesty not to include it on your business card. I still think the following things are important to place on your card, no matter who you hand it to:
1.Your name (and your pseudonym)
2. Professional-looking photo. Also to jog the memory.
3. Email address.
4. Your genre or subgenre (or both).
5. Your tagline.
6. QR code. This was Dotti Enderle’s idea and I just had to include it. Excellent idea. QR codes could link to your author site, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Amazon sales page, etc., or some combination thereof. They’re free to generate and they’re a great link between your physical presence and your virtual presence.
7. Pitch on the back of the card. Your peers might also find it difficult to remember having made a connection with you, and if you’ve spoken about your book with that person, the pitch will jog his or her memory.
I’d love to hear more smart marketing ideas!