The business of business cards

As a professional writer, ten years ago I decided I needed business cards, so I had some made up. Three years later I biffed most of them as I hadn’t used them. Recently, however, I’ve had another go as I’ve found myself occasionally scribbling my email address on the back of mangled old receipts dug out of the bottom of my handbag.

But what a job I had deciding on the design. You’d think it’d be easy, but it was worse even than writing a blurb or a shout line for a cover. To me, a business card should convey, at a glance, who I am as a writer. It should tell the receivee (is that a word?) that I write gritty, dark, sometimes even faintly paranormal, historical fiction. If it doesn’t do that, I might as well just have my name on a piece of white card. Which I did consider.

First, I looked online at the ready-made options offered by a couple of well-known business card providers. Searching under ‘writers’ I got old-fashioned typewriters, fountain pens, and feathered quills sticking out of inkwells. Not quite what I was after, so then I tried ‘Victorian’ and got loads of pretty ladies, roses and kittens. Nope, though the kittens were cute.

Damask? Stunning patterns, but the text wouldn’t show up so it’d have to go on the back, and who turns over a business card? Gothic? Definitely edgy, but all a bit OTT. I did see some cards I liked, but – naturally – they were all the pricier ones.

Sigh. What to do? Design one myself, obviously. So I hopped back on the net, tracked down an image from one of the more expensive cards I’d liked (out of copyright, fortunately), dropped it into a ‘customise’ site, added my text and, hey presto, cards for half the price. Not sure if they actually do say who I am as a writer, but I like them.

MyBusCard

So far, I’ve handed out a grand total of one.

Does anyone else use business cards? Do you think they’re useful, or do they just take up space in your wallet?

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11 thoughts on “The business of business cards

  1. I designed mine through Vista Print and uploaded my own picture. It works and is cost efficient. I hand them out occasionally and it is definitely better than old receipts. By the way, I like your business card.

  2. You can hand one out to me – they’re gorgeous 🙂
    Yes, business cards are a time-consuming, difficult process to convery who you are!

  3. I used Vista print years ago, and this post has reminded me to update my business cards. As Erin said, Vista print is easy to use and you can upload your own photograph. 🙂

    • Hi Suz – it was fun, too. I could have spent days and days playing with designs (instead of writing). Though I have to say I was so NOT tempted to upload my own photo. I feel a Victorian sheila in a vampire costume sends a far more intruiging message than my grumpy face .

  4. I feel it’s a return to the time when a person of notoriety or social standing gave their card for introduction and invitation. I have always loved them. When asked, I hand out quite a few during the year – either to promote my art or writing. Even on aeroplanes to Canada, when you want to swap name/numbers with an interested person – now we keep in touch by email about the options of a house swap. You just never know where that little card can take you or where you’ll end up. 🙂 I thought of Maleficent when I saw the pic. 🙂 They’re lovely Deb!

    • Thank you, Mary. Yes, she is a little bit Maleficient-y, isn’t she? That’s true, about travelling – cards are really handy then. Next time I’m on a plane to Canada (I wish), I’ll get mine out. Or even the Manly ferry. I wrote my email address on the back of a ferry ticket not so long ago. My Victorian vampire would have been a lot more stylish!

  5. I’m a business card addict. I keep changing mine and I blame vistaprint for continually sending me ‘specials’. I love yours Deb. Very distinctive. I also very rarely give mine out but will be taking a little pile along with me to the conference.

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