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.
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?