Giving them the business with Author Business Cards

Posted May 18 2015, 1:40 pm in , ,

kpbizcardThough their popularity has ebbed and flowed (no! you should do postcards! No, only bookmarks! No, author trading cards!) the tried-and true- business card remains an author staple – especially for an author who is looking to greet not just friends and fans at conferences, but contacts for future opportunities.

Chances are you’ve gathered them from complete strangers, if only to help you decide what you like (“oooh, cool slogan!”) and what you don’t like (“if I see that template used one more time I’m going to throw up”). You’ve dutifully carried them home and now they’re lying in the bottom of a drawer… you know, for when you finally get around to updating (or creating) your own business cards.

Well, unless you’re planning on contacting those folks (which you should!), throw those business cards away. Really. You don’t need them. Instead, use these tips to create your own unique, memorable business cards:

  1. Consider how you will use your cards

Even before you begin to design your cards, think about how you will use them. Will you be giving your cards out to fans? Business contacts? Prospective agents/editors? What might they want to know about you that can be included on your card?

Perhaps you’ll decide you need a quantity of cards for readers, and different cards for your professional contacts. As long as they work together (with similar or complementary styles), this can be a good approach.

  1. Choose your business card source

Here are three options for business card printing:

–Do-It-Yourself, with software and paper you load into your own printer
–A template provider like or or (you can use your own design here if you have those kind of mad skillz)
–A professional designer

There is no “wrong” way to do business cards, as long as they are professional and unique. Ideally, however, do NOT choose a standard pre-made template for your cards if you can avoid it. Either take a template and tweak it to make it your own, provide your own artwork, or hire a great graphic designer.

  1. Include your Branding elements

At a minimum, your business card needs to include your name and your contact information. However, these additional elements can help you “brand” your cards as uniquely yours:

–An artistic element that is also carried through all your correspondence and promotional materials
–Your slogan and/or additional explanation about your work
–Your literary genre
–Your website or blog

I’ve also seen some authors include the title of their current published or available novels on their cards, either as a clear sticker attached to the back of the card or literally printed directly on the card. If you can produce your cards in small quantities, you may want to consider this option.


Sort through any business cards you’ve collected and divide them into two piles. Pile A are cards that catch your eye—Pile B are cards that don’t. Pick up Pile A and go through it again, asking yourself these questions:

–What do I think this card communicates really well?
–Why do I think that?
–Does this card make me want to learn more about the author or his/her work?

Business cards are a basic, but important Branding introduction to your contacts. Make sure yours work for you!

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