Business Card Conundrum

Since I recently changed the email I use for writing-related correspondence, and because I’m going to a big conference in November, I need to order new business cards.   The ones I ordered last year look really nice, but I want to upgrade the design for the next batch.

Which leads me to my business card conundrum:  Exactly what does and does NOT need to be on there?  Over the past week, I’ve read at least 12 articles on the subject, and each contained something that conflicted with the others.  The two main bones of contention center around title/tagline and genre information. 

Currently, the words ‘Author at Large’ appear under by name.  I think it shows what I do with a little hint of my personality, plus it’s part of the name of this blog.  A few sites said never use the words author or writer on a card, but the rest agree that  duh, that’s the main thing that should be included to let people know the purpose of having the little bits of paper printed up in the first place.   Do y’all think ‘Author at Large’ works?  Any other suggestions?

I don’t think I should include genre because my manuscripts fall into different categories.  Including them all–Romantic Suspense, Literary Fiction, Paranormal, Psychological Horror–isn’t such a hot idea either. For example, ‘Romance’ might jump out at the agents who say, in bold lettering on their websites, that they do not represent or look at anything remotely near that subject.   See what I mean? 

My home address is something I don’t want to include.  With my luck, I’d get a psycho stalker banging on my door with a can of whip creme and an ax.  Not my idea of fun company.  But should I add my city and/or state?

My name, cell number, email, and blog/website addy go on there for sure.  I’ve picked out a cool layout in dark purple, but I wanted to post here before I place my order, to get some feedback.   🙂  So, all my buddies in the blogosphere, I’d really appreciate it if you could please give me your two cents on the whole business card conundrum.

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18 comments on “Business Card Conundrum

  1. When I had business cards made for a conference, I only included my name, title, email and website to play it safe with strangers.

    “Author at Large” sounds cool. \

  2. Susanna says:

    I like “Author at Large.” And the dark purple sounds great! I think you should say you’re an author because that’s the point. I’d include your name, title, email, website, blog, and maybe a cell phone number, not your address.

  3. Check out my preliminary designs here – http://kelworthfiles.wordpress.com/2011/08/15/coming-soon-to-a-business-card-near-you/

    I revised them a little to make the text a bit larger and less wordy, but I’m pleased with what I got on there:
    The blog title
    Logo and background
    My pen name
    email address and blog URL
    A little teaser on the front and ‘about the author’ on the back.

    Your results may vary.

  4. I’m with you on not including genre on the card. I don’t have my address included on the card I did last year. I included cell numbers, website and email address. ‘Course ‘writer’ had to be in there somewhere.

    • Thanks Joy 🙂
      I’m glad you agree about the genres. Not only am I afraid of turning off a potential agent with a genre they don’t represent included, but with my luck, I’d come up with a new manuscript in some other category as soon they’re printed.

  5. Definitely DO NOT put your home address or phone number on the card. Yes, the weirdos will show up at your doorstep. When I’m out speaking or making appearances, I don’t even tell people what city I’m from.

  6. Hi Tina,
    I have nominated you for the Versatile Bloggers Award – check it out on http://joanna77juliet.wordpress.com
    JoAnna (Helen Clancy)

  7. JoAnna,
    Thank you very much! 🙂

  8. Cortney says:

    Tough call! I’d definitely put that you’re an author on the card–why else are you making business cards? I’m not so worried about the email/phone number thing, those are probably essential, especially if you meet future beta readers and critique partners at your conference. Good luck!

  9. Jess says:

    Author at Large sounds fun and shows your personality! I just have my name and then “Middle Grade/Young Adult Fiction.” That way, I don’t have to worry about genres. Bet you’re getting excited for that conference!

  10. Cortney and Jess,
    Thanks for the input! Isn’t it amazing how things like this should be easy to figure out, yet I end up obsessing over the details. :p

    And yep, I’m excited and counting down the days until the big conference. What could be more fun than spending the weekend in New Orleans surrounded by other writers? 🙂 Can’t wait.

  11. Agreed, Author at Large is unique and shows personality. I think it used to be more common to put one’s address on business cards, not so much any more. Biz cards are so inexpensive to get these days, you could do a batch for various events or goals, depending on how you want to represent yourself.

  12. Wow, Tina, just looking at your bio I’d say it would be hard to fit all those genres on one card! LOL. “Author at Large” seems all the more relevant in that context. BTW I loved Kelworth’s idea of putting a brief “about me” blurb on the back of the card.

  13. Thanks Charlotte and Gail!

    Glad the votes are going for keeping “Author at Large”.
    I’m looking forward to getting these new cards 🙂

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