My business cards have arrived! Time to throw them at people!

So Vistaprint recently ran a promotion where you could buy 250 business cards for $10, with free shipping. Score! I immediately broke out my mad graphic design skillz, chose a cool space template, and went nuts.

The result:


Ain’t it purdy? Of course, that’s just the online preview of what the card looks like. Since the cards are so cheap, I was worried that they would have flimsy paper or poor print quality. Not so!

The result:

That’s one of the printed cards. It looks yellow due to the appalling lighting, but in normal lighting it looks pretty much identical to the online preview. It’s shiny, the cardstock is decently thick, and it’s so pretty! Squeeeeee!

Now I just have to figure out what to do with them.

Here’s my question for you guys: do I start spreading the word of my upcoming book right now via business cards, or do I wait until the book is actually published?

Option #1: DO IT NOW!

Various experts claim that marketing for your book should begin 3-6 months before the book is released. That being said, I think it’s kind of silly to hand someone a card, say “Buy my book!”, and then when they ask where they can buy it, I say, “Well, it hasn’t actually been published yet, so just hang onto that card and check back in three months.”

I know if some unknown author pulled that on me, I would probably lose their card within the week. Not on purpose, obviously, but because I lose track of everything I possess, especially little pieces of paper advertising a book with an unknown release date.


The other option, obviously, is to save my cards for when the book actually comes out. That way I can actually say “Buy my book today!” when I hand out cards. I think that would be pretty darn cool.

My polling mood is still going strong from yesterday, so here’s another poll:

Unrelated media of the day:


Categories: Random, Self Publishing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 28 Comments

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28 thoughts on “My business cards have arrived! Time to throw them at people!

  1. hand them out to people now who you think really want them but save the majority for once the book is released

  2. I agree with Paula. I think most people would want to buy the book soon after hearing about it, but spreading the word around now doesn’t hurt, either.

  3. The top picture looks better in my opinion that the bottom. It must be the lighting. It still looks amazing and as I said yesterday. I love it.
    I keep reading you should be promoting months before it comes out. I would give them to anyone who is interested and set some aside so you can start promoting hard core a few weeks before release.
    If you do a lot on your website, you could use the cards to promote the website too.

    • I like your plan 🙂 I’m not really sure what’s going to be happening on my website. If you’ve visited it recently, you’ll see it’s mostly just standard pages with text/images about me, my books, etc. So nothing too exciting. Once I learn a little more about websites, I’ll hopefully make it more interesting.

  4. Hi, Michelle, Congrats on a new step of excitement! I don’t know how you stopped at one set of cards. I have about four, um, maybe five. One set was free, but it has the VistaPrint logo on the back. The rest I paid for and two have different book covers. Then I bought EZ stick calendars with my logo on. I have the same issue. When to give out? If I talk about my writing and someone seems interested, I give them business cards and they get excited. Otherwise I haven’t gone hog wild yet. I admit to leaving a few on the table at restaurants. Who knows, right? Maybe the waitress loves romance. So, sorry for the long story, but in the end, I am waiting before handing out, pens, key chains, business cards, EZ stick calendars, and in the future, rack cards.

    • Ooooh I like that! Just randomly leaving the card on the table. And why not? They cost next to nothing, and you never know what might come out of it. I really want to get cards done up with my book cover on them, but as I don’t actually have a book cover yet, that’s a bit tricky at this point 😀

  5. While you might want to save a majority of the cards for later.. THEY’RE SUPER COOL I LOVE THEM. 8) Although you COULD just hand them out and be like, ‘Check me out!’, because TECHNICALLY they’re not book-cards, they’re author-cards, and people could still check out your website and junk. 🙂
    Also, yeah, marketing! I’d recommend holding off until you get a for-sure launch date, and then you can go crazy on that.

  6. Oooh, you’ve reminded me that I need to do this, too. They’re a great idea, and yours look amazing – well done on the design skillz. 🙂 Could you ask in local shops (esp. perhaps bookshops/libraries) whether you could possibly leave a little pile of your cards by their registers, or in a high-traffic area? Always have a stash of them on you, just in case you start a high-brow bookish discussion with someone, and you can look *extremely* professional by handing them your business card. (This is my plan, at least). To be honest, if I had cards like this I’d just leave them behind me, randomly, everywhere. It can’t hurt!

    • I kind of want to stand on the top of my apartment building and just scatter a handful to the wind. But that might be a little crazy. Also, I’m pretty sure it would count as littering.

      I like the idea of leaving stacks in libraries/cafes, etc., but the problem is that I’m not sure people would be interested in picking it up. If I get some BOOKMARKS made up with the book cover (once I get a book cover, lol), then I think people might be more interested in taking one. After all, everyone loves bookmarks 😀

  7. I have some cards and I hand them out when people seem interested in my book or my writing. Remember, the book may not be out yet, but you have your blog listed on your card. Tell people they can follow your blog to find out news about your upcoming book, special discounts, etc.

    • Very true. Technically I have my “website” on my card, but that links up to my blog, so it’s all pretty much the same thing. I’ll have to practice my marketing technique, however, as right now I get awkward just talking to new people, let alone talking up my book and trying to foist a business card on them.

  8. You could leave a pile at print shops or mail and copy stores. I’ve seen piles of business cards a FedEx stores, Staples, etc.
    Right now you are promoting you, not the book. It could work well, at least for more fans.
    ** that is my equivalent of a light bulb. ** How about a college bookstore or bulletin board at a college?
    My book store has a special table at the back full of various business cards.

    • Hmmmm … that could work! I mean, I still live in the same town I went to university at, so hypothetically the university would try to help me succeed. Then they can brag about me in their monthly Alumni magazine.

      • That would work. You might want to call the magazine and ask if they would be interested in interviewing you or running one of your cards as an ad. Of course you would tell them your book won’t be out until X time, but they probably need a few months before it would run. The magazine I’m submitting to asks for contributions 2 months in advance. Just an idea.

  9. I started promoting my book as soon as I sent it in to editing. I had the website, the book trailer, the business cards, flyers (I love Vistaprint), and began handing them out and sending people to the links. The premise was, you may never see these people again, but they may remember your name if it comes up. It’s not so much promoting something that isn’t there yet, as much as it is about planting a seed. Good luck and can’t wait to read it.

    • Oh yes, I wanted to ask you that! That gorgeous magnet you sent me, with the book cover – did you get that from Vistaprint, or through iUniverse? The same question goes for all your promotional materials – especially the bookmark! I love the idea of having the synopsis on the back – brilliant!

      • the bookmark is from Iuniverse, but I know a guy who does them and for pretty cheap. His prices are a lot better than VistaPrint. The magnet is from VistaPrint. I also get postcards and car magnets or whatever they are offering free at the time, and just pay shipping

  10. Nice work on the card. It looks great! Like you, I think I would lose a little card, but not on purpose. But it certainly can’t hurt to put some out there, and certainly if there’s interest!

    • As my mother constantly reminds me, different people are different. So for all I know, there are tons of people out there who would gladly accept a self-published author’s card and hold onto it forever and ever and ever 🙂

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