Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Writers Resource: Business Cards for Conferences

Society for Children's Book Writers and Illustrators LA Conference LogoThis August I will attend my first ever in-person writing conference at the Los Angles based SCBWI.  (I say "in-person", because my first real conference was last summer at the virtual WriteOnCon.)

As I've been doing my research on what to expect and how best to prep, I stumbled upon one reoccurring theme:  business cards.  It seems like anyone and everyone who has attended a conference recommends having a business card.

Why have a business card?  There are two main purposes:

1) Networking with other writers
2) Networking with agents (and perhaps publishers, depending on where you are in the process)

business cards for writers
There will be hundreds of other children's book writers attending the conference, which means hundreds of names, faces, blogs and work-in-progress titles to remember. A business card is a simple and hassle-free way to exchange info and hopefully keep in touch with other like-minded individuals after the conference ends.

To this end, a business card should include the basic  information you want to share with other writers: your name, email address, blog/website/twitter handle, and a short blurb about the genre you are focused on. You can also include a telephone number, but there's no need to add your address unless you're feeling really friendly.  :-P

Okay, seems easy enough.  But what about agents?  Do they really want a business card from me? And if I do happen to have the opportunity to give them my card, what information do they care about?

These were exactly the questions I posted to my fellow aspiring writers on AgentQuery Connect (check out my two posts about this resource if you have not already.)  They gave me some fabulous advice, but perhaps the best suggestion came in the form of a blog post from agent Lauren Ruth.

Business card for writersI considered posting a number of different resources about writers' business cards, but in all truth Lauren Ruth's was the best.  In addition to reading it in its entirety, I highly recommend reading through the comments - there are some great thoughts and ideas that built on Ms. Ruth's suggestions. It's a must-read post for anyone trying to figure out what to include on your business cards.

Regarding where to go to make your business cards, there are a number of online resources that are easy to use, reputable, and cheap.  Below are a few links.

Vista Print - they offer 250 free cards - who doesn't love free? I can also vouch for this company from personal experience.

Zazzle - if you're not into the photo idea Lauren Ruth suggests, this site offers some fun writing-themed graphics

Uprint - In addition to the traditional card, they offer unique die-cut designs, and have a section focusing on business cards for writers

Happy writing!  And if you're planning to attend the LA SCBWI conference please let me know - I'll have a business card waiting for you.

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