Business Cards: A Book Expo America Tip Post

Business cards! They’re handy to have when going to events, because then people have something to look you up with later. Instead of going “what was that lady’s name? idk, I’ll fling her from my memory and move on with my life,” they have something to look at to remind them. I give mine out to tons of people whenever I go to events: publishers, publicists, authors, other bloggers. I also like getting business cards! I have a terrible memory for names, but if I have your card (and a note on the back with where/how we met), I’ll for sure remember YOU. bcard-v2

If you’re going to Book Expo America (BEA) and plan on talking to people (ANY PEOPLE), you need business cards. Everyone has them. Everyone wants them. You’re spending all that money to go to the event in the first place; don’t skimp on something as important as this.

Okay! So here’s how to get your cards.

First, decide what sort of cards you want. There are two kinds of business cards: what I call “personal” and “business.” Personal is when your name is the most important thing on the card. Example:

ANASTASIA FINCH
awesome person
(email)
(maybe a blog address if I’m feeling frisky)

These are good if you’re going to networking events or exchanging cards with “professional” people. You want them to remember YOU and possibly also give you a job, so your name should be biggest.

Business is when your blog is the most important thing. Example:

BIRDBRAIN(ED) BOOK BLOG
(name)
(blog address)
(email)

These are good when you want to promote your blog or network with publishers and other bloggers. You want people to remember you, but in connection with your blog. As a blogger, you probably want to get the latter kind of card, but go with what you think is best.

Second, take the design of your card seriously (it’s going to represent you/your blog, after all!) but don’t worry TOO much about it. I’ve come up with a few tips to help ease you through the process of creating/ordering cards. bcard-v3

1. Business cards are expensive, so find deals.
Vistaprint is king here. You can get 250 cards for only $10 with free shipping! AWESOME.

There are always extras to be added if you want– the thing that tempts me most is a full-color backing, because it’s COOL. But it’s also about $7 extra, soooooo.

Protip: if you have a blank backing you can write your mailing address on it! I don’t have mine printed on my cards because I don’t want random people to have it; I DO want publishers/publicists to have it, though, so having the option to add it on when necessary is nice.

Moo, the other big business card people, are way more expensive. Sometimes they have sales, but 50 cards for $19.99 is not cheap no matter how you look at it. On the other hand, Moo cards are generally of higher quality than vistaprint, you have more customization options, and you can get them in different sizes, which is neat. If you have the money to spare and want something fancier, Moo might be the way to go.

2. Choose your design carefully.
If you’re getting several hundred of these things in one go, be sure you’re picking a design you REALLY like. It’d also help if you pick something that matches your blog design– like, if you have a pink layout with bubble letters, having a card with pink and/or bubble letters might be good to do.1

In general, lighter background colors with dark text make reading your card easier. Try not to have TOO busy a background behind your text. My old cards are kinda hard to read because of the background design. My new cards don’t have that problem! Yay!

Protip: think about what sort of info you want on your cards, too! Some designs look better with LESS text on them. Also, if you stick too much stuff on your card it can get confusing. Put the basics (your name, blog name, blog address, email, and MAYBE Twitter) and trust that whoever’s got the card will find your Pinterest/Google+/etc. profiles elsewhere if they really want to.

3. Test things out first.
Usually you can preview the way your card will look before you order them. Use this preview option to test things out before you commit to buying.

When I was choosing my newest business cards I took a lot of screenshots of the different designs I thought I might like, and then I stared at them for about a week. Don’t be afraid to move things around, add or subtract into, etc.

The images in this post are my test cards, btw!

4. You probably won’t need more than 250 for a while.
I’ve had my current business cards for more than two years and I still have over 100 left. You DO give out a lot of cards at conferences and events, but you (probably) won’t give out 250 of them in one week.

bcard-v5c On the other hand, if you REALLY like your design and you don’t anticipate changing any of the info on your card,2 go ahead and get more! You can get 500 cards at Vistaprint for only $15, which is a fantastic deal.


So! I hope this post has helped you with your business card dilemma. If you have any questions or tips that I’ve missed, please feel free to leave them in the comments section!

For more BEA tips, check out the blogging tips page.

Footnotes

  1. If you’re prone to changing your layout often, like I am, then focusing on an icon or idea would be better. As a book blogger, books are always good.
  2. I changed my Twitter username a few months after ordering my first set of cards. I can still use them, of course, but it’ll mean lots of crossing out.

4 thoughts on “Business Cards: A Book Expo America Tip Post”

    1. They ARE pretty, but none of them are quite right. WHICH IS SO ANNOYING. I still haven’t bought any new ones. I can’t find something that either looks vaguely like my blog or has a bird on it that doesn’t make me look like I blog about picture books. UGH.

      You don’t HAVE to have business cards, of course! They’re just handy to have if you’re meeting a bunch of new people at once. 😀

    1. You’re very much welcome! If you have any questions about going to BEA, please feel free to email me.

      I will not be at BEA this year, unfortunately, but I’ll be at ALA in June. 😀

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