Writers inevitably have to promote themselves - to agents, publishers, and their (hopefully) adoring readers. There are various techniques for this and I'll discuss some in future posts. However, one of the easy things to do is to get some business cards made.
I decided to try Moo Cards recently. I liked their half-size business cards for their compact appearance, attractiveness and portability, and they can double as small bookmarks so giving them out to people is not as much of a waste as a traditional business card. They have a range of default attractive designs but you can also create your own easily - being a creative type, this is the option that appealed to me! Unfortunately their MOO Green Paper isn't available for the MiniCard size, which made me feel a bit guilty, but I have written to them to ask for this to be an option in future.
For my pack I came up with 100 different designs! Most of them are atmospheric lighthouses, to tie in with the imminent launch of Turner, but they can stand alone as nice promotional cards. Other designs were either scenic photographs I had taken, or photos of me. The combinations give me cards for every eventuality, but you could easily create cards for a single purpose such as promoting an individual book.
On the back I created custom TinyURLs http://tinyurl.com/karlswritingblog and http://tinyurl.com/buymybooks so the cards aren't tied to a single event or time, and pre-empt any publications I will be involved with. These should therefore be usable into the future.
I am going to be speaking about my work at an event on 5th December so can spread these out for people to take if they wish (the 'buymybooks' link should point to the commercially-available e-book version of Turner by then). It is nice that readers will be able to select whichever picture they most like as a mini bookmark.
If you want to look at the designs and maybe buy some then if you follow this link then you will get a code for 10% off (and I gain some credit for more cards!)
Tip: Since writers are self employed and have to do a self-assessment tax return, bear in mind that the cost of promotional cards are legitimate expenses to include.