|Posted on February 17, 2015 at 3:00 PM||comments (0)|
Business cards. They are something that all authors should have and carry on them at all times. They aren't hard to acquire at all either many places allow you to not only create your own cards but allow you to purchase 100 to 150 and for a good cheap reasonable price. The best place to get business cards is Vistaprint, if you noticed on my homepage I have my business card displayed which I created using them, they are absolutely great with cards and anything else you want your name and info on. However chances are you already know this and what that being the case let me get to the point of the article, where does an author leave these business cards? This is a question I constantly ask and while people give me responses and I read of places to leave them, it's always the same ole places and it's always the same ole response. I will give examples in a list shortly but let me first stress that the reason I'm always inquiring about where to leave business cards is because I have to think there's more places and reasonable places at that then what I'm being told, at what I'm reading as of where to post them. The Top 2 places people usually suggest are libraries and coffee shops.These two places make absolute sense and I get entirely why they would be Top 2 however I have an issue with both and here's why.
I once mentioned this in my article Outside Promotion when I once went to my library and asked if I could leave my book or business card with them so they could either leave it at the desk or on a table of some sort. They told me they can't because they only do non-profit things pertaining to books. Wait..I thought libraries were first on the list, a place to find out about books, a place that welcomes self-published authors? Apparently my library got none of those memos. I tried several times and always got the same responses, either talk to so and so or ooh sorry we don't do that. Now I get it, not all libraries may be like this but isn't it just my luck that I get stuck with one that is. In close of the library part, It has been a while since i tried asking to post my cards and they have changed administrators so perhaps I'll try my luck this spring. The 2nd on the list of course is coffee shops which again makes total sense. Leave your cards at the coffee shop they say and that's reasonable. What coffee shops though? Starbucks and local coffee shops? Yes this would be to whom they refer to. I have one coffee shop in my town and it just so happens to be across from a train station and book store. This should be a gold mine for me then yes? Well it would be only there's one small issue, I don't drink coffee and I've only been in the place once. I'll guess what you're thinking, what does that matter? Well I don't want to just pop into a place once and leave my cards I would need to visit the place frequently and leave an impression before leaving my cards and that takes time. So perhaps this is more of a personal issue and matter that I could address but again I'm just stating that from a business card standpoint it's not exactly pop in leave your cards and pop out.
Back to the matter at hand, business cards. People mention other places such as restaurants, clothing stores, laundromats, nail salons and these make no sense to me. Aside from the fact that maybe I visit these places whose to say anyone is remotely interested in a authors business card at these places? To me they are more interested in what's in the places such as eating food, buying clothes and accessories, doing their laundry and getting their nails done. Maybe I'm missing the whole it's a shot in the dark sort of deal but to me I feel uncomfortable with going to such places and leaving my card. I feel like they wouldn't care who I am or what I'm leaving them. I'd like to think there's more places and more to it then just leaving a business card on a table or approaching someone in hopes of getting them interested. I recently read an article on Indie Book Promo about this matter which you can take a peak at here: http://www.indie-book-promo.com/marketing-books---marketing-tips-and-tools-for-authors---tip-1.html
Now I know it feels like I'm picking at all the bad but hear me out and let's continue to explore this. They list places to leave your cards, first place at networking events. Well if it's a free event yes but earlier they stated that self-published authors don't have the budget most traditional ones have so if that's the case how would they be able to attend networking events? The next is pin onto billboards, I thought billboards were those giant boards you see on the highways? Here's a positive, leave in thank you letters, notes and in copies of your book, YES! This one makes sense and it's simple and your not going out of your way to do it. It's quick, reasonable and impressionable. Leave as a tip at restaurant. I'd never thought of this one but it's actually not that bad of an idea. You leave a good tip and your card and by off chance your waiter or waitress enjoys reading or you were charming you leaving your card could pay off. Coffee shops of course are next on the list. Maybe you all have a few coffee shops in your area or maybe all you really need is one good one, I myself have one and the rest of town is flooded and swarmed with Dunkin Donuts. They aren't exactly a cafee/coffee shop and leaving cards there means for cleanup as trash lol hence the reason I long for a starbucks with it's unique drinks, cozy atmosphere and business card friendly! Last but not least is any way you can think of and this I suppose is any place you've tried or can think of but since I just happen to be ..well let's say way too realistic and concerned any place I go to leave my card I want to know it'll mean something, that it won't go un noticed that I won't be looked at like wait you want to do what?
I don't want you to think I'm against business cards because I'm not, heck I told you in the beginning where I got mine. I still have two versions and sets of cards in my house collecting dust. I don't believe it's whether or not I get out to post them, it's where in the reasonable world can I go to leave them, leave my mark and they won't just throw them out. I once passed my cards out and no sooner did I return to the place that I found them on the ground.. Don't be like this me, sounds like anyone? But seriously, when you get business cards think about your surroundings think about all the places within your town or that your planning on going out of town? Could your card be helpful or nice to pass out to people that will be there? That's what I'm going to do next time, also build on a rapport with the coffee shop and train station after all it's my only source of rationality in town! Business cards should be helpful, informative and most importantly of all if you have good places to post them then by all mean you should get out and leave them there.