Going old-school with some of your branding and promotions doesn’t have to mean being boring. While certain classic techniques like having business cards to promote your writing can be good strategies for a modern writer, you don’t have to use stuffy corporate designs.
Remember, writing is a creative profession—your personal branding should reflect that!
Rather than cramming your unique appeal into a blah template that ten thousand businesses use, have a little fun with your business card and let your unique style shine.
If you’re a clean, green health-focused writer, choose a design that echoes that focus, possibly with lots of white space and green text.
Hard-charging business consultant with a book to promote? Share that through your business card’s visual design—carry through your brand’s logo and style, but add your book’s title and some of the elements used in its cover design.
Write romance novels? How about a sweet card with touches of pink and elegant cursive font?
Are you churning out spine-tingling crime thrillers? Go for a bold black business card that shows at a glance what your readers can expect.
Think of your business card as a reflection of your personal brand—and your books’ branding. It’s a little like checking the cover design of your book to see if it looks good in thumbnail size—you want to be sure that the same kinds of visual elements translate over to your business card.
To get ideas of what kinds of elements might work for your author business card, check out your book covers to see if there are any consistent trends, like a certain type of font or a favorite color that keeps appearing. If you apply these to your business card, you’re automatically translating your books’ signature style to the rest of your branding, making a consistent experience for your audience.
Creative Business Cards for Authors
We’ve rounded up some great author business card ideas, templates, and more to help you get inspired to create your new cards!
Most printing companies will let you do a full-cover front and an inexpensive black and white back for your business cards. Turn the standard on its head by making the color side your “back” and the b&w the front. Just put your name and contact information front and center on the black and white side, then use the glossy color side to full advantage by putting your most recent book covers on it, like author Michael J. Sullivan has.
Want to promote a specific book? Consider your business card a tiny promo for that book and include the cover, buying information, your name and website, and maybe even some tips or highlights from the book. Remember, the more value you add for your audience, the better you’ll connect with them—and you can start that process with your business card like author Jacqueline Whitmore does!
Lots of us started out scribbling in composition books as kids. Why not celebrate that with your business card? You can customize these fun cards with Zazzle, including choosing from several colors.
Go for an elegant, custom look with super-heavy textured paper and a gorgeous watercolor of an inkwell and quill. This design by Pikake Press is ideal for memoir writers, narrative nonfiction authors, and writers who do a variety of different genres and topics, like freelancers.
Go boldly vertical with a cool card from Zazzle that puts your writing skills on display and includes options for adding extra contact information or book titles on the back.
A chalkboard card speaks to your writing prowess and how you’re always creating, plus this clever design has plenty of room to include all your social media information to make it easy for new fans to follow you. Order them on Etsy from Mallory Hope Design.
With a little graphic design know-how—or an inexpensive Photoshop template—you can make a business card that looks a little like a hardcover book with accent-color spine! There’s plenty of room for all your contact information, but everything is presented neatly so that your fans can easily follow you.
Or go even more elaborate with a faux book card that really makes you take a second glance! You’ll need Photoshop to customize this design, but it’s well worth the time and $4 template cost for the great impression you’ll make!
Business cards are a way to keep the conversation going with your audience—so why not carry over your writing skills to make your business card a tiny conversation of its own? Author Erin Bowman did just that with her fun, minimalist business cards—they have a fairy tale-inspired note on the front and a little personal introduction on the back.
Stack the deck with an array of bright cards from Moo that include a variety of different graphic typewriters on one side and all your key contact information on the other.
Go clean and simple with a card that simply says what you do inside big, bold quotes. No matter what you write, you can’t go wrong with this Zazzle design! Swap out the phone and fax for your website and Twitter or Facebook info, to make it easier to connect.
Want something memorable and a little funny? How about a business card based on those nametags we’ve all had to wear at conferences and meetings? If the point of a business card is to be remembered, this one has you covered. It’s especially good for humor writers and freelancers who cover a lot of different topics and don’t want to box themselves in. Order them from ZyndiePop.
What writer doesn’t have fond memories of checking out books as a kid? Grin a little every time you hand out one of your new library check-out business cards. Romance and sci-fi author Olivia Waite designed these specifically to showcase a list of her books—what a great idea!
Put pen to paper—and to business card—with a streamlined Zazzle design perfect for any writer. It even includes space for a tagline on the back!
Consider getting a simple business card printed on both sides, then folding it in half to create a miniature “book” as your signature card style! Design firm Foreign Policy designed these especially for publisher Paul & Marigold, but you can use the same basic idea on your own with just a little creative layout work and some folding.
Between customizable cards from various printers and designers, inexpensive Photoshop templates, and some creative tweaking of basic ideas, you can come up with a unique business card that really reflects who you are and what you write.
Let your creativity shine through with your author business card and build your brand both online and off!
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For more on how to build your author brand, read on:
- How to Leave a Lasting Impression by Building Your Authentic Author Brand
- The Two Most Powerful Marketing Strategies
- How to Write an Outreach Email (plus a bonus email template)