Our dear blog reader, Crystal, mentioned business cards in one of her comments last week and it got me thinking - there are several odds and ends from the business side of being a writer that we haven't ever really talked about here on this blog.
And so tonight, I am going to talk about them. ;) In list form, of course, because a list is really the only thing I can muster after having what was probably 47 toddlers running around my house this morning during play group.
1. Business cards
Get some. Use them. Ideally, you should have your picture and tentative book title on there but even if all you've got is your name, email, phone number and website, that's totally fine. Vistaprint.com is a great place to order business cards for cheap - but beware that they will try to sell you everything under the sun when you are trying to place your order.
"DON'T FORGET TO ADD ON THE PERSONALIZED CHEESE GRATER WITH YOUR BUSINESS CARDS!!!"
2. A blog or website
I think we've mentioned the importance of having a blog but it's also a good idea to go ahead and set up a website. There are TONS (seriously) of tutorials out there that can teach you how to set up a website for basically nothing. Blogger can host your site and give you a blog for free.
Worried about content for your site or blog? Don't be. Figure out who your audience is and write to them. My personal blog started off as a publicity thing for the writing but has become something of a scrapbook for me over the years. I post pictures, I tell stories about day to day things with my son. I love it now. Be real with your readers. Let them see the struggles you are going through.
3. A separate email address
While you are setting up a blog, go ahead and set up a separate email address just for agents and publishers. You have no idea what a huge headache this is saving you. This was a lifesaver when I finally set one up for me. Not only is it way easier to go back and see what emails I still need to reply to, it's also a way to keep all of my business contacts in one place.
And speaking of one place...
4. A folder of some kind
Yes, that is the technical term for it. Get a folder or a binder or something to keep every business card you get from agents or publishers. Make sure you can either write on the back of the card or write beside it and put the following information: date that you met them, what book you proposed, whether they took the proposal with them and what their initial thoughts were. That way, if you get an email months later from an unknown name, you'll know immediately what they are talking about.
5. That's all
I just have a thing against even-numbered lists. Yes, I am prepared for the comments - my sweet special education teacher husband labeled me OCD many years ago. ;)
Have a lovely night, friends!