An Important Marketing Tool: The Business Card
By CJ Heck
When it comes to marketing your book or your written work, don't overlook one very important tool - the business card. It's one of an author's most important tools, and they're not expensive, considering the many ways a business card can help you.
If you have a website, have your website URL printed on the back so they can visit your site. Have a picture of your book(s) on it, like a logo. I've sold a lot of books using my business card. There are so many uses for it and I'd like to share some of them with you. You can probably come up with even more ways.
** Remember, we're in the business of selling books:
* Bulletin Boards in stores and businesses you go to. Thumb-tack your card there with all of the others.
* While sitting in waiting rooms, on a plane, train, or bus talking to people. Hand them one of your cards.
* At gatherings, parties, class reunions (yuck), or while networking with your 'real' job - hand out both of your business cards.
* Tuck a few inside books you've sold for buyers to pass out to their friends.
* Ask it it's okay to leave a small stack of them on the counter at your local public libraries. Libraries love local authors! So do people who come to the library - they will take the cards, trust me.
* If your book is a children's book... anytime you see a mother with children, strike up a conversation, introduce yourself and hand her a card, or several to give to their friends.
* Again, for children's authors, any time you meet a teacher, a principal, school librarian, give them cards, too. You can also tell them you do school visits (if, in fact, you do them).
* Ask to leave a stack of business cards on the counter at the mechanic's where you take your car, at your hairdresser, barber, and even at the gym.
* Buy a small business card holder, have it full of cards and right beside you on the table at book signings, school visits, or other speaking engagements. Maybe someone won't buy the book that day, but when they take a business card, it's an excellent reminder of your book for later, when they're considering gifts.
Here's one of my personal favorites. I've sold a lot of books this way:
Restaurants - when the check comes after dinner, write "Thank You" on one of your cards, and add the waitress' or waiter's name if it's on the check. Then be sure and sign it and leave it, along with the tip. Many times, they've followed me out to the door asking more about the book, or wanting to shake my hand, or even ask for more cards for the rest of the staff.
* The above also applies to anyone giving you a good service - your barber, the clerk in a department store, but always write "Thank You" and sign your card. Remember, it's an autograph AND a reminder about your book and website. People love meeting authors - use this to your advantage, fellow writers. Have those business cards in your pocket and ready to pass out.
You'll sell more books, I promise.
CJ Heck is a published poet, writer, blogger and author of four books. For excerpts and more information, please visit: http://www.barkingspiderspoetry.com. CJ is also a Vietnam War widow.
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