When Does Marketing End?
What’s the purpose of business cards?
We keep a stack of them wrapped up with a rubber band in the junk drawer, and from time to time we shuffle through them. The cards all offer a service of some sort. It’s helpful if they have a picture depicting their business: window cleaning, shampooing carpet, pest control, gardening, how to dial 9-1-1.
OK. I know how to do that last one without looking at a card.
The point is that I may have used that service a year ago, but the card is still doing its work. It directed me once again to the card owner. That’s a pretty nifty cost-effective marketing tool for business, don’t you think?
How would that work for a writer? Would you put your picture on the card rather than the cover of your book?
How would you design a card that the recipient would want to keep after they have purchased your book?
Would they hang on to the card if they don’t want your book?
Do you list all of your works and speaking fees or just the website where they are posted for sale?
Scattered throughout blogs I read regularly, two in particular: The Blue Ridge Conference and Steve Laube Agency, seem to me to insist that what a writer should market is him or herself.
Times they are a-changing. My agent, Murgalump Kneffle, says there are so many good novels that readers want to connect with the author first before considering his or her work. The service a writer performs can be different things to different people even in the same novel, but it’s all grounded in the same source.
Wouldn’t you like to have an audience (called a platform, folks) for any book you write? A tale about vampires, cowboys, ufos, or all three in the same story isn’t likely to sell well if you haven’t marketed yourself. The odds are that it won’t sell well even if you have, but that’s a blog on the craft of writing.
Where are we going with this? The way I see it is, you need a business card. You are the author, you are the business and you need to let people know about you.
Your card doesn’t, or shouldn’t, scream, “Buy my book! Buy my book!” I think it’s fair to mention your work, but above all, it should show how to connect with you.
You’re one of a kind.
What’s on your card? Leave a comment.
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