I just received my new Author Cards in the mail, designed by me via an online printer that offers user designed cards and forms, invitations and other specialty items using their cusomizable templates. I give this company an A for their setup. My new cards look exactly as they did in the previews offered online before purchasing. The one thing that got by me in the design was the size relationship of things. As I've pointed out regularly, I am not the best layout and design artist. I keep things basic, pragmatic.
The end result of the cards I designed is, I believe a fairly nice looking card, with my logo front and center. It wasn't until I pulled the first one out of the box and held it up that it became apparent to me that whatever pica size is default in the design program, it is way smaller than one imagines in real life. For those with 20/20 eyesight this is all but whining about something inconsequencial. For those without the use of perfect eyesight, the internet addresses look like lines of small black ants, on the sidewalk a story below. I bring this up, not as a serial confessor, but an abject lesson in the many forms of relativity. Things in your hand tend to look much smaller than the replication of the thing on screen, magnified many times. Not the fault of the provider. Thus, I am left with 500 Author Cards that look pretty darn good, but may need stronger glasses to decipher.
One more Author task for marketing themselves and their books is having Author Cards on hand to hand out at every natural connection to a potential reader. If you think about the number of times one naturally connects to a stranger with the same interests and tastes, in public settings, you will come to realize you have before you a vast source of potential readers. If they knew you were an author and have books to read. How many times is an author in a bookstore, seeing a reader in a section of books that represent what you write about. Say, the children's book section. Asking a browsing patron if they have found anything they like, makes the connection. Following up with the nugget that you write children's books, and offering an Author's card with the addresses to the connections to your books, is a very good lead. That simple action can go from a casual encounter, to highly aggressive behavior in the vein of an insurance salesman on a roll. I don't like the latter behavior so advice keeping clear of handing out Author Cards like candy at a birthday party. Tacky, and counterprodutive. I believe anyway.
My Author Cards are two sided, with the standard information on the front and a "List of Books" on the backside. I have been invited to give an author's talk at a local library, an event upcoming in January. This is where I will employ some of the elements of the 'Press Kit'. I will have Author Cards and book markers readily available, along with several copies of each of my published books. I also plan on designing a simple 8"x10" poster showing the books that will be discussed in the author's talk. Memoirs. The main focus will be on my late mother's memoir "Sleeping Under The Bandstand", then my two memoirs as cursory examples during the talk. The Author Cards are probably the most important items connecting the author with the audience of potential readeres.