Saturday, September 16, 2006

Good Business Practice?

By Keith Fisher

I sat at my desk the other day, intent on finishing the edits to my manuscript submission and something crossed my mind. In the business world, it is common to hand out business cards so your clients and contacts will remember you and your contact information.

Over the years it has become almost second nature for me, to hand out a business card or a hat or something to those I do business with, so it occurred to me that I need an author’s business card to put in the package with my manuscript.

Being one of those people that won’t let unfinished work dissuade me from starting a new project, I started work almost immediately on the new card. Of course I needed a copyright free image so I spent some time on the library of congress website. (That’s part of my day job anyway, so I wasn’t really wasting time).

After finding four images that I liked, I couldn’t decide which to use. Naturally I tried them all, but which style and design worked best? About half way through the style thing I remembered I had a program on my old computer that would help me. My daughter wouldn’t let me use my old computer because it’s now her computer (at least she thinks so).

I spent some time finding the software and setting it up to run on windows XP. When I finally got it running, I was making really cool business cards. Now I need to take my design to a printer in order to do it right. While I was fine tuning my business card, I read parts of LDS Storymakers Publishing Secrets and realized that "Oh yeah, I’m going to need book marks and stickers and flyers and…"

I know that I need to wait for an actual cover picture of my book in order to do those last things, but I started to play with designs. I came up with an awesome bookmark that lists the titles of the seven "soon to be released" novels that are in various stages of development. I also listed my website on the bottom.

That created another problem. I don’t have a Keith Fisher the author website. I always planned to start an author site but I was waiting until after I get published. It occurred to me that it would be better to have the site running now. That way, a publisher can check it out. Which brings us back to the reason for business cards.

I know a little about Html and using software to build a website so I spent the better part of a week working on the site and tying it the other sites I work on. I knew I needed server space so I went shopping for that. I knew I would need greater security so I began to study the ins and outs of scripts. (A monumental task for me.) I want my site to be really cool like Rowling’s or Dashner's, not like the other sites I’ve done…

Did I mention that I haven’t finished the editing? To be fair to myself I did do some writing. I had a great idea about changing the hook in one of my novels. It’s really cool, and it gave me the solution to the mystery. Now I know how it turns out… did I mention I need to finish those edits? Well maybe tomorrow… I am reminded of a scripture in Ecclesiastes, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven".

All of these things are good business practices but I need to get my edits done. Wish me luck.


Marsha Ward said...

Keith, I have to laugh. This is classic author procrastination, albeit necessary stuff to do. Get to those edits now!

Marsha Ward
Writer in the Pines

Tristi Pinkston said...

And check out Vista Print. They'll let you do 250 cards for only the shipping, and then if you wait a little while, they'll send you an e-mail that says, "Because you're such a great customer, we'd like to give you more cards for $1.99." You can even upload your own pictures, book covers, etc. You'll save a lot of money.

KB said...

VistaPrint also does postcards and flyers. I use them all the time. They don't do bookmarks, but you can usually have them printed on the same sheet as your book cover for a nominal price.

Keith Fisher said...

Thank you for the suggestions. and for the laugh. I'm not a very good humor writer but that's what I was aiming for. I have since postponed my card project to finish editing. I can't believe how many tiny errors can creep into a manuscript when it has been re-written as many times as this one has.