Business Cards o’ Doom?

view of a road sign saying panic button

I don’t know. This could be scary, people. I don’t mean in the sense we’ve reached the End of Times, that I just saw a zombie drive past as I halted at the four-way stop, or that I cooked. Nothing that horrific. But it’s possible that a few days of earnest cleaning and organizing might be turning into a habit.

Will you still like me if I’m not quite as undignified, or as…human?

Please think carefully, because this is not a cruel practical joke designed to make you dig deep, expose your innermost feelings to the Internet, then point and laugh. 

For instance, look what I ordered last night for the upcoming Romance Writers of America conference:

That’s right. Those are exactly what they look like: business cards.

I apologize for the quality of the screen capture shot, but you will note I managed to:

  • keep the citrus theme going (I do love my orange.)
  • work in my wee icon (which will evoke Ascorbic Acid-Associated Happiness in the recipient.)
  • include my most relevant means of access (Tartitude, Writer Unboxed, my e-mail and Twitter account.)
  • gloss only the front. (This is a hard-won lesson from last year. A few — okay, maybe twenty — people managed to see beyond my social ineptitude and ask questions. When they went to write the answers down — perhaps to blog, or tweet, or simply quote my awesomeness to their editors — they couldn’t. I was forced to watch the light in their eyes die, and their shoulders slump as their pens scrabbled uselessly for purchase. I remained completely anonymous. In other words, I effed up.) 
  • maintain both my Jan O’Hara and Tartitude identities while creating something unique.

I could almost be exultant, except for one thing: I ordered so early that I’ll have no cause to be anxious as my trip approaches and the cards haven’t showed. I will not have to curse my monitor and all imaging programs ever designed. Me? Without pre-trip panic? The idea is frankly surreal.

Now take the new, improved Tart and her efficiency as pertaining to business cards, apply it to paperwork in the office, research for writing, preparation of the kids’ lunches…

See what I mean? It’s freakishly unlike me.

So what do you think? Will I flame out in a few days, and all this worrying about my lack of worrying be for naught? Are you counting minutes until I relapse? Do you like my business cards or are they too precious? (Ordered through


20 thoughts on “Business Cards o’ Doom?

  1. They ARE precious, but not too, too precious. I love them. I’m still using up the cards I ordered for the Atlanta National and since I can’t go this year, may well never get through them all!

  2. I think they’re great! I instantly think of you when I see the oranges, so I guess you’ve got the branding part down pat. 🙂 Also, I didn’t think about the glossy portion on the back of the card — I’ve never had cards like that for myself, but have received them, and you’re exactly right about their inability to cooperate with writing utensils. LOL

    I’m envious of you going to RWA, since I won’t be. Sniff. But I know you’ll have great reports about it, so it’ll definitely be worth the wait!

  3. I love your business cards. They’re eye-catching and professional. If I received one, I’d definitely be curious about you. I once ordered business cards that arrived after a conference. I really thought they were coming the next day, but it took several days. It’s good that you ordered early.

  4. Nah, we’ll still love you if you turn into some weird, always prepared, Martha Stewart clone. Just know, though, if this ever turns into an artsy-craftsy blog, I’m outta here! ;-D

    Love the cards, and I love the tip about only having one side glossed. I never would have thought of that.

  5. With my bad eyes, I can’t actually read the card, but I love the oranges!

    And as for the cleaning, organized, Tart…. well, I don’t know. I really liked the old Tart (the one who snarked and didn’t clean, LOL). I used to watch Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (the TV soap opera parody from the late 70s), so I have some concerns. But if you start blogging about the waxy yellow build-up on your kitchen floor, I am so outta here, LOL!

  6. Jan, I love the cards! Nothing wrong with a litle organization. It helps me relax knowing everything is where it should be, but then there are days I get home and I relax by not picking up that dirty sock my dog managed to snag from the laundry hamper……so the best of both worlds.

  7. I was out doing the mom thing — imagine: kids who expect you to drive them to their exams — and I come back to two ultimatums from my readership. No crafty stuff , you say? No kitchen wax?

    C’mon people, you have to give me something to work with here. 😉

    Beki, I placed only a small order this time as I still have leftovers from last year. Besides the gloss issue, I also had a typo. My husband tried to convince me it looked artistic, but it drove me nuts.

    Donna, maybe next year? Maybe you’ll be a Golden Heart nominee by then and I can say, “I remember her when she deigned to notice my oranges.” *head shake* “My, how fame has ruined her.”

    Medeia, I’m glad they come across as professional. As far as delivery, I was more prepared this year. “Overnight” doesn’t quite work that way when Customs become involved.

    Teresa, I read about the gloss issue only after I’d ordered last time. Hopefully it’ll save one or two of you from that mistake. As for the Martha Stuart confusion? I think we can relax.

    Dirtywhitecandy, do you think spritzing them with an orangely aroma would be too much? 😉

    Glinda, this “wax” of which you speak… What is it?

    If you like, when they get here, I’ll take a picture and put them up. I wasn’t smart enough to take a screen shot during the ordering process itself.

    Jody, you snuck in there while I was commenting. So glad you approve. Honestly, I liked them myself, but it’s nice to know they’re not over the top. And with how hard you work, chica, I don’t blame you one iota for leaving the dirty socks where they fall.

    1. Love to see a pix when they arrive. I think you did the right thing by glossing one side. I personally think that photos generally need the gloss. Especially oranges…

  8. Love them! You’ve reminded me I need to order mine. I ordered some “fancier” ones when TG was coming out – had a pic on the back part of the cover and all – but, I don’t think I’ll go that fancy this time . . .Because spending more on them and then leaving a stack of them sitting on a table at a book fair, and the people taking away that table and said business cards never to be seen again – waaahhh! I was looking at vista print – I’ll check out that one too! 🙂

    Have fun at the conference – I’m not sure but I think bellebooks publishers will be there.

  9. LOVE the business cards, Jan! And I wouldn’t worry too much about the organization… it should sort itself out and disappear in no time.

  10. I also love the cards — they really stand out! It seems like you are looking for something to stress over regarding the conference? How about you pretend you’re worried the cards have some sort of toxin on them (akin to the wedding invitation glue on a famous “Seinfeld” episode, if you’re a fan). An agent, wit your luscious orange business card in hand, has just promised you a three book deal. Then he keels over…book deal dead. Hope that helps~

  11. Kat, I was going to ask if you attend the RWA. I just found out they have a Women’s Fiction chapter, founded by WU’s own Therese Walsh. If you’re interested, I’ll pass on the link.

    Hart, *snort* you are my sister-in-cynicism.

    Amanda, LMAO. This is perfect. I can keep the organization of the moment, enjoy the conference, and create an international incident. What’s not to like?

  12. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘gloss’ but another option may be laminating your cards. There are a few drawbacks, such as no longer being able to scribble things on the card without something like a felt pen or marker. And usually it will result in a bit of extra edging around the card so you’ll lose the standard business card size–although some promoters would say that’s enough to make your card stand out among the many people tend to collect. But it would make the card stand up better to water damage. The thicker feel may also cause people to keep your card when they ‘clean out’ their older contacts. (Can’t toss this, it’s more substantial.)

    I recently did up a two-sided bookmark with my 3 novel covers on it. People loved the bigger size and the lamination. Coffee spills? No problem, just wipe ’em off.

  13. Phyllis, the “gloss” refers to an applied finish which makes the business cards slippery, like a playing card. After I had bought my set last year, in which I had both sides done, I read an editor’s blog where they advised against the practice. They said agents/editors/others like to be able to take notes on business cards. I compromised by doing one side, but honestly, this card stock is so lovely, I’d probably skip it altogether next year.

    For bookmarks, though, I think your lamination idea is fab. 🙂

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