Listening to the VistaPrint commercials, one might be lured into thinking that no entrepreneur will ever get his business of the ground without snazzy business cards to hand out like candy at Halloween. Granted, business cards offer a convenient, low-tech way to pass along your contact information and maybe an inkling about what it is you do.

Goodness knows I’ve got some. They’re dark red with a picture of a chicken. Hen House Publishing. Get it? (Relax, I won’t bore you with how I came up with that moniker.) Thank goodness I didn’t splurge and order a thousand of them.

What I didn’t expect was to have so few opportunities to distribute my business cards. I carry them in my purse. They’re more readily available than my cell phone, which is usually dead or left behind. Of the 500 I ordered, I’ve probably given out maybe 50.

I gave three to my farrier. (For those not in the know, a farrier is a blacksmith who trims horses’ hooves and shoes them.) He’s in contact with hordes of people from all different professions. Of course, he’s not placing a priority on promoting my business. Really, I doubt many of his customers say, “Hey, Mike, you know a good writer or editor?” Many of them would probably be surprised to discover he can read. I’ve handed out a few here and there, but their promotional value has been pretty lackluster thus far. Or maybe it’s because I like being a recluse too much and don’t get out.

I’m hoping to give out a whole bunch of them at the ConGlomeration in April 2017. I learned about this event last weekend at the Louisville Mini Maker Faire while helping my youngest brother display his steam engines. Yes, it was fun. I helped out at the Dayton Mini Maker Faire, too.

A young lady approached my brother’s exhibit booth, handing out postcard fliers for the event. We struck up a conversation. I informed her that I served as an editor for a fantasy/horror/science fiction magazine and was also an author who wrote fantasy (and romance, steamy romance). She advised me to expect an invitation to speak or serve as a panelist.

I’d be happy to do so. Since Louisville is only a 3-hour drive from home, it’s definitely a doable event. Regardless, this means I’ll have to prepare: order copies of my books to re-sell (and autograph, I hope), write a speech and design a presentation if I’m going to be a speaker, and take full advantage to hand out oodles of business cards. These won’t necessarily be people seeking to hire me as a ghostwriter–unless they want someone to write stories for them–but, perhaps they’ll be customers to buy my books.

So, if you happen to see me out and about, ask for a business card. I’ll be happy to give you one or six. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll need a writer or editor or will come across someone who does and can refer me. Hey, I’m not too proud to beg.