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So I recently got a pretty cool offer... SWAAAAG!*

The offer came from the Marketing Dept. of a company called USB Memory Direct ( What do they do? Well, simply, they make custom USB flash drives. They make them into wristbands, lanyards, and (among other things) even a nifty business card option that actually looks like a business card and fits into your wallet. Pretty cool.

Even cooler: they wanted to send me some of them. Free. For realsies. All they asked was that I pass them out at writing conventions and that I put a link to them somewhere on my website. I told them I'd actually blog about the product and give it an honest review.

So they sent me twenty-five of them, and here's my honest review:

I elected to get the business card option. My business card is all black, with my ugly mug (which has kind of grown to be my trademark/logo) on the front, along with my email and website and fanpages in red lettering. They came very quickly - easily in time for an upcoming con.

The good:
They really do fit in a wallet. Amazingly thin, with a USB that pops out from a little slot, and fits right into any USB port on your computer. The option I got was an 8 GB model (they offer a wide variety of memory sizes), and the transfer was smooth and uninterrupted. My face was also printed clearly on the card - easily recognizable as me (for better or for worse).

The not-so-good:
The printing was so light I could barely see it. They sent me a proof shot, and the writing appeared a lot more visible in that pic. Maybe it was the lighting, maybe it was because that was a prototype with better printing - all I know is that the only way to read the lettering on the cards is to hold it VERY carefully at just the right angle. Another problem: the memory card is REALLY hard to get out. Rather than just pull them straight out (the way they're presumably designed), I found it easier to actually bend the card and pull them out sideways.

Final verdict:
Depends on their customer service. They got enough right that I think they've got a good thing going. So if I were a "normal" customer and called to complain... well, if I got the runaround, GONE. If they were courteous and offered to fix/replace... excellent. This is one of those situations where I can see what they wanted to do, it's awesome, and I'd be easily convinced to give them the benefit of the doubt.

Until then, I'm still glad I got the USBs. They do make pretty cool things to pass around. I look forward to making the other writers look like a bunch of serfs and peasants. MWA-hahaha!

* This is cooler if you yell it James Kirk vs. Khan-style. SWAAAAG!


Michaelbrent Collings is an internationally bestselling novelist and screenwriter. You can find him on Facebook at, on Twitter @mbcollings, or you can sign up for his mailing list here.