Vision: A Resource for Writers

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How to Sell Your Greetings to Card Companies

By Suzan L. Wiener
Copyright © 2008 by Suzan L. Wiener, All Rights Reserved


Do you wonder how some authors manage to sell their greeting card verses, while others miss the mark completely?  Have you wondered where to start?  I have sold a number of greetings, and Iíll share some of my secrets so your path to publication will be a smoother one.

Where do you find companies to sell your greetings to?

I look in the Writerís Market or online at www.google.com. At Google, I type in 'paying greeting card markets' and find a slew of them. You can also go to The Starlight Cafť -- a site for poets) and check out the site's 'The Published Pen' section (http://www.thestarlitecafe.com/publisherspen/index.html).  There you will also find many greeting card companies.

How do I know what type of greetings to send to each company?

Always send for the companyís guidelines. Follow them to the letter. If you donít, your ideas may be disqualified just because of that reason.

If I only write rhyming verses, should I try to write unrhymed verses or one-liners?

Definitely. Why limit yourself to what youíre writing? Who knows -- you may learn that you have a flair for unrhymed verse and if you donít give it a try, you will never know. You could be losing out on sales.

When should I give up on a company if I keep getting rejections?

Only you can decide when to give up. My feeling is if submissions have been rejected for a year, itís time to rethink what you are sending the company. Something, obviously, isnít meshing and either you can send out your verses to another company, or rework them, and try again.

What if Iím not an artist? Can I still get my verses published alone?

Yes, in fact, publishers prefer you send your work without artwork, unless you are a professional artist. They have in-house artists to do the illustrations. You can, of course, suggest a visual for the work on the verse you are sending.

What rights do greeting card companies ask for?

Each company is different. Some will ask for all rights, others will ask for first time rights, etc. Also, some will send you a contract and others will only send an acceptance letter. All rights isnít the best way to go, but if you want to write for that particular company, you will have to relinquish them. When thatís their policy, they donít normally negotiate different terms.

Do greeting card companies send you samples of your cards?

They usually do. Itís a great feeling to see the greeting that you wrote on the card itself. For instance, I know first hand Kate Harper sends six copies of the cards, plus a list of where you can purchase extras in your area.

Is there any way to guarantee that a card idea you wrote will sell?

The answer, in a nutshell, is no. But, if you keep practicing your verse writing, gear them to what they prefer, make them a me-to-you message, you will have a much higher rate of sales.

How much can I get paid for writing greeting cards?

Greeting card payments vary from company to company. For instance, Andrew McMeel pays $200 per acceptance. Oatmeal Studios pays $75, Blue Mountain Arts pays $300 for longer unrhymed verses, Peaceable Kingdom Press pays $50, etc. These rates can change and it's best to check each individual publisher. The ones listed are just a few that take freelance greeting verses.

If you follow the above answers, you should get a better acceptance rate. I know I have.