How to Break Into the Business of Greeting Cards

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Think about the last time you were at a greeting card store around Christmas or Valentine's Day. Chances are the lines were long and the store was brimming with people. Greeting cards are big business in the United States and the greeting card industry can be a goldmine for writers and artists who want to get their work noticed. In fact, breaking into the greeting card industry is actually much easier than you might think.

Go to your local greeting card store or anywhere greeting cards are sold and start studying the cards from a writer's or an artist's point of view to see how the artwork and the writing mesh. Studying greeting cards that are already on the market will give you a feel for what consumers and greeting card companies are looking for.

Define your market, keeping in mind that today you have both traditional print greeting card publishers and email greeting card publishers. For example, if you write humor, find greeting card companies that specialize in humor; likewise, if you write sentimental messages, find the right greeting card company for your work.

Create a list of greeting card companies to which you think you want to submit something to and request their submission guidelines. You can request guidelines from some greeting card companies by email and others by traditional snail mail.

Carefully review submission guidelines. Many greeting card companies require writers and artists to submit a batch of ideas rather than just one at a time.

Write or draw. Make time every day to work on new verses or new drawings, so you constantly have material to submit to greeting card companies.

Start by submitting to small and medium greeting card companies, which are generally easy to break into, before you focus on the most recognized greeting card companies.

Be prepared for rejections because they are a big part of the greeting card business. Instead of becoming discouraged when your work is rejected, keep working and submitting new ideas to your market.

Tip

Not all greeting card companies, including some of the larger and most recognized companies like Hallmark, use freelance writers and artists. As a result, if you want to work for a famous brand like Hallmark, you'll have to apply for a job directly with them.

Writing for the greeting card industry is hard, specialized work. But, there is also a lot less competition in the greeting card industry than in the magazine industry, so breaking into the greeting card business is generally much easier.

Create an online portfolio of your work to make it easy for publishers who are interested to see what you've done and of what you are capable of doing.

Warning

Many writers are concerned about copyrights. The submission guidelines for each company should include the company's policy on rights. For example, if a greeting card publisher buys exclusive rights, you will no longer have the right to use your work once you've been paid.

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