Monday, March 2, 2015

SHORT AND SWEET: THE FUN ART OF GREETING CARD WRITING -- by Sherri Jones Rivers

     About ten years ago, I was working on a biography that had me frustrated, disheartened, and doubtful it would ever be published. I decided to try a different kind of writing: Greeting Cards. I signed up for Sandra Miller-Louden's online greeting card course. It was great. Karen Moore has a book, YOU CAN WRITE GREETING CARDS, that should also be helpful in getting started.
    
     For two years plus after Sandra's course, I immersed myself in the greeting card world, learning all I could, and sending out my verses--rhymed and prose. It didn't take up a lot of time. My words were published, and I got paid. The pay can range from $35 -$200.

     One of the main pointers I learned was making the verse apply to as many people as possible. Generic, yet personable. Not always easy, but it can be done. I have found a lack of cards for men and boys. So many cards have flowers on them, and that's fine, but guys need something else on the cover. Also, there's a need for cards for teens and young adults. More trendy writing is needed there.

     An exercise we did in the course was to read cards in stores. Sandra had us read the fronts only of lots of humorous cards. We were to stand there with the unopened card until we had come up with what we thought the inside message was. People looked at me rather strangely, but it was a good exercise.
                      

     Here are three of my greeting cards. Not every card company sends copies of your cards with the art work, but it's exciting when they do.
    
     The first was a Sympathy card sold to Warner Press, a Christian company.



 


This Father's Day Card sold to Design Design uses a twist on the letters V.I.P.





     The last is a light-hearted birthday greeting I sold to Oatmeal. I actually saw this card in the pharmacy we use. Now, that was fun! I wanted to show everyone in there "my card."




   
  












Interested? Here are some card companies you might want to look into once you've honed your craft.

Blue Mountain Arts (sps.com) Check web site for payment.
Designer Greetings (designergreetings.com) Around $50 per idea.
Oatmeal Studios (oatmealstudios.com) Usually $75 per idea.
Calypso Cards (calypsocards.com)
Snafu Designs (snafucards.com) Click on Wholesale Information at the top of the page. Scroll to the bottom; in blue area you should see Writers' Guidelines. Click on that. Pay around $100 per idea.
Warner Press Cards. (warnerpress.org) $35 per idea.

     As with any submission, be sure to send out your best work, keep good records, and be willing to make changes, if requested. If your own endless novel is giving you fits, why not give greeting cards a try? Believe me, there's nothing like seeing one of your own cards on the racks.

26 comments:

  1. Sherri, sounds like a fun way to get your work out there an deb published. Love having th elist of companies that will accept work. Do you need an agent for this type of thing?

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  2. Great post. Thanks for the links to the greet card companies.

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  3. Do you need to be adept at illustration, or did someone else illustrate these?

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  4. What a fun writing idea! Thanks, Sherri, for showing us how you got started.

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    1. Thank you, Tina. It was a good experience, and I learned a lot.

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  5. Sherri,
    What fun to see your cards! Great post! I will stand in the card section and sometimes laugh til I cry at some of the writing😄

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  6. Thanks, all for your kind comments. To answer your questions: 1. No, you don't need an agent. 2. They match up your verse with an illustrator.

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  7. A neat thing happened while I was a member of an online greeting card group. I had a verse bought by Smart Alex, and one of the writer/illustrators I knew from the group was chosen to illustrate my verse. He would send me samples to see which elephant I liked best on the front of the card.

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  8. Replies
    1. Thanks, Marcie. I'm a writer of short things!

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  9. I've always wondered about cards. I still love to buy cards. I think it also is very much like children's book writing where it looks simple, but involves a lot of work.

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  10. This is a very useful post. Thanks. I will definitely look into this.

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  11. Sherri, thank you for an informative post. As writers, it is great to know about opportunities to share our creative writing with greeting card companies. Your verses are both fun and lovely. ~Suzy

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    1. Thanks, Suzy. Appreciate the kind words.

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  12. Cool beans! And that last card is hilarious. :) I have sold a card to Blue Mountain Arts, too. They are lovely folks to work with!

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    1. Good for you, Donna. An online friend of mine, Debbie Burton-Peddle writes for them, too. I think they pay well.

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  13. WOW! Love your cards, Sherri...they are well-thought out and lovely! My mom always wrote little rhymes and made her own cards to give friends and family at special occasion times...and I have done that also. Maybe I should give it a whirl and try to be paid for it. I know it's more than just penning a rhyme...it's obvious you've put in a ton of hard work. Thanks for the resources to follow up on. :)

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    1. Thank you, Vivian. It was a great learning experience-- how to turn a phrase, write short and pithy.

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  14. This is such an interesting post! Something I've never thought about...

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  15. Nice post! I had no idea the market would be so profitable. I tend to be long-winded but maybe this would be a good exercise in tightening up those words.

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  17. Great post, Sherri -- I'm going to look at Blue Mountain Arts! Thank you for sharing these writerly tips.

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  18. I hadn't thought of this. Thank you!

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  19. I hadn't thought of this. Thank you!

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  20. An insider's view of part of writing we all experience with joy from the receiving end, but so few of us participate in the creation, except in making cards at home. I still make a lot of mine & our daughter does too. If I sent a card to you Sheri, I would have to write -

    T H A N K S !



    Your helpful idea may put gas in my tank!

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