Dispel the myths
It’s ok if you can’t write metered verses. It’s ok if you can’t draw well. And it’s precisely not the end of your career if Hallmark and American Greetings rejected you!
Greeting Card content writing is basically a me-to-you genre, where you don’t necessarily have to write in rhymes. Short, pithy lines, conversational prose, wit, humor- there are so many styles of writing. If you’ve ever felt that you could do it, do not sidestep because you can’t produce rhymes.
Secondly, most card companies don’t require you to submit artwork along with content, due to copyright restrictions. In case your verse is based on a certain visual conception, it’s enough to just explain the same to your publisher in a couple of lines.
Finally, don’t despair if big names have rejected your work. It’s typically easier to break into the market with smaller companies. In fact, some of these market majors appoint in house writers, so if you’re positioning yourself as a freelance greeting card writer, lesser known companies like Gallant Greetings, Kate Harper Designs and The Paper Magic Group are what you should target! Some more greeting card companies to write for include Graphique de France, Marian Heath Greeting Cards, Snafu and Oatmeal Studios. There are many other greeting card companies accepting freelance writing- here’s how to spot them.
Practically any place where they sell cards! It could be studio cards, smaller cards, sentimental, humor or occasional cards, birthday and anniversary greetings- there’s so much to explore and so many places you’d find them. You’ll come across many unheard of names- your prospective buyers!
Visit trade fairs
Trade fairs are another way of getting to know your prospective touch points. Get the contact details so you can work upon them later.
Examine cards not as a customer, but as a writer
Identify the style. Every publisher has a niche market. Some may bank heavily on sentimental or rhymed verses; others may accept humor and wit only. It’s pointless to send rhymes to publishers who publish only say contemporary humor! So do your homework right and make an effort to understand the publisher’s demand. Verse, prose and punchlines are the three broad styles of writing. Identify your forte- even if you feel you can try your hand at everything, start with your strongest point.
Be sure to pick up contact details of the publisher
You’ll probably find an email id or a website or postal address, telephone or fax- some or the other contact detail. Take it down.
Search the internet
Many online card companies display their products on their website, so you can get a feel of what the publishers might be scouting for.
Request for guidelines
Send an email to as many card companies (for your style of writing) as you can, requesting for their greeting card writing guidelines. Request to know whether they have freelance greeting card writing opportunities and check whom should your work be addressed to. If you’ve had your cards published before, do make a mention of it. Keep a track of which companies you’re writing to, and respond at the earliest.
Never submit originals. Keep a track of what you’re sending out to whom; preferably, keep copies of whatever you send. If any of your ideas is bought, it’s good to inform the other publishers who may have received a copy of the same.
Don’t give up if you receive no response. Typically, your wait time after having sent work will be around 6 weeks!
Take the cues
Some companies, even while rejecting work, may be gracious enough, to drop in some information; as “We are stocked on birthday cards, we are looking for more on humor content!” Pick up on that cue- send in something that matches their requirement.
Keep at it, everyday
Keep drawing, writing every day. Soon you will discover ideas in everything you see.
Greeting card writer pay
Pay varies from $3 a line (which is low) to $150 a verse! There have been writers who’ve made $50 a word! The possibilities are immense- Explore and get paid for greeting card writing.