Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Greeting Card Guidelines

I got my publishing start in greeting card writing. A few weeks ago, my family and I went on a mini-vacation to Frankenmuth, Michigan. It was awesome. Well, except for the part about my daughter getting the flu and spending a not-so-fun afternoon/evening hanging over a trash can. But it was still nice to get away with the family.

Anyway, on to my point. When we were in Frankenmuth, while browsing in one of the hotel gift shops, I found one of my greeting cards. I've had three cards purchased by Blue Mountain Arts, but only one that is still circulating after ten+ years. I've seen this card in my local Cracker Barrel restaurant, my local Hallmark store, a store in Shipshewana, Indiana, the Shell Factory in N. Fort Myers, Florida, and now in Frankemuth, Michigan.

As fun as it is to get published in a magazine or ezine, there is something special about seeing a greeting card you wrote on a card rack. It's especially fun if there's only one left and you know the card is selling well. I mean, people buy magazines for ALL of the articles, which happen to include yours. People buy a greeting card exclusively because of what YOU wrote.

(I'm totally not dissing article writing. I love seeing my name in a magazine. I'm just saying...)

So seeing my card reminded me that I really need to start sending in greeting card copy again. For me, it's fun, relatively easy, and it pays pretty well. Last year, I sent in a few to DaySpring (the Christian division of Hallmark) and had three accepted. I've gotten paid for them, but am still waiting for them to be printed. And I can't wait!

For all of you who have always wanted to try your hand at greeting card writing, either sentimental or humorous, I thought I'd put together a list of guidelines so you have a place to start. This list is just as much for me, as my goal is to send out a couple of batches by the end of April.

I hope it helps. If you have any questions, please feel free to post them here and I'll try my best to answer or at least point you in the right direction.

Have fun and good luck!

Start here:

Blue Mountain Arts / SPS Studios

DaySpring

Design Design

Designer Greetings

Moonlighting Cards

Novo Card Publishers

Oatmeal Studios

P.S. Greetings

Papyrus

Warner Press

28 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

WOW! You had three accepted at dayspring? I'd love to have that and know how to do it! Will check your links!

Terri Tiffany said...

PS I posted a link to you on my writer's blog!

BethL said...

Thanks for this information, Lynda!

Cindy said...

Thanks so much for the post! I have always wondered about this. I am definitely going to follow up on those links.

Sharlyn Guthrie said...

Thanks for the info, Lynda. I have thought about doing this, but with your encouragement I'm going to actually do it!

Yvonne said...

thanks, Lynda

sometimes it's hard to find appropriate cards, especially for men. We had a man friend who was dying of cancer. It was so hard to find cards for him. "Get Well" just seemed rude at that point. "Thinking of You" were the closest we could find, if you could find some without teacups and roses on it.

I'll be sure to check these out!

Write4Joy said...

WOW that's great information! I checked the Dayspring link; awesome! This is the type of info I am looking for as I feel so lost in the woods when it comes to publication.

On a different note, I have named you in an award on my blog.
http://www.joyfulscribe.blogspot.com

Blessings,
Karlene

Brenda Leyland said...

Hi, I just found your site (for the first time I think).... enjoyed my brief visit, and I'm pegging your link into mine, so I can come again for a more leisurely browse.

Now I'm off to do my own set of writings! Blessings for a successful day.

Dara said...

I wonder if I've ever bought a card that you've written...

Thanks for the info!

The Surrendered Scribe said...

That is so generous of you Lynda. I've actually picked up cards and Cracker Barrel and wondered if they were yours.

The state the world is in, I'd say greeting cards with messages of hope are a definite need. Glad you fill it!

Sandra Miller-Louden said...

Hello Lynda--

"Terri sent me!" ... and I wanted to say we have something in common.

I've been a professional greeting card writer since 1986, have won a Louie and had another verse nominated. There have obviously been a lot of changes over the past 23 years, but here's something that never changes...

It's a REAL THRILL seeing "your card" in a store or on a website OR had one inadvertently sent to you that one of your students wrote! One of the greatest thrills was when we visited England and there in a remote village of Cornwall, one of my cards for Oatmeal Studios faced me in a spinner.

In any case, congratulations on discovering what a really fun, exciting genre greeting card writing is. I've been asked in interviews if ecards will replace traditional greeting cards--more when ecards first came out. Back then, and I still stand by it, until you can wrap an ecard in a yellow ribbon, put in an old cigar box and kept in an attic, no, ecards will never replace traditional ones. The two can--and today, really do--peacefully co-exist beside one another.

My very best to you as you continue your writing career and may it ALWAYS include greeting card verses!

Best,
Sandra Miller-Louden

BeckyJoie at Leaders in Learning said...

Hi there,

I was excited to find this link on Terri Tiffany's blog. I've thought about writing for greeting card companies for years. I love to write poetry but had thought it was not a way to make any money and instead, concentrated on other genres. After reading about your success in this venue, I have decided to go ahead and give it a try. I wrote a poem today based on a verse that touched me. I'm going to send it to one of the companies you mentioned. Thanks for the encouragement.

emily said...

I've gotten emails from blue mountain before but always thought it was kind of a sham, but knowing you have had success with them gives me confidence that they're for real, so thank you!

Anonymous said...

This is Michael with The Greeting Place. We are a 10 year old card company, who has been in the top 10
humorus card catagory in GiftBeat for 5 years...not trying to brag, just establish cred. :)
visit us at www.thegreetingplace.com
we are always looking for funny captions and 50's - 60's pictures
great site...I am also open to free advice to any of you who wish to jump in ..thanks

Lynda Schab said...

Thanks for jumping in, Michael! I checked out your website and yes - I've seen these cards. Hilarious! Do you have any writers' guidelines to follow? How would we go about submitting? Anything you could tell us would be great. I look forward to submitting a few ideas for your consideration. :-)

Anonymous said...

I've always heard, "Think of something you love to do, and make a career out of it." I am a Med Tech/stay at home mom now, and made some "rough" draft greeting cards by hand, and gave one to my sister, and she read the front, opened it up and busted out crying....tears she said the Lord touched her so deeply with. I've made several different ones, and also have a couple of children's books I've come up with, but as I said by the careet above, I'm sure you know I have never had ANY lessons on writing anything, except BILLS...HAHA!! I would love to atleast TRY my ideas with someone who could tell me what to do with and about them. Let me say, an artist I'm most definitely NOT!! My sister COULD do that part, but I don't have a clue what, how or who to trust. I truly believe the cards could and would TOUCH a lot of hearts in the world we live in now. Please if you will, contact me at your convenience and maybe tell me what I need to know. I wouldn't want just anyone to see or read them since I know things can be "taken" and published as someone elses. I sincerely appreciate any of your precious time you might put in on my behalf!! Thank you....Barbara

Lynda Schab said...

Barbara,

I'd love to chat, but you didn't leave any contact info. If you happen to take another look at this post, please leave your email address or contact me through my website (www.lyndaschab.com).

Thank you! :-)

Debbie W said...

Thanks for handy links to the various card companies.

Carla Gade said...

I just came across this post and am fascinated. Thanks for the great information! I'll be linking to it from my blog http://writingtodistraction.blogspot.com

Carla Gade said...

Hi Lynda,
I just put up my greeting card post on my blog http://writingtodistraction.blogspot.com.

Thank you for letting me link to yours.

Carla

Anonymous said...

I think it was God's blessing that I found your blog! The passage you have posted from Philippians at the top of your page is what I needed at this time in my life where my goals and visions in my writing are certainly blurred. I was also trying to get guidelines from Day Spring with no luck through their site. So I thank you for your encouraging words and help. Much love and luck to you. Blessings, Kelly from PA

Lynda Schab said...

Glad you stopped by, Kelly! Much success to you in your writing journey. :-)

Anonymous said...

Here are more top 10 funny Greeting ecards. They are free to download and print: http://greetingbeecards.com/funny_ecards.htm

Mahmood Ali said...

Fantastic!!! your posted "Greeting Card Guidelines" is very valuable i appreciate your hard work...
Plastic Business Cards
Plastic Cards

Gfrank said...

Okay. I'm completely new at this, so my questions may sound stupid. Do you get paid by the publishing company ONCE for your submission or do you receive royalties for every card that is printed or sold? Also is it more profitable for me to sell my line of cards myself using my own printing company? I thought I could send samples to store chains with info to my website so they can place orders?

Daphney said...

God bless you woman of God! It was divinely orchestrated by our Creator that I found your blog... while searching Christian greeting card companies for my submissions...God is totally amazing. I thank you for listening to the promptings of the Holyspirit on writing on this subject. Your obedience has helped many! I pray many blessings over your journey. Be encouraged:)

miriam said...

Hi I just wrote a post on writing greeting cards myself as I feel the Lord's nudge to do this...I am submitting to DaySpring as I met the editor at Mt. Hermon's Writers Conference last month. I was googling to find other Christian Publishers and found your blog! Perfect timing. I will submit my ideas to some of them as well...I am an artist and hope to combine my biblical scripture art with greeting cards...hmm a new vision from the Lord...www.giftsofhisglory.com/miriamsblog

Lynda Lee Schab said...

I hope it helps, Miriam! Good luck with your submissions! :-)