Monday, February 8, 2010

How to Submit Greeting Card Copy

I have been receiving more questions than usual lately on how to go about submitting to greeting card companies. I guess there are a lot of greeting card copy writers out there! This can be a very lucrative business, especially for those of you who write quickly. Think about it: if it takes you 1/2 an hour to write copy for one card, even if a company only pays $15 for it, you're essentially making $30 an hour. Not bad!

The good news is, many greeting card companies pay much more than this. I received $200 for the cards I had published by Blue Mountain Arts. The amount they pay writers has since increased to $300 per poem!

The not-so-good news is most companies purchase All Rights. This means that the copy now belongs to them and you cannot use it again for any reason. One of my cards has been circulating nationally for over 10 years. In that amount of time, I'm thinking they made a lot of money on my card. In that sense, I made squat. LoL. Royalties definitely would have been nice. But that's just not how the greeting card business works.

So this past week, someone asked me about how to submit and wondered if I would post a sample query letter. So below you'll find a query letter I used recently to submit a few verses. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, just a brief letter introducing yourself and what you're submitting. Of course, each company has a different set of guidelines, so the best advice I can give you is to READ THE GUIDELINES CAREFULLY before submitting anything. Sally Stuart's Christian Writers' Market Guide has a whole section dedicated to greeting cards and specialty products. This is an excellent resource and I highly recommend purchasing a copy of this guide. Many companies also have their submissions guidelines posted on their website.

To get you started, here is a previous blog post with several links to potential greeting card markets: GREETING CARD GUIDELINES

In the meantime, here is a sample e-query, to which I attached my submissions - each verse in a separate document.

Hello USE SPECIFIC NAME, IF AVAILABLE,

Per your writer's guidelines in the Christian Writer's Market Guide, I am submitting five of my greeting card copy for your review. I have had three poems published by Blue Mountain Arts, and also have three which were recently purchased by DaySpring that have not yet been printed. I would love for my work to be considered by NAME OF COMPANY.

Your guidelines did not specify how to submit, so I hope it is okay to send each one as a separate attachment. If you would rather have me include the copy in the body of an email, I would be happy to resend.

Thanks so much for taking the time to consider my work. I look forward to hearing from you.


Sincerely,

Lynda Schab


See what I mean? Short, sweet, to the point.

Hope this helps. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to let me know!

11 comments:

Terri Tiffany said...

I thank you for being a help to me with writing them. I haven't tried any other companies besides Blue Mountain yet. ANd you are right, I can write one in a half hour. Good weekend project or a lunch hour project.

Susan Wicker said...

Thanks for the tips, Lynda. Very helpful. Sincerely, Susan from writingstraightfromtheheart.blogspot.cm

Andrea said...

Thanks!
Blessings, andrea

Renee said...

Thank you so much! I will be sure to link back. I am really excited to start submitting cards. :)

Karen Lange said...

Good to know! Been meaning to give this a try for a while. Thanks so much:)

Julie Arduini.com: The Surrendered Scribe said...

Thank you Lynda, this has been on my radar for awhile. Just so you know, when I go to Cracker Barrel I always look for your name in the Blue Mountain card section!

Pam said...

I'd love to see a sample of one of your published verses! :)

Alexes said...

Thank you for this. I've been looking into submitting to greeting card/novelty companies, and I was not entirely sure if queries were customary as they are in other parts of the publishing community.

I assumed they were, but I'm a little paranoid.

Anyway, thanks for inadvertently answering my question. :-p

Lynda Lee Schab said...

Glad it helped, Alexes! Much success to you!

Natasha B. said...

Thanks for this post. My question is: should I include layout suggestions with my poems (such as which part of the verse could appear on front of the card or inside)?

Lynda Lee Schab said...

Natasha...For the poems I've submitted, I've posted the whole thing on one page, without indicating the outside and inside. The companies who purchased my poem decided how they wanted to lay it out. But I'm sure it's perfectly acceptable to indicate your vision. For short quips and gag lines, that is actually what companies prefer. Something like this:

O: Guess what you're getting for your birthday?

I: Older!

That's just a simple example. I would check the specific guidelines on how to submit your copy.

I have just published an ebook you may be interested in, which goes into a little more detail on how to submit. There is a section on greeting cards. It's called THIS LITTLE WRITER WENT TO MARKET and is available on Amazon, Smashwords, and the FaithWriters ebook store. :-)