Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Greeting Cards - For In-between Freelancing by Scott Lindsay

"U.S. consumers purchase approximately 7 billion greeting cards each year, generating nearly $7.5 billion in retail sales." *

Have you ever wondered who actually writes all of those greeting cards you purchase? Sure there are staff writers who may develop themes and specific greeting cards. However, there are numerous freelance writers who have received checks for the use of one or more of their greeting card ideas.

"There are an estimated 3,000 greeting card publishers in the U.S., ranging from small family-run organizations to major corporations. GCA-member publisher companies account for approximately 95 percent of industry sales." *

With so many greeting card publishers it is easy to see that this may be a market worth looking at. Many freelance writers who have sold ideas to greeting card companies find the idea a profitable means of using their downtime.

When these writers find themselves without a pressing deadline or if they have a few moments to spare, they will often jot down a few creative ideas. When they accumulate dozen or so ideas, they send them onto a greeting card company for consideration.

"The exchange of greeting cards is one of the most widely accepted customs in the U.S. There are cards for virtually any occasion or relationship, and they are widely available. Approximately 100,000 retail outlets around the country carry greeting cards." *

Greeting card companies often pay $25-300 for accepted original ideas. One of the best ways to match your idea with a publisher is to conduct some research of your own. For instance some card companies only accept non-rhyming poetry while others only accept humor. Some want inspirational thought while others deal in the cliché.

"Nine out of 10 Americans say they look forward to receiving personal letters and greeting cards because cards allow them to keep in touch with friends and family and make them feel they are important to someone else." *

The majority of the publishers in the greeting card industry will not provide online submission guidelines, but will supply them to you with a self-addressed stamped envelope (SASE). Find a publisher you like, check out their website and ask for submission guidelines. Expect significant rejection, but know that the ideas did not take much time to develop during a time when there were no other pressing deadlines. Then when an idea is accepted you have the knowledge that this is an easy add on to your existing freelance writing structure that resembles fishing, but has a prettier end result.

* Statistics provided by The Greeting Card Association

Scott Lindsay is a web developer and entrepreneur. He is the founder of FaithWriters and many other web projects. FaithWriters has grown to become one of the largest online destinations for Christian writers and Christian authors FaithWriters is a great place for writing jobs