For New Greeting Card Companies

Congratulations! You’ve chosen an industry that takes pride in its work and helps people of all ages celebrate some of life’s most important events.

Starting a greeting card business can be relatively easy. But as your business grows, there is so much more you need to know. The GCA is happy to provide some useful tips, to help get you started building your business.

We encourage you to bookmark this page, and visit often for the latest information to help new and expanding companies and professionals improve their operations and increase their sales, all while doing what you love!

Tips for Writers

The visual design of a greeting card is first to capture a customer’s attention, but the words will make the sale. More than three-fourths of card purchasers base their selection on a card’s text and the special me-to-you connection that those words create.

Greeting card writing is a unique writing style that in some ways is more competitive than freelancing artwork to greeting card publishers.

Spend time in card stores and the card aisles of various retailers reading cards. Concentrate on the me-to-you voice of greeting cards, and how the words work with the imagery to set the tone, emotion and impact of a card.

Take note of different writing styles and the publishers whose cards hold special appeal to you. The more you learn about card companies and greeting card verse, the more successful you’ll be in determining what type of verse you want to write, and the publishers most likely to be interested in your work.

Stick with what you feel most confident writing, but remember to “match” your submission to the publisher. For example, don’t consider a sentimental verse for a company that specializes in offbeat, humorous cards.

Writers are generally paid a flat fee for their work, with ownership rights transferring to the publisher. Compensation varies from publisher to publisher, but in general, writers can expect to receive anywhere between $25 and $150 for a submission that’s accepted. Humor or “punchline” writing tends to command a higher price than verse. Greeting card publishers purchase less freelance verse than they do artwork, so expect to face a highly competitive market.

Before you consider submitting any work, learn which greeting card companies accept outside submissions, and obtain a copy of their submission guidelines. You can generally determine if a publisher accepts outside submissions by writing or phoning the company, or by locating a submission-guidelines page on their website. GCA-member publishers who accept outside submissions are indicated on this website by a “submission guidelines” link after their contact information. Only those companies with a “submissions guideline” link accept outside submissions.

When submitting to a publisher, be sure to put your name, address and phone number on every page in case a submission is mislaid, or the pages are accidentally separated. Include a brief cover letter. If you wish the publisher to return your work, include a self-addressed stamped envelope as well.

Make a file and keep a complete record of what you submit. This includes a copy of each verse; the name, address and contact information of the publisher receiving the submission, and the date it was sent.