UPDATED FEBRUARY 2016
When you are thinking about freelance writing markets, how many of you think about writing greeting cards to make money? Greeting card markets often get overlooked in favor of writing for the web, copywriting, submitting queries to magazines and other ways to generate income.
You may think that in the Internet age that greeting cards are on the wane, and that this market is drying up. In fact, this is a market for writers that can be quite lucrative if you have the skills to convey a message that will grab an audience with only a few words.
General Facts About Greeting Card Markets
The following facts and figures about greeting card markets are courtesy of the Greeting Card Association.
US consumers buy about 6.5 billion greeting cards annually, worth an estimated $7-8 billion in retail sales.
Also read: How to Break into the Greeting Card Market
Women make up the majority of greeting card consumers. Not only will they spend more time selecting the cards they wish to buy, but they are also more likely to purchase multiple cards at one time.
Special Occasion Cards
The most popular occasion for sending a greeting card is a Birthday. The next most popular categories of greeting cards are Sympathy, Thank you, Wedding, Thinking of You, Get Well, New Baby and Congratulations.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the Holiday Season is the most popular time of year for sending out good wishes to friends and family members. A total of 1.6 billion cards are purchased each year (this total includes boxed cards). Valentine’s Day is the next most popular occasion for seasonal cards at 145 million units, followed by Mother’s Day with 133 million units, Father’s Day at 90 million units, Graduation with 67 million units, Easter at 57 million units, Halloween at 21 million units, and Thanksgiving at 15 million units. St Patrick’s Day was also popular among card-givers with seven million units sold.
Giving greeting cards as a way to convey personal thoughts and showing affection for others is still deeply ingrained in our culture. When we give gifts, we still look for a card to go with it for special occasions. Many people turn to greeting cards as a way to say the things they wish they could say, but are unable to communicate on their own to the people they care for most. If you want to be part of this market and make it work for you, doing your homework first is essential.
Greeting Cards Markets to Explore
1. American Greetings
Before submitting unsolicited ideas to the company, download and complete a disclosure agreement (available in PDF format). Mail the completed agreement and your submission to the company. Submissions are reviewed approximately once a month.
2. Blue Mountain Arts
Buys contemporary poems or prose which has been written from personal experience on topics such as friendship, love, family, missing you, and similar types of “real life” subjects. The company will also consider writings about birthdays, anniversaries, and congratulations, etc. Will consider submissions from writers located internationally, as long as submissions are in English. Writers’ guidelines are posted on the website. Pays $300.00 for a poem for rights to publish on a greeting card, and $50.00 for one-time rights to publish it in a book.
3. Designer Greetings
The company does not accept submissions from writers by e-mail. Send a request by mail to the Editorial Department (address is listed on the website) to request specific guidelines for the card line you are interested in writing for, as guidelines will vary.
When submitting your verse or poem, it should either be on letter-size paper or index cards. Send along a stamped, self-addressed envelope if you would like your submission returned.
4. Amber Lotus Publishing
This company is looking for short, clever submissions. When preparing your verse, stay on the “light and catchy” side. Submit a writing sample of between three and five greetings at a time by e-mail to the address on the website.
5. P.S. Greetings, Inc.
Send poems, verses or writing samples as typed photocopies in black on white paper by regular mail. Send with a stamped, self-addressed envelope (SASE) to the address listed on the website.
6. Smart Alex
Smart Alex is looking for submissions that are “funny, edgy and risqué.” If you can produce this type of work, send your submissions by e-mail or regular mail for consideration. Compensation is discussed after a submission is selected for publication.
7. Snafu Designs
This company buys ideas for a smart, adult audience, and pays $100.00 for each idea accepted for publication. Visit the link for a list of categories and detailed instructions for forwarding submissions to the company by e-mail or regular mail.
8. Shade Tree Greetings
Shade Tree Greetings pays $50.00 if the company publishes a card using your verse. Visit the website to see terms and conditions and to find submission instructions.
9. Oatmeal Studios
Oatmeal Studios provides one of the most easy to follow writers’ guidelines available from any of the greeting card companies we’ve profiled. You won’t go wrong if you go step-by-step here.
10. Calypso Cards
Calypso Cards is seeking submissions for its Selfish Kitty line of greeting cards. It is described as being edgy, without crossing the line to being cruel or degrading. Submission instructions are available on the website, and writers are advised that it may be some time before their work is reviewed.
Dayspring Ministry produces a line of religious greeting cards, and accepts submissions from writers who have previously been published. This company is looking for a complete greeting card idea, which includes the cover caption, inside and outside message, closing tag line and Scripture (including version). Submit by regular mail for consideration.
12. Noble Works Cards
Noble Works publishes humor greeting cards. This company’s offerings can be described as “mildly offensive.” To get a copy of the writers’ guidelines, fill out the online form on the website or request one by e-mail at [email protected].
13. Freedom Greeting Cards
Freedom publishes several lines of greeting cards – both everyday and seasonal. Send requests for writers’ guidelines or submissions to the address listed on the website.
This is an adult greeting card company. Greeting card ideas are accepted on 3 x 5 index cards with a SASE. Pays $50.00 per idea. Writers’ guidelines are available on the website.
15. UK Greetings
UK Greetings is always interested in receiving editorial submissions that help people connect with each other. Send your submissions as a text document or in PDF format for consideration.
Greeting Cards Markets: Tips for Writers
Before you start writing your submissions and sending them off to one or more of these greeting card markets, do take the time to do some research first. You probably know from your own greeting card purchases that the image on the front of the card draws you in, but the message inside is what will ultimately influence you to make a purchase.
Greeting Card Writing Tips
This type of writing is unlike others you may have worked with before, and you may want to go out into the field (one or more stores that carry greeting cards) and do your own reconnaissance work (spend time looking at samples of cards for different occasions.)
- Are they in rhyming verse or more of a free style?
- How many lines are used inside the card?
- How many words are used per line?
- Does the message use humor or is it more serious?
- If the message is lengthy, how does it keep the reader’s interest?
When researching greeting card companies, find one which produces cards that closely matches your writing style. (If you like to write short, snappy verses, finding a company that produces flowery prose for its cards would not be a good fit.)
Read the submission guidelines carefully and follow them precisely. The company will not consider your submission if you do not follow the instructions correctly.
Do put your name, address and phone number on each page you submit. It’s possible for multiple pages to become separated, and you’ll want to make sure that the company can contact you if your submission is chosen for publication. Include a SASE so that your work can be returned to you, and keep track of where and when you submitted your work, with a copy of your submission.
photo credit: cards like us : san francisco (2015) via photopin (license)
Laura Spencer says
Oddly enough, this is the very first freelancing market I considered when I started out as a freelance writer.
I have to say that I never broke in, but it’s still something I’d like to try some time.
With any market, I think persistence is key.
Thanks for writing this post (and reminding me about greeting cards).
.-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..When Miscommunications Happen =-.
Deb Ng says
Thanks, Laura. If you break in, you’ll have to come back and share some pointers with us.
Thanks for doing this, Deb. I’ve applied to a couple of these earlier, but it’s nice to have a consolidated list like this to refer to. This is something I’m very interested in, but haven’t put too much effort into – hope to change that this year. I did land a gig for writing ecard verses and concepts a couple of years ago from FWJ. It was a lot of fun and it later extended to blogging and doing other types of writing for the client.
Deb Ng says
I hear tell greeting cards can be a lucrative opportunity. I’m not very good with prose. However, I did once sell a T-shirt slogan.
Deb J says
Thanks for the list and the tips! I’ve been curious about this market lately. This post definitely gives me a place to start.
Interesting idea. I thought about writing greeting cards a few years ago but never really pursued it as I didn’t know where to begin. Thanks for the list!
Thank you so much for all this hard work! Your site is fast becoming one I visit daily!
.-= wendy´s last blog ..I Want A Wife =-.
Christi Switzer says
Thank you, Deb! Great list!
Mike Vaszari says
I have sold over 2000 humorous/studio ideas in my career and have breen quite successful in the business. I once had over 35 markets. I retired from writing in 2000 after my wife passed away and spend my time these days as a jazz and blues keyboard player/vocalist. My advise to all new freelance greeting card writers is don’t get discouraged as that first sale will come when you least expect it. Good luck! Mike
Kathryn C. says
Thank you Mike! Your success and ideas have really encouraged me to try this line of work/play opportunity.
Jamilla Moola says
Hi Mike, I appreciate your advice. Thank You.
May I please ask for a few pointers or tips on the best way to get started in this business. Thank you very kindly for your time.
Stella Keddie says
I am a retired LCSW (masters in clinical social work— psychotherapist in clinics as well as private practice. Is there an interest in ideas in this area — not offensive and creative ideas? Your response is much appreciated.
Thank you for giving us these outlets for us to navigate thru. I have just sent one of my long poems for a car to Blue Mountain and I hope to hear something soon. I have been looking for places to send my poems to along with my artwork. So thank you for your website. This is just the place I will keep on hand so I can be kept on updates. Thanks again Deb..
Hi there! Do you know of any companies that would be interested in freelance greeting cards of a religious nature????
I used to take my mother in law to a religous bookstore she liked. I am sure they had cards. You could find a store and go look and see what companies make their cards. Just a thought. Good luck.
Just discovered this site during my first few days ever of researching what to do with the writing I have done all my life- boy writing is soooooooooooo much more fun than being online. But now I see the necc…no one will find writing stuffed under one’s bed will they?
Looking forward to reading this site more thoroughly and putting it’s resources to good use.
Happy writing everyone!
Susan Gunelius says
Welcome to Freelance Writing Jobs!
Tim Somers says
These are some great sources for greeting card freelancers, my guess is that the submission rate is very high. I know of a send out cards rep that creates her own artwork and card saying and sells them on her own.
I love the post & specially the market collection.
Found this sight quite by accident. Work in Elementary Edu. setting and have been writing poems for others for years. Have been looking into Greeting Card. The poetry I write rhymes. I am finding that most companies ask for poems that “do not” Did you come across any that accepted “rhyming” poetry. I feel sure I could do this as I am approached often to write for friends, school, ect. Any advice? Thank you so much.
Mike C says
Is the FWJ Site still Alive and Well ?
Franky Branckaute says
Hi Mike, yes we are and we are continuously growing.
Crystal M says
Had a question…..I have been looking into a few different companies for my writing. I know that when they decide to choose one of your writings and publish it, they are entitled to those writings and own them. I’ve noticed that many companies say they take weeks to months to even return any response to you in regards to being accepted or not. My question is, do we stick with one company for our writing, or do we submit our writing to several different companies? I would hate to sit around waiting for a “denial” letter, only to have to try another company that might accept my writing and have it be two years before I find one. My problem with this is, if I submit to three different companies the same writing, and one accepts it (or maybe more than one) how do I inform the other company that another company has purchased the rights to that writing? Does this make sense? I just dont want to get caught up with two companies “purchasing” my writing and dealing with which way to go, how to inform them its “not for sale” any longer etc etc.
Evette Zayas says
It just seems that you might become un-hinged. Writing is no different from job hunting. You submit your resumes and you go on the interview. Three out of four give you a call back and the three out of the four want to meet what you want. Who do you choose? In the point that your talking about is the point where you make your financial freelance mind up and accept the one that is good for you; the other two you tell them you found a better deal thank you I hope to work with you in the future. They have to tell you they have accepted then you accept and maybe even a contract sign. Good Luck
just send my two poems to the blue mountain arts..all my life i wanted to become a writer. but i didn’t know where to start so i did some freelance content writing . but the writings where not of my type…it was sometimes advertisement or some times more advertisements. but thanks to you, you showed me the right place… May be they wont accept my poem but i am happy that at least i am trying something that i love.
dont bother with this list is all coming up 404, and the few that do open are ancient copies of the sites
The original post was 2010.
Sadly more than half of this list directs me to either a nonexistent site or an error page. Interesting idea though, which I shall explore.
Noemi Tasarra-Twigg says
Thanks for leaving this comment. We need to update the article and will try to do so ASAP.
Nicholas Scott says
After much thought and consideration, I found myself in a place most writers stumble into early on into their careers, whether or not my work would be good enough for publishing, and I let it all out the window and took a leap. I’ve always wanted to leave behind a legacy, and be known for my poetry, and to let my words etch themselves onto the face of the world, and I know this is not any easy task, however easy popular writers make it seem, and I intend to fully embrace the true, but sad, fact that I may never be published, but even if that does happen, I will still continue to write and chase my dream, even if it never leaves the ground. This list helped me look deeper into publishing, and these comments gave me a push into taking the step I needed, to further chase my dream. Thank you all very, very, much.
William Robert Shook III says
Overcoming the shadow,
When your touch was frost.
Having this weight,
Pressing my soul.
With the words you said,
When your love was null.
Loss of patter,
Slowing of feet.
Your absence of sweet.
Wanting the sun,
The rise of head.
To have that feeling,
January 27th 2017 5:37am
Spindle the threads of my thoughts,
Along with the strings of my heart.
An answer is all that I sought,
Don’t answer me with a painful part.
Shake my soul with the words,
Fight me with aggressive speech.
Smart I am not, but I can learn,
Like a pastor, you can preach.
I’m a game, so play me well,
Never good at winning.
It’s like I always do, I fell
From your board of sinning.
Collect my pain, collect my pride,
I am a Pawn to your torture.
It’s like I’m playing on your side.
I’m yours, I’m stuck like mortar.
October 23rd 2017 11:49pm
Sorting through the memories and times we had,
Everytime I think of him, it makes me sad.
Years feel like seconds, yesterday’s feel like tomorrow’s, why does time bring me sorrow?
Opening my eyes in the morning, nothingness inside, and my mind is soaring.
Thoughts repeating all the days after, why God why, am I getting sadder?
Our friendship together, I’m reminiscing,
How much of him, I am missing.
In this world I feel like a Pawn,
Without my friend, my best friend Sean.
I miss you brother, then….now….and after.
I will love you Sean, i will love you forever.
October 14th 2017 8:15pm
“A Distant Future”
Carried to this earth upon a cloud from heaven.
A distance opposite mine,
separates my eyes, her presence.
The time we shared, the days count seven.
This I say, I say outloud
“where are you, where is the girl upon a cloud”?
The time comes sun,
the time comes moon,
when will this question answer,
will it answer soon? Contact through fingers, eternity it feels,
waiting for her voice,
and now I kneel.
Ask Him for truth, and truth He will reveal,
“were is this angel?
The one my heart has sealed”?
“Patience” says He,
“time will find the answer, the answer to set you free”. Time ticks by while the bed is laid in,
the question now answered, her name is Meden.
October 9th 12:26am 2017
Over the waves I see her smile, happiness enters, if only a mile.
Out of reach, yet still feel her touch, the distance, the distance is driving me nuts.
Warmth flows from her words, she is perfect, perfection, including her curves.
Another day goes by, and still she makes me sigh. She defines beauty, I’m just waiting for her to pursue me.
The day may be soon, and yet the counts of moon. Will she reach out? I hope she ends this doubt.
October 18th 1:14pm
“Smile so I can…..”
Somewhere over the Rainbow, awaits an angel. Something tells me it’s not just a fable.
Ocean waves crash in front, across the mass rises the sun.
Tell me, tell me she is smiling, I can’t I can’t bare the frown. I would swim across this mass till I drown.
My eyes squint, my hand goes up. Will I ever feel her love?
Show me this angel, the one that let’s my pain go.
October 22 2017 7:02pm
My real name “William Robert Shook III”.
My address is 433 Penn Avenue Dupont, P.A. 18641. My phone number is (570)-507-4065. I thank you ahead for your time and effort with looking over my poems. These poems have not taking me long to write, they just seem to flow out of my mind. I plan on submitting more poems to you, or writings, and hopefully we can speak in the future when I pique your interest.