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How To Submit Greeting Card Verses And Poems (And Get Paid)

Guest blogger Suzan L. Wiener has had many greetings accepted by Andrews McMeel, Gallant Greetings, Peaceable Kingdom Press, Yippie Cards, etc. Many of her tips on writing, short stories, poems, and other short works have appeared in major publications. Learn how to submit your writing, free verse poems, and rhyming verses to greeting card companies.

Do you wonder how some poets and writers manage to sell their greeting card verses while others miss the mark completely or only get an acceptance on a rare occasion? This Q & A will give you the information you need to see your writing in the greeting card aisle (and help you make a little money at the same time!).

Q. Where do you find companies who will buy your greeting card verses?

A. I look in market books for writers or online at www.google.com. Then search for “paying greeting card markets.”

Q. How do I know what type of greetings to send to each company?

A. Always request the company’s guidelines. Follow them to the letter. If you don’t, your ideas may be disqualified just for that reason.

Q. If I only write rhyming verses, should I try to write unrhymed verses or one-liners?

A. Definitely. Why limit what you are writing? Who knows, you may have a flair for writing unrhymed verses. If you don’t give it a try, you will never know. You could be losing out on sales. I find it is a lot of fun to write different types of greetings rather than limiting myself to one form.

Q. When should I give up on a company if I keep getting rejections?

A. Only you can decide that. If submissions have been rejected for a year, it’s time to rethink what you are sending to the company. Something obviously isn’t meshing. Either you can sell your greeting card verses to another company, or you can rework them and try again. I always find it is best to send my ideas to another company, wait a few months, and then send other ideas to the first company. An editor might move on to another greeting card outfit, and the new editor might love your work. This has happened to me.

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Q. What if I’m not an artist? Can I still get my verses published?

A. In fact, unless you are a professional artist, publishers prefer you send submissions without artwork. They have in-house artists to do the illustrations. You can, of course, suggest a visual for your text directly on the card you are sending. Editors even appreciate stick figures. If you cannot draw, just give them an idea of what you are trying to convey.

Q. What rights do greeting card companies acquire?

A. Each company is different. Some will ask for all rights, others will ask for first-time rights, etc. Some will send you a contract and others just an acceptance letter. Giving away all rights isn’t the best way to go, but if you want to write for that particular company, you will have to relinquish them, unfortunately. That means you cannot resell your card ideas at all. When acquiring all rights is their policy, they don’t normally negotiate different terms.

Q. Do greeting card companies send you free copies of your cards?

A. Usually they do. It’s a great feeling to see the greeting that you wrote on the card itself. Some companies will even include your name on the card!

Q. Is there any way to guarantee that a card idea you wrote will sell?

A. The answer, in a nutshell, is no. But if you keep practicing your verse writing, gear your ideas to what editors prefer, make them a me-to-you message—which greeting card enthusiasts refer to as “sendable”—you will have a much higher rate of sales.

Q. How much can I get paid for writing greeting cards?

A. Greeting card payments vary from company to company—anywhere from $50 to $300 per card. These rates can change, and it’s best to check each publisher’s writers’ guidelines.

Read more: How Much Money Can You Make Writing Poems, Stories, and Books?

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12 Responses to How To Submit Greeting Card Verses And Poems (And Get Paid)

  1. Hi I have a unique idea for a greeting card I have read your blog but it only refers to the writing of rhymes ,poems or designing do you know and which company would I approach with just a concept idea. (I have a card made up but it would be the concept and not the design I would be selling) Thanks any help would be appreciate!! Julie

  2. Dear Julie, Unfortunately, we can’t give you specific recommendations for making your submissions to greeting card companies. If you were targeting literary agents or literary journals, that’s something we could help with in a very specific and personalized way. But we don’t target greeting card submissions. Best of luck to you!

  3. Please, what is the standard/initial fee I should charge a company to use a poem I wrote in their gift card, ($50.00 – 300.00)? Plus, what residual fee/percentage per card sold should I charge? I’m keeping rights to the poem.

  4. Vondra, We work primarily in the creative writing industry (RE literary agents and literary journals). We recommend that you try to network with other card writers for specifics of that industry. Good luck!

  5. Darian, We’re not offering mail subscriptions at this time. Our emails go out once a week. Instant delivery!

  6. Above it says that Suzan L. Wiener has had many greetings accepted by Andrew McMeal. Actually the name of that publishing house is Andrews McMeel. A good book on the topic is How to Write and Sell Greeting Cards by Molly Wigand.

  7. Julie, good catch! We’ll edit the article ASAP so the correct spelling is displayed. Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. Hi Paula, unfortunately, Writer’s Relief rarely submits client work to commercial organizations/publications, so we wouldn’t be able to help you submit to greeting card companies directly. You can read our article for helpful tips, but you’ll need to research the greeting card companies on your own!

  9. I write poems, birthday wish, and many other things that I have been told would be good in greeting cards, I am thankful that I came across this blog, and I am truly grateful that you have taken the time to share your wisdom with the world, and I look forward to reading the weekly newsletter.

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