There’s one thing we’ve all received for a holiday by now– a greeting card.
Greeting cards are a huge industry in the US, netting around $7.5 billion a year, with just around as many sold.
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Greeting cards are such a serious part of the American lifestyle that we even have a Greeting Card Association!
In fact, the Greeting Card Association conducted a survey, and found that 30 percent of people who received a greeting card were going to keep it forever.
You can imagine that there is a pretty serious love for these things. So much so, that they’re always accepting new suggestions for greeting cards, and you can get paid to make those suggestions.
Freelance or non-contracted writers/artists can make from $50 for an idea, all the way up to $300.
So, what companies can you pitch your ideas to?
Below we’ll list 15 companies that you can get paid to write greeting cards for:
Perhaps the most famous greeting card publisher, Hallmark doesn’t actually accept outside submissions. They have their own in-house team of writers that write all of their greeting cards.
So, if you want to make money witting greeting cards for Hallmark, you will probably have to move to Kansas City, Mo. as the company is headquartered there.
The reason I am mentioning on this list is because I know the first company most people think of when it comes to writing greeting cards for, is Hallmark. So I wanted to answer the question of whether or not they accept freelance writers, which unfortunately they don’t. But we have 14 more companies that do!
You’ve almost definitely heard of this big card company.
These guys don’t accept just anybody, though, so you’ll need to get in contact with them and arrange a formal exchange of ideas.
3. Smart Alex
This is a greeting card company that targets the adult demographic, and they have a heavy preference for mature and topical cards.
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That means your risque suggestions go here– though they do prefer that you keep it out of the “filthy” territory.
These guys occasionally run a contest that accepts written submissions.
Keep your eye out, and you could make an easy $25 for being accepted.
5. Avanti Press
A pretty large distributor of cards, Avanti Press has unfortunately filled all their positions.
But they’re on this list because they’re accepting work for future contributors, so you should definitely send over a work sample while you’re at it.
Another group that is accepting future considerations. But be warned– they note that they will not return your submissions.
An adult-focused company, ComStock pays $50 for accepted submissions. Artists make a varied wage.
This company seems to be a bit raunchier than Smart Alex.
This is a classier company, with classier cards.
When they begin accepting submissions, you can reach them through snail mail or through email. However, they’re very secretive about their payment amounts.
Enclose a SASE when you apply here! These guys only accept submissions through mail. They also have an emphasis on Christmas cards, so keep that in consideration.
No word on their payment, as it changes per-person.
This is a more family-friendly greeting card company that has an emphasis on interpersonal relationships.
They accept email and snail mail, but one important note: no rhyming poetry!
The website doesn’t offer much information on these guys, except that they are interested in submissions.
We can’t tell you much more than that, but it is worth sending over a sample while you’re applying to the other sites.
12. Oatmeal Studios
This company tries to cover a wide variety of demographics. I couldn’t find how much they pay, but they are definitely accepting original submissions.
13. Shoebox Cards
Shoebox has a particular request: not to send more than eight submissions at once!
Other than that, they are currently accepting. Shoebox is now a subunit of Hallmark cards, but you can email the submission director about freelance submissions.
14. It Takes Two
They’re pretty explicit about being an in-house operation, but word is that they may accept submissions if you email them discreetly.
We’ll end with Ephemera, a company that is more focused on merchandise like stickers than it is with greeting cards.
Don’t let that dissuade you, though: you can make an easy $50 if your idea is accepted for their products.
And remember, no matter who you’re submitting to, there will be submission guidelines! Some companies post them right on the site, and others ask you to email them.
Don’t be afraid to email– it is always important to follow these instructions.
What about small companies?
Yes, you can submit to smaller companies.
If you know of any companies that aren’t on the list, you should still feel free to approach them. In fact, there should even be less competition if you do.
Either approach a local business, or make a quick Google search for “Greeting Card Jobs.”
How much money can you really make writing greeting cards?
The above list doesn’t contain all the information for payment on greeting cards.
There is a pretty serious rate of variance with payment, anywhere from just a few bucks to a few hundred.
The more serious people will have a whole process; market review, exclusivity rights, contracts.
These are par for the course in more serious environments, so don’t freak out if you get an offer for a contract. After all, you’ll need to sign it to get paid!
In this field, originality is key. But at the same time, you probably won’t find much success by pitching your wildest ideas.
Somewhere in-between is ideal.
Study what other people are doing, and study specific to the niche you are submitting to. Your dirty jokes might fly for one company, but they’ll offend the next company over. Likewise, your poem about friendship is not going to appeal to the raunchy joke people.
It’s all about giving them something alike what they’re selling, but with your personal twist.
There is pretty much a surefire chance that you’ll get at least one acceptance, if you’re studying the market and putting your originality into it… It’s just a matter of playing your cards right!