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Getting Your Greeting Card Line to Market

by Karen Moore

You've done it! You've got the look, the copy, the idea that will generate millions of greeting card sales. This is so hot you're pretty sure the execs from Hallmark will insist you create your line exclusively with them. Congratulations!

In the event that you don't know exactly how to market your great card line, here's a few steps you might want to take.

Research. Before you go after a market, make sure there is a market for your idea. Go to local outlets, from destination card shops to giant mass marketers, and see if your idea already exists. If it doesn't, you might have discovered a niche that isn't being addressed, or it might mean it's been tried and dropped by publishers. It's important to suggest your reasons for recommending your line.

Refine. Look at your product with a critical eye. Is it fresh? Does it have rack appeal? Why would the consumer pick your card over another? Make sure you have at least ten strong examples of your line. Most publishers want to know you can do 12, 24, 48, or more cards. Will your look and copy direction sustain that many cards? If not, look again and make some changes.

Create a proposal. Most likely, you won't get to stand in front of a publisher and share your idea. You'll have to send a presentation and hope it catches their attention. What should you include in that presentation?

  • The focus or main idea of your line
  • Who you think will buy your line
  • Why you think this line is important to the market
  • What need it addresses in the market
  • What application you think it might have for seasonal product, as well as everyday lines
  • What other products you think might be created as well--calendars, bookmarks, note cards, etc.
  • Your background and ability to help feed more ideas into building your line
  • What you think is out in the market that is similar, and why your line is different
  • Your copyright notice

Be careful if you've based your line on a popular book or celebrity. You need permission to actually create a line from some other published works.

Know the market. Check out Writer's Market or some other industry resource. You can go online to The Greeting Card Association for member publishers and submit to them. If you don't happen to find the right publisher, consider self publishing your line and offering it on your web site. While that can work, you need to answer most of the questions outlined here. Ideas are great, but they only work if someone buys your product.

Good luck with getting your line into the marketplace!

More information:

Greeting Card Association

Copyright © 2002 Karen Moore
This article may not be reprinted without the author's written permission.

Karen Moore is a published author, seminar leader, and conference speaker. A long-time greeting card writer and product developer, she is the author of "You Can Write Greeting Cards," as well as many licensed property lines. She has developed products for American Greetings, Gibson Greetings, Standard Publishing and others. She has conducted training seminars, and been a conference speaker in the areas of greeting card writing, writing for children, and networking.

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