Online greeting card jobs are readily available but highly competitive. Greeting companies can be extremely selective of the material they accept for publication because of the large volume of submissions, so as a writer you must follow each individual company's guidelines to the letter for your work to be considered. You should also review the company's existing products prior to submitting your original work, because your style will fit better with some publishers' preferences than others.
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The mass production of greeting cards coincided with the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century, when printing became a cost-effective enterprise and the advent of the postage stamp made it easier for people to send missives to far-flung friends and relations. Publisher Louis Prang pioneered the greeting card industry in the United States, establishing a Boston-based lithographic concern in 1859 and reaching the height of his greeting card-related success in the 1890s. The electronic greeting card first arrived on the cyber scene late in the 1990s, expanding the market for greeting card writers exponentially.
Online greeting card writing opportunities include print and electronic media. While some of the largest corporations, including Hallmark and American Greetings, still largely rely on in-house staff members to produce their materials, others actively solicit online writers. Blue Mountain Arts, Oatmeal Studios and Designer Greetings are just a few that consider unsolicited submissions for publication. Not all, however, accept electronic submissions; for example, Designer Greetings stipulates that writers mail their material with an SASE included.
If you do your research, you will note that different greeting card publishers have individual preferences and style profiles. Religious greetings, casual cards, humorous messages, artistic greeting cards, juvenile cards and business-oriented greetings are all categories that might represent the primary focus of a single company or a series of divisions in a larger corporation. To effectively channel your submissions into the likeliest waters, research each company's product line.
According to the American Greeting Card Organization in 2010, "Americans purchase 7 billion greeting cards every year. Annual retail sales of greeting cards are estimated at more than £4.9 billion." The industry includes more than 3,000 publishers in the U.S. alone. The addition of the e-card to traditional greeting card markets has expanded rather than cut into annual card sales, because e-cards are spur-of-the-moment missives that supplement rather than replace printed greetings.
Greeting card writing is one of the best-paying online freelance gigs attainable for armchair authors. Generally, publishers pay from £29 to £195 for an accepted piece, as of 2010, according to Freelance Writing Gigs. Naturally, this makes the competition fierce and you must not only produce high-quality material but the right stuff for the specific publisher.
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