Mistakes Greeting Card Writers Make Part 2



2. Creating Cards For Your Enemies

One publisher told of a woman who had submitted verse on the topic of sexual harassment in the work place. She had messages such as: “Boss--don’t touch me again or you’ll go to jail!” and “Sexual harassment is a crime--Don’t do it again.” One has to ask who would ever buy this type of card? And on what occasion? If you were being sexually harassed by your boss, the last thing you’d probably do is go out and buy him a greeting card! Rather, the human resources department of your company should be your first visit. Another common mistake writers make is insulting people. Jokes about women and their weight, age, breasts or sex life may come across as tasteless and offensive. Remember, the main reason people buy greeting cards is to send them to friends, not enemies.

(photo credit: evelynishire)


Also see:



CARD WRITING


Booklet on 7 Mistakes Greeting Card Writers Make A list of 7 things to avoid when submitting greeting card verse to publishers.

Includes a list of card publishers and their guidelines, links to writer interviews, articles, card samples and other current resources. 20-page booklet and 2,300 words and 8 Pages of Card Samples.


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Mistakes Greeting Card Writers Make Part 1


Before submitting verse to card publishers, evaluate your work and see if you are making these mistakes:

1. Forgetting That A Card Is A Relationship

A common problem writers have with card verse, is ignoring the fact that a card is a personal message between two individuals. Consider the following verse: “If you have anger in your heart, your will not find happiness.” Standing alone, this quote has an important message that is true, but what happens when you put this on a greeting card? What do the sender and receiver think? If you bought this card, who would you send it to? Someone who is angry? And if you were the recipient, you might feel that someone is trying to lecture you on how to avoid being a angry person.

(photo credit: evelynishere)


Also see:



CARD WRITING


Booklet on 7 Mistakes Greeting Card Writers Make A list of 7 things to avoid when submitting greeting card verse to publishers.

Includes a list of card publishers and their guidelines, links to writer interviews, articles, card samples and other current resources. 20-page booklet and 2,300 words and 8 Pages of Card Samples.


Thanks for helping to support this Blog



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7 Mistakes Card Writers Make

by Kate Harper
Today’s greeting card recipient may be a divorcee, a gay man, a working mom or even a recovering alcoholic. Card publishers are moving away from the traditional stereotypes of the happy family and are even including pets as honored companions.

Overly loving, lofty Mother's Day text is sometimes toned down because not everyone has that perfect relationship with their mother. Publishers are starting to look at how people really live. Next to sympathy cards you will find pet loss cards, next to wedding cards, you may find divorce cards.

Cards should express feelings that are normally difficult to communicate. They need to uplift someone, make them laugh or help them feel they can get through a difficult struggle. Finding authentic messages can be hard, but sometimes the best verse comes from the writer’s own experience. Good verse hits with a zing and makes the reader believe someone knows exactly how they feel. Customers want verse that is direct, short and honest.

See if you are accidentally making these mistakes:

1. Using Too Many Adjectives
Are you falling for the myth that, unlike book publishers, greeting card publishers really like adjectives? Eliminate all unnecessary adjectives from your verse. Adjectives slow the reader down. It makes them feel like they’ve just stumbled over a big, gray, hard, lengthy, endless, tiring rock.

2. Putting Too Much Syrup On
Are trying to emulate flowery feelings? It’s best to stick to feelings that you know. Otherwise, you come across as superficial and inauthentic. If you are a male writer, you might not want to specialize on verse about the joys of motherhood or the trauma of PMS.

3. Limiting the Market
Make sure you are not limiting your marketability. Consider the following Mother's Day verse: "A Mother's Kindness to her Son is Immeasurable. Happy Mother's Day." The verse has already limited the market to the 'son' being the buyer, the 'mother' being the recipient, and the 'time' of year the card is sold being only Mother's Day. But what if the verse was edited to read: "A Mother's Kindness is immeasurable."? Now the card can be sent from any person, to any mother, and not just the sender's mother, and it can be sent at anytime of year including Mother's Day, a mother's birthday or everyday "thinking of you."

4. Creating Cards for Enemies
One publisher told of a woman who had submitted verse on the topic of sexual harassment in the work place. She had messages such as: “Boss--don’t touch me again or you’ll go to jail!” and “Sexual harassment is a crime--Don’t do it again.” One has to ask who would ever buy this type of card? And on what occasion? If you were being sexually harassed by your boss, the last thing you’d probably do is go out and buy him a greeting card! Rather, the human resources department of your company should be your first visit. Another common mistake writers make is insulting people. Jokes about women and their weight, age, breasts or sex life may come across as tasteless and offensive. Remember, the main reason people buy greeting cards is to send them to friends, not enemies.

5. Forgetting a Card is a Relationship
A common problem writers have with card verse, is ignoring the fact that a card is a personal message between two individuals. Consider the following verse: “If you have anger in your heart, your will not find happiness.” Standing alone, this quote has an important message that is true, but what happens when you put this on a greeting card? What do the sender and receiver think? If you bought this card, who would you send it to? Someone who is angry? And if you were the recipient, you might feel that someone is trying to lecture you on how to avoid being a angry person.

6. Being Too Literary
Remember to write like you talk. Avoid being too poetic, using cliché's or going to great pains to be grammatically correct. Eliminate words like 'whom' or 'alas.' Avoid obscure technical terms or lengthy words. People just don't talk that way. Think about how you talk to your best friend. It's better to be casual than formal.

7. Haven't Read Guidelines
Most greeting card submissions are rejected for a very simple, avoidable reason: The writer did not read the guidelines. For example, some guidelines state that all card verse must be submitted on index cards and be under twenty words. If you submit a lengthy poem on a sheet of paper, this shows the publisher you have not taken the time to request and read the guidelines.

So then, what DO I write about?

So what is the best way to create greeting card verse? Imagine yourself sitting at the kitchen table across from you best frind. Ask: What kinds of things do we care about? What is crazy but funny about the world we live in today? Grocery store lines, day care, politics or jobs can all be strong topics to write about.

Research has shown that the text on a card is the most important factor customers consider when purchasing a card, the price and art are secondary.

Just like reaching across your kitchen table to hold a friend's hand, writing greeting card verse is the same. The only difference is that you are reaching across the world and touching complete strangers with your words.

Inspiration, love, hope, sympathy and gratitude expressed on cards, come from the heartfelt words of a writer, an important person in the greeting card business.

(card photos: Kate Harper Designs)




Also see:



CARD WRITING


Booklet on 7 Mistakes Greeting Card Writers Make A list of 7 things to avoid when submitting greeting card verse to publishers.

Includes a list of card publishers and their guidelines, links to writer interviews, articles, card samples and other current resources. 20-page booklet and 2,300 words and 8 Pages of Card Samples.


Thanks for helping to support this Blog



~


The Card Design Part 3


If you don’t have words on your card, make sure your image is an attention grabber. Pin your card on the wall next to store bought cards and step back 10 feet and look at it. Does your card stand out? Ask a friend to send you out of the room and rearrange the cards in new way. When you reenter the room notice where your eye is drawn and why.

Think of a card design as the art of Ikabana, Japanese flower arranging. In Ikabana, you start with a primary flower as the center of which all other flowers support Try to find your main strength and build around it.

Paper can be used as your main focus. For example, a fiber filled handmade paper red with clusters of pine needles may make a great Christmas card. Colors can also be the used by painting one bold red brush stroke across your card, and supporting it with a word or decoration.

If you like to use humor, it may not be necessary to create a perfectly illustrated design with carefully chosen colors. The main point may be the message. You don't want the image to detract from the humor.

Some cards rely completely on abstract images, such as a collage. They usually don’t have words on them, but the materials are carefully chosen for their unusual character, texture or color. College cards often attract customers to pick up the card because they want to know what it's made of.

(photo credit: Daziladi)

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