My New Line With Leanin' Tree!

kid quips

I am happy to announce my new line with Leanin' Tree, an environmentally friendly, family-owned company. New releases include: birthday cards, encouragement cards, thank you notes, get well wishes, note cards and magnets. Each card features:

• Full-color artwork, inside and out
• Colorfully designed envelopes
• Printed on recycled paper using soy-based inks
• Made in the USA

For more information contact Leanin' Tree at 800-525-0656 or

kid quips

Examples of Attention-Grabbing Art on the Homepage

Months ago posted a question on linkedin about how to make a good art licensing website and several artists responded.

I visited about 80 sites (whew!) and one thing I noticed was that having a prominent and vibrant image on the home page grabbed my attention right away. So I've decided to feature "Attention Grabbing Images."

My comments underneath are the "first thoughts" I had when I saw the image.

Note: These are only - images- from their homepages. If you want to see their entire homepage, and how they used the image, click directly on the image and it will go to their homepage and website.

This looks like real paper! I love that green splash.

How can I not feel happy? Let's go wherever you are going.

What a great mood and feeling! I want to be there and dream about things.

Yes, I've been there. I know how it feels.

Thanks for the great welcome and I love your turquoise and yellow.

Yes. You are beautiful.
(but please put your copyright to the side so I can enjoy your fragrance)


This texture keeps me looking, and those little red legs make me feel like a kid.

To see all the websites, go to this linkedin discussion on the Art of Licensing Group. If you are not a member (and you are reading this blog) you should be!


Are Card Publishers Keeping Bookstores Alive?

I recently listened to an excellent interview on Kindle Chronicles podcast, with Neil Strandberg, manager of operations at Denver’s renowned Tattered Cover Book Store, about his experience of the e-book revolution.

He made an interesting statement:
In the most financially successful bookstores, the fastest growing inventory now is not a book, but sideline items (includes cards and gifts) . They are now the most profitable part of the business.

I was surprised to hear this.

Perhaps the gift industry is keeping the bookstore industry afloat?

Check out the audio interview online:

You can also subscribe the the podcast on itunes.


5 New Web Apps for Designers

Here another useful article. Note: This is only excerpt. To read the entire article go to the blog post at Inspiredmag

Unlike other design communities Font story decided to focus on one particular niche: Fonts.

This service will help designers, writers, and other creatives form and develop ideas. It uses the power of words and people’s unique associations with them to fuel the creative process and encourage unconventional solutions to visual problems.

Teleseminar Series for how to find reps

The authors of Pushing the Envelope: The Small Greeting Card Manufacturer’s Guide to Working with Sales Reps are going to have a series of teleseminars on the card business

While there are several oriented for retail stores, the series for Card Designers are as follows. They are $29 each and $230 for the whole group. All teleseminars in this series are one hour and begin at 8:00 PM EST/5:00 PM PST.

For Greeting Card Designers

Listen to the inaugural class (free in the series), Planning for Success in 2011, on the audio at:

February 22, 2011: Road to Summer Trade Shows. As a wholesaler, trade show participation can provide a tremendous boost to the visibility of your product and your company profile. But participation is expensive and the decision to participate should not be made lightly. Before you write that check, make sure exhibiting at a trade show is the best investment for your company at this time.

March 22, 2011: Making the Most of Your Trade Show Participation, Part 1: Winning Pre-Show Tips and Strategies. Exhibiting at a trade show is an exciting event in the life of a card company. It can also be very stressful and physically exhausting. Get an edge up with this session loaded with insider tips, strategies, and proven techniques to make the most of your time on the show floor.

April 26, 2011: Making the Most of Your Trade Show Participation, Part 2: Creating Post-Show Success. What happens after you get home from exhibiting at a trade show is just as important as what happens on the show floor. Don’t lose show momentum due to poor planning and lack of direction.

June 21, 2011: Order Fulfillment 101. Every card company loves waking up to an inbox full of orders. Help keep your retail customers happy by learning what buyers and receivers really want when they open up a shipment, and keep yourself sane in the process.

July 26, 2011: Time Management For Creative People. Traditional techniques of time management are often difficult for left-brained, creative people to implement and maintain. The good news is that creatives can still make great use of each 24 hour period in a way that supports your imagination without boxing it in.

August 23, 2011: Creating Sellable Designs. Being creative is one of the best parts of being a card designer. But not all creative ideas translate into a sellable product. Making sales is the difference between an art collection and a card company. Get started right by reducing your learning curve with costly mistakes. This class is suited for brand new as well as more experienced card designers alike.

September 27, 2011: Creating a New Release. Adding new designs is essential to keeping a greeting card line fresh and interesting to retailers and reps alike. Like any business move, the most successful new releases are backed with a plan. In this session, you’ll learn proven strategies for creating and successfully releasing new styles into your collection.

October 25, 2011: Finding and Recruiting Sales Reps. Our most popular live seminar is back! For many new and young greeting card companies, working with sales reps is a key component to business growth. Why do some companies appear to get all the reps and others can’t seem to get any? Do small companies even have a shot at getting reps? Get all your sales rep questions answered in this information-packed session.

November 22, 2011: Advertising, Press Releases and Public Relations For Any Budget. No matter how good your product might be it doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. Knowing how the worlds of advertising and public relations work will go a long way to insuring promotional success.

December 20, 2011: Using Social Media. Love it, hate it, or don’t get it, social media isn’t going away. Learn the most effective strategies to utilize Facebook and Twitter to promote your business and boost your professional visibility.

For Sales Reps

Dates and Topics

Listen to the inaugural class (free in the series), Goal Setting for Sales Rockstars, on the audio player below.

February 14, 2011: Post Trade Show Strategies. Now that you’re home from the winter shows, how do you maximize all those leads, new lines, great ideas and inspiration you gathered? Post-show follow up is one of the most important elements to growing and sustaining a territory. This session will give you useable strategies for riding the wave of show momentum.

March 14, 2011: Make Your Appointments More Profitable. Nothing happens before a sale is made and appointments are where most of the action happens. Getting in front of buyers can be tricky and it’s easy to leave money on the table if you’re not prepared. This session will help you land more appointments and make the best use of your—and the buyer’s—time. In this hour you’ll learn:

April 11, 2011: Get Organized for Sales Success. Some of the best sales opportunities can be lost if you’re not organized and ready to rock. Establishing and maintaining systems can be difficult, especially during peak selling times. Learn how to create and sustain organized and efficient systems for your paperwork, files, samples and sales materials to keep you on your “A” game.

May 2, 2011: Take Control of Your Time with Effective Scheduling. In sales, time is money. With an ever-increasing list of demands, it’s easy to lose track of time, get distracted by non-selling activities and cave to procrastination. Learn how to work smarter, get more done, and really enjoy your downtime.

June 13, 2011: Trade Show Strategies. Just in time for summer show season! Learn how to set yourself up for bigger sales, make the most of your time on the floor, devise a post-show action plan and live to tell about it.

July 6, 2011: Travel Tips and Productivity. Whether you’re touring your territory or participating in a trade show, traveling can be exhausting and often puts the brakes on sales productivity. Discover how to keep all the plates spinning and take care of yourself in the process.

August 8, 2011: Take Your Customer Service From Good To Great. Every sales rep thinks their customer service is tops. But is yours really that impressive? This session will focus on effectively anticipating, meeting and exceeding your customer’s needs and expectations as well as a variety of immediately applicable strategies for taking better care of your accounts and set yourself apart from the competition.

September 12, 2011: You Rule! Winning Strategies to Conquor Q4. Just like our retailers, Q4 is make it or break it time for sales reps. Not only do reps juggling end of the year orders, they are looking ahead to January releases, the upcoming tradeshow season, incorporating new lines into our product mix, new catalogs, new customers and the personal holiday rush. A little planning can make the difference between dominating and drowning and this session will set you up to win big.

October 10, 2011: Social Media for Reps. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs, and websites…what’s a rep to do? Demystify the world of social media with this concentrated session discussing effective ways to utilize social media to identify, make real connections and build relationships with your active –and prospective—customers.

November 14, 2011: Making the Most of Your Sales Manager. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, but most of us have ‘em. Whether you’re part of a group or an independent rep, having positive, supportive, and engaged relationships with your sales managers can be a significant factor in your ability to sell a line successfully. Getting those relationships going can be tough, especially if it isn’t your usual way of doing things.

December 12, 2011: Plan for Success: Q1/2012 Goal Setting. It may be December, but you can position yourself now to hit the ground running in January. Between show season, new product and catalog releases, new sales goals and increased expectations from both manufacturers and customers, outlining an action plan for first quarter and setting larger goals for 2012 can make the difference between playing catch-up and being in charge.

Their second book, tentatively titled Showtime! The Greeting Card and Gift Company’s Pocket Guide to Trade Shows, will be released in May 2011.

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