New Humorous Magnet about Husbands

On Fridays, I sometimes like to display samples of products I've designed.

Here is a recent magnet I designed for Ephemera.

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10 Articles on Card Design


The Greeting Card Business

Get Your Greeting Cards Into Stores: How to Find and Work With Sales Reps (Updated 2017 paperback) If you like to make greeting cards, this book explains how to get your cards into stores and sell them nationwide.  Learn about changing trends in the indie card market and niche opportunities available for artists. Book includes detailed guidelines on pricing cards for a profit, getting professional feedback on your designs, finding sales representatives, pitching your card line to them, approaching stores, and the industry standards you should follow. Information is also applicable to gift items, such as magnets, journals and calendars.

Start and Run a Greeting Card Business From a British author, whose country has a long history of greeting card design, she takes you step-by-step through the process of starting and running your business with lots of useful practical advice to help you, including: - Deciding what type of cards to produce - Finding your market - Dealing with printers - Copyright and licensing - Pricing and profit. Kate's note: Some specs are different (card sizes) since it is UK standards.

Pushing the Envelope Things the small greeting card manufacturer needs to know about finding, recruiting and retaining a winning sales force can be found in this easy-to-read handbook. Written from both the manufacturer and sales rep perspectives, this nuts and bolts guide is full of industry information, sales tips and guidance for building successful and profitable rep relationships. Kate's Note: This book was written by my top selling sales rep in the country.

Evaluation of Surtex: Seminars

I asked people on Linkedin about their evaluation of Surtex, Here is a sampling of what they said about the seminars:

- Extensive programming was offered - much more and apparently more appealing/better promoted than in years past. Several prominent manufacturers conducted workshops, attended sessions or both. This cut into time these manufacturers (potential licensees) had to walk the show. The sessions gave non-exhibiting artists a precious opportunity to connect with licensees that should have been on the show floor.

- I had never considered art licensing until I attended the workshop. I was intrigued.

-I would suggest to the management of Surtex to have a flat fee to cover a certain number of seminars. Personally, I found that having to pay extra for each seminar was a deterrent to attending.

- I believe the concurrent seminars were partially responsible for lighter traffic. Positioned at the front of the hall, I could actually see (and hear) an influx of visitors as seminars let out.

- The reality is that while show management has an interest in helping artists learn about licensing, since they can then sell more booths, helping new artists break into the licensing business is directly contrary to the best interests of the exhibitors (excluding those few who have learned to profit from it).

- From my observation the seminars are for profit and some seem to be created for visitors not just exhibitors. A suggestion is artists are still allowed in for seminars and in order to avoid any conflicts with those who have paid for the booths maybe the show management can also offer guided walking tours. This way they can continue to sell and grow the show but they keep things under control during the show.

Evaluation of Surtex: Exhibiting

I asked people on Linkedin about their evaluation of Surtex, Here is a sampling of what they said about the exhibiting:

- Overall, I did think traffic was down this year with regard to buyers and up with regard to visitors that were obviously NOT buyers. I was still pleased with my business, but I would like to see a more professional crowd going forward, and perhaps that means fewer artists/students/lookers.
- Tip: Make your banners BIG so someone can see them from a distance - you want to catch their attention

- My biggest negative was the massive amounts of visiting artists and industry guests. I felt very exposed as a marketing tool. There was zero benefit to me as a paid exhibitor, in fact distinctly the opposite.
- My experience from this show was that due to number of non exhibiting manufacturers trying to figure out how my product was made I will not ever show nothing new at this show again.

- I have been doing the Surtex show for at least 15 years, this show and the industry have been through many changes. Yes we do see many of the same manufactures year after year and to me that is GOOD news. I am grateful for steady, returning loyal manufactures. This is the way I earn my living. I have signed countless deals over the years and the ones that have bared the most fruits are the ones that are steady relationships that have been built over time.
-Manufacturer/buyer traffic seemed to be down a bit from last year.
But, I think that there were more "serious" buyers though. I have amount the same amount of good leads to follow up with as I did last year, and I do believe it's a decent amount, so I'm happy with that.
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