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The Best Greeting of All
by Nadia Ali

The hardest thing about writing is cracking a new market, for me it was the paper greeting card market. Although I had success with e-card slogans, the paper greeting card market was a much tougher one to crack.

I began in this niche by sending out the usual 8x10 index cards in batches of ten ideas. On one side of each card was my name, mailing address and email address – just incase they needed to tell me they wanted my ideas straight away! On the other side of the index card was the greeting for the outside and inside of the greeting card together with a number to assist in identification of the greeting. I would send the batch with an SASE to paper card companies that generally sent them back with a "thank you, but no thank you" form letter. Only Oatmeal Studios (http://www.oatmealstudios.com ) was kind enough to offer reasons why a card was rejected and give examples of ideas that had recently been accepted.

The time in between sending a batch and receiving a reply could take anything from two months to six months. It was a long wait for something that was a very short read. However, through persistence I came across a new paper greeting card market called, Smart Alex (www.smartalexinc.com), which accepted online submissions.

Online submissions were so much easier to prepare, it just meant having everything in a list form with the greeting card number on top, the outside and inside lines and then the same thing for another idea double spaced below. I would cut and paste the greetings into the body of the email with a query letter to introduce my submissions and myself as a greeting card contributor.

I sent my first batch to them consisting of seven ideas instead of the usual 10-12 ideas. As an online market it yielded a faster response from the editor as opposed to the months that rolled on by from the snail mail submissions.

The first email response arrived two days later:

Hi, I like your writing style! The art director is on vacation for a week. I will have him email you when he is back next week. Again, I really like your humor lines.

Needless, to say things sounded promising, but the wait seemed like a very long time. It felt like weeks when in fact it had only been five days until I got his second response.

Hello. Thank you for your patience. We would like to buy Sentiment Number 5059:

O: Gosh! You look so young on your birthday

I: Pity about the rest of the year.

We can send out a check for $75 as soon as we get your mailing address.

I had got an acceptance my first time round. I couldn’t believe it! My check followed a few weeks later and a month or two later I received the finished product, a beautifully illustrated birthday greeting card with my name printed on the back for the world to see.

Published, printed, paid and accredited all in one go!

© Copyright 2005, Nadia Ali

Nadia Ali is a freelance greeting card writer who has had numerous successes in this genre with published paper cards, e-cards and slogans.

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