Sandra Miller-Louden's

Greeting Card Writing Dot Com



Issue #1

By Sandra Miller-Louden 

Dear Sandra: 

How much money can a beginner actually make writing greeting cards? I've read several of your bios/articles and always see this $50/word statement, yet I know that isn't realistic for a beginner unless it occurs by chance. How much do you tell your students typically to expect during the first month? What about the first year?                                                                                                                 --Tracy 

Sandra says:

While it's true I use the "dollars per word" figure for effect (which, by the way, I've upped to $75/word based on a recent 2-word caption I sold for $150), it's equally true that this is the only way I can set forth a figure, as I could never possibly predict how much anyone could make in any given month, especially in the beginning. Since this is completely a "work-for-hire" relationship, it is totally dependent on output (and of course, talent). If I would corner myself into predicting a "per month" amount, there would be people who would send in one batch of work, fully expecting to make several hundred dollars. People who have written (and been paid) in other genres are always pleasantly surprised by the amount of money they earn for writing greeting cards. I've had many professional writers as students, who appreciate the "do-able" factor-this is writing that has a defined beginning, middle and end-and is a genre creatively unique to others in which they have written. 

Dear Sandra: 

I've had a go at rewriting some of my own verses. The only trouble is I sometimes find it hard to choose whether the rewrite or the original is best. Do you go for "less is more" or do you just get to know with experience?            --Karen (UK) 

Sandra says:

As far as rewriting, yes, experience is a great teacher. You do develop a 6th sense-based not only on the verse itself, but also on steadily working with a particular editor and knowing the text format she'll be most likely to buy. Remember, too, to allow a visual to "do the talking." Many times an appropriate picture-either drawn or photographed-on the front of the card, with actual words only on the inside, make a fantastic mix. Finally, rewriting can-and often should-involve a change of product. The verse you've written that just isn't quite "cutting it" for a greeting card might work better in a sticky note, mug, calendar or t-shirt. In my online greeting card writing class for as well as my new course in greeting card writing for, I talk about rewriting in detail, as well as alternate product captioning and how it differs from-and is similar to-writing for greeting cards. 







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