Finding the Right Publishers
While some publishers concentrate on producing a certain type of greeting cards (eg. humorous, fine art or juvenile) the majority have diversified and publish a variety of greeting card ranges. This of course makes it more difficult for you as an artist to target the most appropriate potential publishers for your work.
There are various ways in which you can research the market, quickly improve your publisher knowledge and, therefore, reduce the amount of wasted correspondence:
Browse the greeting card displays in card shops, varietal stores (WH Smith, Boots), department stores and gift shops. This will not only give you an insight as to what is already out in the market but also which publishers may be interested in your work. Most publishers include their contact details on the backs of the cards.
There are a number of trade exhibitions held during the year at which publishers exhibit their greeting card ranges to retailers and overseas distributors. By visiting these exhibitions, artists will not only be able to gain a broad overview of the design trends in the industry, but the current ranges of individual publishers.
Some publishers are willing to meet artists and look through artists' portfolios on the stand, others are not. Do not be put off by the latter. If you believe your work could be relevant for them, ask for a contact name and follow it up afterwards. Some larger companies may suggest you contact their art director or design manager, while for smaller businesses it may be the managing director of the company who deals with the design aspect.
It is a good idea to have a supply of business cards handy, perhaps illustrated with some of your work, to leave with the publisher.
The Trade Fair Calendar
Progressive Greetings Worldwide
Progressive Greetings Worldwide is the market leading magazine for the greeting card industry and the official magazine of the Greeting Card Association. The editorial and advertisements will provide immediate insight into publishers, new products, industry issues and news of the day. It often carries advertisements of publishers looking for freelance designs and verses. A list of publishers appears each month at the back of the magazine. It is published 12 times a year and is available through an annual subscription (£40 a year) and also includes special supplements such as an annual Focus on Art Cards and Focus on Humorous Cards.
Art Source is an editorial feature which devotes at least two pages in every issue of the magazine to promoting the talents of artists, designers and photographers. At least one artist is featured in depth every month. This coverage is a free service for artists - so if you wish to be featured, send information covering your art style, subject matter, medium used and inspiration together with a high resolution (at least 300dpi) image of your work (either on CD or Zip disc, jpeg, or a good quality print out of the image, no originals please!) to Emma Cain at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Art & Design Licensing Source Book
The Art & Design Licensing Source Book is a central source of information for artists and image libraries to display their designs to manufacturing partners wishing to license art for products in a great number of sectors, including core areas such as gifts, greetings, home wares, fashion and more.
This publication is mailed to a cross category circulation as well as show distribution at relevant events such as Surtex, The Brand Licensing Show, Progressive Greetings Live and Spring Fair.
There is plenty of opportunity for artists to be featured free of charge as well as cost effective options available for artists, agents and image libraries to advertise and reach new contacts.
Contact Rob Willis on 020 7700 6740 or email@example.com
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