Now that you’ve got some great marketable designs, here are some helpful tips and guidelines for submitting your samples to greeting card publishers.
- • Your Name
- • website
- • phone number
When emailing samples, label your file names clearly with your name and descriptive title (example HCastles_PinkLily.jpg)
2. Protect your images : by watermarking JPGs with © Your Name, or on printed samples write © Your Name with your contact information.
3. Avoid Sending :
- • original artwork
- • faxes
- • slides
- • low resolution prints
- • hi resolution files via email
4. Do send :
- • clear print outs (See How to prepare illustration samples for Publishers for how to prepare print outs)
- • Cd’s with jpgs (include your contact information on the CD AND as a PDF within the CD. label each jpg within the CD with your name, and only send LOW Resolution…this is for approval only)
- • 3 or 4 low resolution jpgs via email (should not exceed 100kb per jpg)
- • teaser emails inviting to see your work online
- • contact sheets of your designs (2×3 inches)
5. Provide Prices : Some publishers have a set budget for illustration, while others will vary depending on the artwork. Make sure to clearly indicate the price and currency of each piece (Example CAN$250) Tip : Don’t aim too low because if your work is purchased, it will be hard for you to up your price later.
6. Send a Variety of samples : If you have more than one style that you do well, send samples of ‘em all! If a publisher knows you are able to provide more than one style, that makes you a more valuable service provider.
7. Submitting Everyday Illustrations : While it’s good to branch out a bit, try to illustrate a good bunch of the obvious stuff! Greeting card publishers are always looking for a fresh take on the old traditional concepts…birthday cakes, party hats, florals, you name it…the more mundane it is, the more it’s crying out to be refreshed!
8. Submitting Seasonal Illustrations : It can kind of screw with your mind a bit thinking about illustrating for Easter while it’s Halloween…but that’s the way it is! When contacting companies to ask what season THEY are in as it varies from publisher to publisher. Tip : Try to set aside some time to illustrate seasonal subject matter while you’re actually in that season…this allows you to build up a small collection to submit to publishers or have on-hand if it is requested out-of-the-blue.
9. Follow Up : Don’t be discouraged if you don’t hear back from a publisher directly…they receive dozens of samples a week, and often those samples don’t coincide with THEIR current season. So make sure to follow up with the publisher that your samples came through, and continue to send samples and keep your work “in front of them” throughout the year.
10. Contracts & Licensing of Artwork : Once you start working with a publisher, make sure you understand what you are selling. Most greeting card companies prefer to purchase exclusive rights to the art, meaning they are the only company who can use the art…they often pay more for the artwork, but it is a one-time sale for you. In this case especially, be sure to request samples of the cards, as well as your name / credit on the printed card. On the other hand, some publishers only purchase the rights to use the artwork for greeting cards, which allows you to continue to sell the artwork to other “non-greeting card” industries…these publishers often pay less for the artwork, but you still have the potential to gain revenue from the same illustration.