SELLING YOUR WORK IN GREETING CARD FORMAT IS A GREAT WAY TO INTRODUCE PEOPLE TO YOUR ART, AS WELL AS GENERATE EXTRA INCOME, SAYS LAURA BOSWELL
Recently, I’ve been involved in a debate about the value of turning work into greetings cards. I have been selling cards for years and, if done well, I think
they are great for business. The main concern raised is that people will buy them rather than the work. People have told me they are buying a card to frame and that’s fine: it’s great they like my work enough to hang it. More than balanced against this are the people who buy prints because of the greetings cards. They live with a card and find they can’t do without an original or are sent one and inspired to buy. Most people like to buy a little something from an artist and, if those who wouldn’t buy originals end up buying cards, the money soon mounts up.
I make a card-size printout to see if the work will reproduce favourably, and always prefer prints that have been received well on social media – it is a good test for sales. I make sure that I have top-class photographs of my work and use a professional printer who is used to
PEOPLE BUY THE CARD AND FIND THEY CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT AN ORIGINAL OR ARE SENT ONE AND INSPIRED TO BUY
producing cards in short runs. Check quantities with the printer to get the best price for your order or maybe coordinate with other artists for a bulk deal. I buy envelopes and glassine bags separately and pack everything myself. After costings, I find that I can price slightly below the normal retail value and still make a good profit because people buy more cards when they are competitive priced.
Always put your contact details and a bit about yourself on the back of the cards, and take a box of them with you everywhere you go. I take cards along to classes and talks, as well as fairs and shows. Approach your local museum or gift shop, too, as they often sell cards by local artists, and also ask any gallery that shows your work.
If you are asked for a trade price for your cards, it needs to be about 50 per cent of the retail price if you are selling up front and, for sale or return, you will need to agree a percentage commission.