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THE BEST WAYS TO MAKE THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS WRITING!
Writers today are no longer just working on books and newspapers. Businesses, advertisers, and hundreds of other outlets are desperate for people who can craft effective messages and persuade people with their words. A strong writer can make $50 to $200 per hour, or even more... if you know where to find the work.
Robert Bly is a professional writer who makes more than $600,000 per year from his writing. Now, he's ready to share his secrets. 88 Money-Making Writing Jobs presents the best outlets writers can find to turn their words into profit (including many that few people think to seek out).
For anyone serious about a career as a writer, this guide offers the best information on how to make incredible money in ways that are fun, challenging, and make the most of your writing talents.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Robert Bly has been a professional writer since 1979 and a full-time freelance writer since 1982. He earns more than $600,000 a year from his writing and is a self-made multimillionaire.
Bob is the author of more than seventy books, including several popular volumes on writing. These include Careers for Writers (McGraw-Hill/VGM), Secrets of a Freelance Writer (Henry Holt), The Copywriter's Handbook (Henry Holt), The Elements of Technical Writing (Allyn & Bacon), and The Elements of Business Writing (Allyn & Bacon).
McGraw-Hill calls Bob Bly "America's top copywriter." His copywriting clients include AT&T, IBM, Kiplinger, Boardroom, and Swiss Bank. He has published more than one-hundred articles in Amtrak Express, Cosmopolitan, Writer's Digest, and many other publications.
Bob writes monthly columns for DM News, the weekly newspaper of the direct marketing industry, and Early to Rise, a daily e-newsletter on business success. He publishes a monthly e-zine on writing, copywriting, and marketing with more than fi fty-thousand subscribers.
Bob has given lectures on writing, publishing, and freelancing to numerous groups, including American Writers & Artists Inc., National Speakers Association, Learning Annex, Newsletter Publishers Association, and American Society of Journalists and Authors.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Chapter 40: Greeting Cards
The next time you walk down the greeting card aisle at a grocery store, you might be seeing more than just paper. You could be seeing dollar bills. In a single year, more than seven billion greetings cards will be sent in the United States alone. Those cards generate more than $7.5 billion dollars in retail sales. About one-third of all greeting cards are written by freelance writers. However, few writers take the time to explore this potentially lucrative market, so the possibility of breaking into the card writing scene is encouraging.
What It Pays
A greeting card may not pay as much as a magazine or newspaper article, but most greeting card companies pay a fl at fee of $25 - $200 for a single card. The few companies that pay their writers royalties offer about 2 - 10% of the wholesale price. Expect to receive $35 - $50 per card. Once you establish yourself as a successful greeting card writer, you can command more money.
Nuts and Bolts
Don't be fooled with misconceptions about the greeting card industry. You may have already picked up a card and declared, "I could write this," but greeting card writing is more diffi cult than it appears. A typical card runs between two and ten lines. But those few lines are a concise masterpiece. A writer should understand the importance of voice before submitting any work.
Every greeting card must accomplish two main goals: grab the attention of the buyer in 1.5 seconds and perfectly convey the emotion of the sender. You must produce a strong me-to-you connection between the sender of the card and the receiver.
If a direct, personal message is not included, the sender will never buy your card. If the wording is too vague and doesn't use enough personal pronouns, the receiver will not feel special. In either case, your card has failed in its purpose.
Remember, there is one more person involved in this intimate exchange: you. Think of yourself as merely the silent messenger. Cards are not meant to display your phenomenal command of the English language or force your worldview on others. Just deliver the message intended, whether wishing for a quick recovery from an illness or sharing the joy of college graduation. Keep it simple, and keep yourself out of the picture as much as possible. If you have a strong control of voice, greeting card writing may be your niche.
What You'll Write
There are three basic types of greeting cards: traditional, contemporary, and humorous. Traditional includes poetry or prose and allows for more written lines. Contemporary includes all messages in a conversational tone. Humorous cards include a wide range of possibilities, and they also pay the most. Greeting card companies have an equal demand for all three styles.
Until your name is well known at a particular company, all your projects are written on spec. So what you write is entirely up to you. You have no set structure to follow. Be creative. Experiment with all styles and occasions.
What It Takes
Theoretically, anyone can write a greeting card. Unlike other publishers, greeting card companies don't care about your past writing experience (even if you don't have any). They don't want you to send a resume or other writing samples. All they care about is the work you submit. That being said, skilled writers have the greatest advantage in this industry. With a firm grasp of voice, their work is more likely to be accepted.
But greeting card writing is a skill that can be acquired. The best way to learn greeting card writing, particularly what sells, is to browse the card aisles of any store. Read as many cards as you can. Study additional greeting card resources (at the end of this chapter) for tips and ideas on how to improve your writing. Then keep trying. Eventually, you can become an expert in the industry.
1. Write. Jot down your ideas. One great aspect of greeting card writing is that it can be done anywhere. If you have five minutes, grab a pen and brainstorm.
2. Request guidelines. There are dozens of greeting card publishers in the United States, some of which you can find online at www.writerswrite.com/greeting cards/publish.htm. Contact the publisher, president, or creative director. Many companies have their submission guidelines available online. If not, send the company a polite request for their guidelines, along with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Focus on midsize companies. Large companies do not accept unsolicited materials.
3. Research. Publishers tend to produce similar cards; browse their cards on their websites if not at the store. Get an idea of what they're selling and make sure your cards match. Like any other industry, greeting cards follow trends. Know what those trends focus on before submitting any work.
4. Type your work. No matter what format the company requires, always type your work. Include your name and address on the top left-hand corner of all your submissions.
5. Send your submission. Make sure everything you send includes your personal contact information and a #10 self-addressed, stamped envelope. The easier it is for a company to contact you, the more likely the sell. Send six to twenty submissions at one time, and resist sending simultaneous submissions to other companies. Once you have submitted your work, sit back and wait. It could take several weeks or months for a publisher to send a reply.
If you are serious about greeting card writing, there are a few resources listed below to consider. Good luck, and happy birthday, or Merry Christmas, or whatever.
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