The Journey to Traditional Publication: A Guide for Aspiring Card Deck Creators
Creating a card deck, be it Tarot, Oracle, or any thematic set, is a unique blend of artistry, intuition, and storytelling. For many creators, the dream doesn't just end with the creation; it extends to seeing their deck traditionally published. This blog post guides you through the steps and considerations for getting your card deck traditionally published.
Understanding the Market
Before approaching publishers, it's crucial to understand the card deck market. Research existing decks, noting what themes, styles, and concepts are popular, as well as any gaps in the market your deck might fill. Attend card reading events, join online communities, and immerse yourself in the culture to understand your potential audience better.
Refining Your Deck
Ensure your deck is not just visually appealing but also meaningful and usable. Each card should be thoughtfully designed, with attention to symbolism, color schemes, and overall aesthetics. If your deck is meant for readings, ensure the symbolism is clear and accessible to potential users.
Creating a Compelling Proposal
When you're ready to pitch to publishers, prepare a compelling proposal. This should include an overview of your deck, its unique features, and its potential market appeal. Include sample card images, descriptions, and any testimonials or endorsements if available. Your proposal should not just sell your deck but also you as a creator.
Finding the Right Publisher
Research publishers who have a history of publishing card decks. Look at their catalog to see if your deck aligns with their brand. Tailor your proposal to each publisher, highlighting why your deck is a good fit for them specifically.
Understanding the Business
Familiarize yourself with the business aspects, including copyright, royalties, and contracts. Consider consulting with a literary agent who specializes in card decks or a legal advisor to navigate these aspects confidently.
Networking and Building Relationships
Industry connections can be invaluable. Attend trade shows, workshops, and events related to card reading and publishing. Building relationships with people in the industry can provide insights, advice, and potentially lead to publication opportunities.
Online Presence and Platform
In today's digital age, having a strong online presence can be a significant advantage. Publishers are more likely to take interest in your work if you have a substantial following or platform. Share your process, final designs, and thoughts about your deck on social media, blogs, or a dedicated website.
Patience and Persistence
The path to traditional publication can be long and challenging. Be prepared for rejections and use them as opportunities to refine your proposal and approach. Stay persistent, and don't lose sight of your passion for your deck and its potential impact on others.
Getting a card deck traditionally published is a journey of creativity, business acumen, and persistence. It requires not just a beautiful, meaningful product but also an understanding of the market, a compelling proposal, and the right industry connections. With dedication and strategic approach, your dream of seeing your card deck in stores and in the hands of admirers is attainable. Remember, every successful card deck started as a mere idea in a creator's mind – your deck could be the next one to inspire and delight users around the world.
When considering publishing your card deck, research each publisher’s specific submission guidelines and areas of interest. Some may specialize more in traditional Tarot, while others might be open to unique, themed Oracle decks. Tailoring your submission to align with a publisher's catalog and interests can significantly increase your chances of acceptance.
Here's a list of the major card deck publishers:
U.S. Games Systems, Inc.: Renowned for publishing a wide variety of Tarot, Oracle, and playing cards, U.S. Games Systems is a key player in the industry. They're known for the Rider-Waite Tarot deck, among many others.
Llewellyn Worldwide: A major publisher of esoteric and metaphysical books, Llewellyn also has a strong line of Tarot and Oracle decks. They focus on spiritual and self-help themes.
Lo Scarabeo: Based in Italy, Lo Scarabeo is known for its diverse range of Tarot and Oracle decks, often featuring unique artistic styles and themes from different cultures and traditions.
Hay House: Founded by Louise Hay, Hay House is a major publisher in the self-help and wellness space and has a significant catalog of Oracle cards, often created by well-known spiritual authors and teachers.
Schiffer Publishing: They have a growing catalog of Tarot and Oracle decks, often focusing on unique themes and high-quality production values.
Blue Angel Publishing: An Australian publisher that specializes in Oracle cards and related books, Blue Angel is known for its high-quality artwork and spiritual themes.
Aeclectic Tarot: While not a publisher, Aeclectic Tarot is a prominent online community and resource for Tarot enthusiasts. It provides reviews, forums, and information on a wide range of decks.
Rockpool Publishing: An Australian publisher with a focus on Oracle cards, wellness, and spirituality.