If you want to start up a greeting card business in Great Britain, this book is worth 5 stars. For Americans, the general information in this book is still useful, but when the author gets specific about items such as tax codes, types of businesses, or even standard envelope sizes, then we Yankees need to refer to other resources (if such resources exist--I haven't found yet found a book on starting and running a greeting card business in the USA. The closest I've come is The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line by Kari Chapin.)
"Start and Run a Greeting Cards Business" assumes that you are already designing and making your own greeting cards, and want to start selling them. It has lots of practical advice on starting up a small retail business. I learned from reading this book that I am probably more inclined to sell my card designs to manufacturers, rather than try to run my own business. According to the author, "freelancers design about a third of the cards produced by the large manufacturers."
Unfortunately for me, the lists of places where artists can sell their greeting card designs, as provided by this book, are all in the UK.
If you want to involve yourself in all phases of the greeting card business from design through production and marketing, the author walks you through the whole process. There is a chapter on printed cards that takes the beginner through the process of choosing a printer, selecting the 'board' (type of card), the finishes, and more general business information on how to place orders.
In each chapter the author highlights her key concepts and top tips. For example, in the chapter on printed cards, her top tip is: "when you find a good printer work with them and treat them well. They can make the difference between success and failure for your business."
Several chapters in this book deal with the different markets where greeting cards are sold, i.e. retail stores, craft fairs, parties, and the internet. Suggestions on how to package and display your product are abundant, although the author is not optimistic about internet sales. Her top tip in the chapter on "Alternative Ways of Selling" reads: "although Ebay is not a great way to sell cards it is very useful for sourcing suppliers."
If I do decide to branch out from my single spinneret of greeting cards in our local library, this is the book I'll turn to for developing my market. I wish the author would compile a new edition specifically for us Yankees!