Romance Trading Cards – Who’s IN?

Download the FAQ

Download RTC Templates

Join the Web Tutorial on Romance Trading Card Templates and GIMP: March 5, 7-9pm EST – Link will be here. DM on Twitter or e-mail for Password.

A chat on Twitter (#romancetradingcards) quickly converged into a fun promotion idea for RT 2011 and RWA 2011. It’s simple — authors print romance trading cards with their heros and heroines and readers can collect them all.

As the questions about design and standardization are beginning to gather so I figured it was time to gather everyone together.

So far, we have this quote from GotPrint if we want to standardize on size. I’ve used them before and found them quite reasonable and user-friendly, but always open for any other vendors with better pricing if you know them:

Standard size & printing: Trading Cards from GotPrint

Other ideas:

  • Cover on one side
  • Character stats on other – Height, age, description
  • Best lines
  • Similar border or logo on backside to unify cards – i.e. knotwork design


So here’s a starter for discussion. These are rough prototypes only. Do not use these files to create your cards. I can provide the layered, high resolution files for use with Photoshop, Fireworks, or another imaging program once the design is finalized.

I tried to choose a neutral border that still felt romance-y. Keeping in mind that this needs to look good with historical, paranormal, contemporary, etc. I went with a border that looked like a pewter frame. The border and the lettering for “Romance Trading Cards” below will hopefully unify the design. The back will be the book cover.

This was a quick job so cropping and other details may be asymmetical. I’ll fix in final version. Actual print size is 2.5 x 3.5.

What do you think?  (I’ve finalized the design with a genre specific color scheme as suggested. Download RTC Templates)

Note: You don’t need special art for the backside. It can include part of your cover (if that’s allowed) or just stats and info like on baseball cards.

An alternative example from author Moira Rogers, independently created here.

Who’s Participating in Romance Trading Cards:

The author listing has been moved to:

And the ideas are flying as well. For example, we may have a listing at RT so readers will know who to seek out for cards. Keep those ideas coming! Who else is in? (Comment below and I’ll gather names and post above)

Remember hashtag #romancetradingcards if you’re following the discussion on Twitter.


  1. Megan Kelly
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 15:23:36

    I’m in for RWA.
    Is the back glossy, or is that up to the author? Since we’re standardizing, I put in my vote to leave the back not glossy (like a baseball card) so we can sign it. Then the “cache” would be finding the author at the lit signing or a workshop (or meal) and getting the card signed.
    Thanks, HIVE, for your great minds.
    Megan Kelly

  2. Erica O'Rourke
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 15:27:17

    Oops! Meant to say I would be in for RWA only — my book comes out that week. (Perhaps a rookie card?)

  3. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 16:00:19

    Erica – Of course! There is no specific YA category though. Just pick the one that matches. For example Gwen Hayes’ Falling Under would go under Paranormal

  4. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 16:02:08

    Megan – both sides are color, but I think you can opt for non-glossy..not sure. I’m going glossy so they look more like collector’s cards. You can sign with a sharpie and it seems to work well.

  5. Sidney Ayers
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 16:32:51

    I am not going to RT, but would be interested in RWA. Now I just need to find someone to help me get artwork for my heroine and hero. 🙂

  6. Rebecca Zanetti
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 16:43:37

    I’m in for both RT and RWA. What an awesome idea! 🙂

  7. Keena Kincaid
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 16:46:44

    Brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! I am SO in for RWA, if spots are still available. Thanks!

  8. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 19:03:01

    I think I got everyone.

    And Keena — there is no limit. All you need to do to play is create a card. 🙂

  9. Daz
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 19:24:16

    Love the border.

  10. Alanna Coca
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 19:59:29

    Count me in for RT! Wonderful Idea.

    Alanna Coca and Olivia Brynn

  11. Juniper Bell
    Mar 01, 2011 @ 22:23:19

    I’m in for RT and RWA! Thank you so much, how fun!

    Juniper Bell

  12. Eden Bradley/Eve Berlin
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 00:41:48

    I am totally in for RT-as both Eve Berlin and Eden Bradley! So um..that’s two more. 🙂

  13. R.G. Alexander
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 00:43:54

    I LOVE this idea!! me me me!

  14. J. Hali Steele
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 00:50:04

    Great Idea, interested for RT. Thanks!

  15. Vivi Andrews
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 01:10:47

    I’m so in for RWA. Freaking fabulous idea. I love it!

  16. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 06:32:12

    So cool!! I think I’ve added everyone. You can download the templates and start designing your cards. (Or have a nice graphics person do them for you)

    See everyone at RT and RWA!!

  17. Miranda Baker
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 07:25:36

    Hi, I’d love to be in on this! What a stupendous idea. It makes me feel cool just to think about it, umm, not that I’m not, umm…
    Will you *please* add me to the list?

  18. Rhonda Marks
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 07:29:06

    I’m in for RT and RWA. Thanks.

    Rhonda Marks w/a Denise McCray

  19. Kinsey
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 08:10:50

    I’m in for RT! Great idea…

  20. Caridad Pineiro
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 08:34:34

    LOL! Great minds think alike. I’ve made up some “trading cards” for the characters in my upcoming SIN HUNTER series. Will have them at RT for people to collect, so please stop by and see me. You can check them out on my Facebook Fan page:

  21. Eilis Flynn
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 08:43:19

    I’m in for RWA!

  22. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 10:02:05

    I’ve added a link to the GIMP imaging program download on the templates page. I also think I have all the latest additions.

    Caridad: Those are lovely! Did you use stock images or get models specifically for your characters? Do you wish to be added to the RT list so card hunters can seek you out? 🙂

  23. Cynthia Eden
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 10:06:37

    Count me in for RWA. This sounds like fun!!

  24. Leslie Dicken
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 10:15:59

    Count me in for RWA too! What a fun idea. I was out of town during the discussion on Twitter, but glad to see this now!

  25. Leah Braemel
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 10:47:25

    Count me in for RWA too

  26. Keira Soleore
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 10:51:40

    Jeannie, this is such a great idea, I’ve post parts of this blog and FAQ on my blog at

  27. Jenna Bayley-Burke
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 10:51:52

    I’m in for RWA 🙂 I’m not going to RT, but if I have mine in time, I’ll send a stack with some frendlies 😀

  28. Lisa Paitz Spindler
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:27:43

    Count me in for RWA too! Can I come up with an alternate border that might go better with science fiction romance?

  29. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:30:10

    Welcome! I think I’ve added the latest RTC’ers to the list.

    Jenna – You sure are going to RWA, miss “Finish the Damn Book” winner!

  30. Cassandra Carr
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:31:37

    Soooo in for RWA. This sounds like a hoot!

  31. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:44:59

    Lisa – There are absolutely NO restrictions. Definitely jump in!

  32. Kari Thomas
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 11:50:21

    OMG, what a great idea! I cant attend either RT or RWA, but would LOVE to be in on this! Let me know what I need to do…
    and thanks!

    HUGS, Kari Thomas

  33. Jade Lee
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:03:50

    I’d love to be in it for RT and RWA. But I’m confused…what exactly do I do? Do I send you the images or just create a card on my own? Ack!

  34. Miranda Baker
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:05:44

    Me again! I won’t be at RT but I’m in for RWA. Thanks for your help. 🙂

  35. Susanna Kearsley
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:09:14

    Jeannie, what’s the cost of this?

  36. Carolyn Jewel
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:10:47

    I’m in for RWA, though if someone is willing to take cards to RT for me that would be awesome.

  37. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:15:23

    Jade! *takes a moment to jump up and down*
    You make the cards yourself (or get talented person to help)

    Susanna – The cost is just the creation and printing of the card. $100 cards is about $15+shipping I believe from GotPrint. This is an author-centered promo — you join by bringing your own character cards to conference. Read the FAQ which is linked above for more details.

    Hi Carolyn! We had talked about this way back when! And by that…I mean a month ago….but exciting to see ppl jumping on board.

  38. Susanna Kearsley
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:19:11

    Oops, never mind. Just discovered the FAQs link 🙂 I’m in, for RT and RWA.

  39. Christina Brooke
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:30:28

    Count me in for RWA! What a brilliant idea!

  40. Isobel Carr
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:37:10

    Ok,this looks like a ton of fun. I’m so in for RWA!

  41. Laura Kaye
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:40:08

    I’m in! So cool! May even prompt me to make the plunge and finally buy PhotoShop!

  42. Laura Kaye
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:40:24

    I’m in for RWA! So cool! May even prompt me to make the plunge and finally buy PhotoShop!

  43. Meljean Brook
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 12:57:27

    Oh my god. I love this idea so much. I’m in for RT and RWA.

  44. Cheryl Ann Smith
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:03:06

    If I get get this to work with my cover, I am so IN!

  45. Cheryl Ann Smith
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:03:41

    P.S. Sorry, in for RWA in NY!

  46. Manda Collins
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:09:09

    I’d like to be in for RWA, but my first book doesn’t come out until February 2012. Can I still play?

  47. Stephanie Julian
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:17:12

    I’ll definitely be in for RWA. Anyone in for Lori Foster’s readers event?

  48. Lynnette Hallberg
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:18:31

    I’d love to participate in this, but my book won’t be out till later this year. Can I create my own cover for the cards?

  49. Caroline Linden
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:24:28

    Wicked, wicked cool. I’m so in for RWA.

  50. Jeannie Lin
    Mar 02, 2011 @ 13:24:59

    Laura, don’t buy Photoshop!!!! Gimp is free and will work if you don’t need to do anything fancy. I hear Pages for Mac is also good.

    Meljean – Iron Duke cards! *drool*

    Lynette & Manda:
    You can play, it’s an entirely up to you. Most authors are handing these out as signings and the collective group will be promoting each other to let readers know how to find more cards at conference. So if you’re not signing and such, you can always use the cards as giveaways and other promo. It’s really meant to be versatile.

    I’ll be updating the author list later this afternoon. I didn’t realize it would grow so quickly and am juggling day job as well!