Over the past month or so, I’ve had a ton of conversations with spiritual business owners who were interested in receiving my support to bring their vision for their own oracle card deck to life.
And quite a few times I’ve been asked: “What’s the best way to get my deck published once it’s finished? Where can I get my cards printed, and what are my best options for (self-)publishing my deck?”
I remember this being a rather confusing (and time consuming) process for me when I created my first deck back in 2012/2013. While it’s relatively easy to (self-)publish a book or audio product these days—thanks to companies like IngramSpark, Amazon, or CD Baby—finding a comparable service for an oracle card deck isn’t as easy.
Depending on your specific goals, resources, and how much time you’re willing to invest in creating and distributing your deck, there can be many moving pieces. Putting together all the components you need on your own can be overwhelming, especially if you’re completely new to the self-publishing industry.
However, with the right resources, publishing your own oracle deck is absolutely possible, and it doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
If you’re thinking about creating your own deck and are wondering how to publish it, here are three basic ways to go about printing, publishing, and selling your cards:
How to Get Your Oracle Card Deck Published: 3 Best Options
1. Self-Publishing Your Oracle Deck without an ISBN
The first option is to get your deck printed in small batches and sell it within your own community without officially publishing it as a book product. This is a great solution if you’re mostly interested in selling your deck in your own online store, on Etsy, or in local book stores.
It’s an easy way to get started if you’re okay with handling most of the shipping yourself and if you’re expecting to sell a manageable number of decks each month.
Alternatively, you can get your deck printed by a print-on-demand company such as MPC or The Game Crafter. Both of these companies have their own storefronts, which means you can sell your deck directly through their website, get individual copies printed automatically each time someone places an order, and have your orders shipped directly to your customers.
The advantage of this solution is that you won’t have to do any of the packaging and shipping yourself—and there won’t be any upfront investments on your side. On the downside, your profit per sale will be relatively low, and since your cards will be printed digitally, the quality of your finished product won’t be as high as if you were to work with an offset printer.
2. Self-Publishing with Your Own ISBN
The second possibility is to get your deck printed in larger quantities (starting at 500–1000 copies) and self-publish it with an ISBN number. The exact procedure for this will be different in each country, so you’ll have to do your research to find out how exactly to do this for your deck.
The advantage of this solution is that with an ISBN number, you can publish your deck as an actual book product, and you’ll have the option to distribute it to book stores and online retailers worldwide.
If you’re expecting to sell large quantities of your deck, you’ll ideally want to collaborate with a company that can warehouse and distribute your product for you. Amazon FBA is a popular option for this. Many of the larger printing companies also offer this as an add-on service.
(Note: In order to get an ISBN number for your oracle or tarot deck, you may be required to publish it with a booklet. Officially, ISBN numbers aren’t available for playing cards as a standalone product. However, there are exceptions to the rule. If in doubt, contact your ISBN agency for more information.)
3. Getting Your Oracle Deck Published by a Publishing House
Finally, you may want to consider submitting your deck to a publishing company that specializes in publishing spiritual books and/or oracle cards.
On the downside, this can be a long process with no guarantee of success.
However, if you’re feeling called to explore this route, working with a well known publisher has some unique advantages, too.
First of all, you won’t have to worry about printing, distributing, and shipping your deck to customers yourself. You won’t have as many upfront investments, and you’ll be able to reach a much larger audience by using your publisher’s existing network of booksellers. Your publisher will also do part of the marketing for you. (But: You’ll be expected to do your part of the promotional work, too.)
To Sum Things Up …
There are many different routes to getting your oracle card deck published. What works best for you is ultimately up to you do decide, depending on your goals, vision, how you’re intending to use your oracle deck to create revenue in your business, and the amount of time and resources you’re ready to invest in the short and long term.
If I were to give you my personal recommendation, it would be this:
Begin by developing your vision. Outline the details of your deck, what the theme of your cards is going to be, how many cards you want your deck to contain, your desired card size, whether you’ll need a box and/or booklet for your deck, how you’re going to be using your cards in your business, and so on.
Work with a prototyping company to produce the first physical version of your deck.
Once you’re happy with what you’ve got, decide on your next steps. If you’d like to self-publish your deck, start by printing a small batch (up to 1000 decks, or printed on demand, depending on your budget and personal preference) and start promoting your cards to your audience. If you’re thinking about finding a publisher for your oracle card deck, you can send your prototype to publishing houses along with your proposal.
Go bigger. Invest in the services and systems you need to expand your reach and market your deck to a wider audience. This could be a warehousing and distribution service, setting up Amazon FBA, getting your cards printed and published with an ISBN number so you can get your deck out into the bookstores, and so on.
As a rule of thumb, make sure you allow yourself the space and resources you’ll need to expand into your vision without feeling restricted, while also honouring the journey and grounding your idea as quickly or gradually as makes sense for you and your business at this time.