Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Let's say you want to publish a book. Sure there are sites like lulu.com where you can self-publish. But let's say you want to get an editor interested and have your book in all the bookstores. Yeah. A real book in a real bookstore. How do you get your book published?
If you see published work out there that you like, then send your stuff in to the publisher. I always think that someone who publishes cartoons that seem funny to me, will see my work and will think it's funny too. I don't pay attention to stuff like whether or not a potential publisher accepts unsolicited submissions. But, hey, I'm kinda dumb like that.
I tried to get an agent. Mort Drucker took me aside and told me to get one. He told me it was the only way to go. I sent out a couple dozen letters, with samples and tear sheets. Most of the agents did not respond. A few said it wasn't the right time, the economy is not good, etc. A few put me on their mailing lists. (Now I get solicitations for sample books and contests -- all of which ask for money up front to participate. NO THANKS!) In general, this was all a no go.
I tend to be an optimist of the "good stuff floats to the top" school. Of course, to carry the analogy to its smartass end, so does a dead goldfish. It's wonderful to see good work (like Brian Fies' MOM'S CANCER) go from a Web comic to a hardbound graphic novel published by Abrams. Yeah, you can die of exposure, but putting your work out there -- particularly if it's quality work -- can attract editors.
A couple years ago, at a London newsstand, an guy in advertising picked up a magazine with one of my cartoons in it, and then, by Googling me, found my site and sent me an email. Within a couple months, I had completed a big advertising deal -- all because he saw that cartoon.
End of sermon.
Posted by Mike Lynch at 7:38 AM