Comic Strip Prices Paid For Syndicated Cartoons
Cartoon Comic Strip Prices
Cartoon comic strip prices that are paid to syndicates by subscribing newspapers vary. Normally it’s based on the size or circulation of each respective newspaper. Normally, the larger the newspaper, the more it will pay for a syndicated cartoon panel or comic strip.
I learned what pricing techniques to use when I began my own self syndication service after conferring with editors and publishers across the country in order to learn that part of the business and adopt a fair and equitable pricing structure to quote any publication that showed an interest in my work when I sent it to them and they made contact.
For the most part, I targeted weekly papers more than daily newspapers since there were more of them and I learned early that dailies had been cornered by the big syndicates to sign contracts when they agreed to sign up for and begin running a comic strip feature.
This pretty much edged out the small fish like myself…although there were some daily newspapers I had running my work back then, who did have extra page space to play with. I think the business is a bit more frugal these days, based on the current state of the economy, costlier newsprint fees, less page real estate to feature comics and panels etc.
This article from a late 1991 issue of Editor & Publisher features interesting feedback based on a Newspaper Features Council survey on whether papers should pay full prices for ‘on sabbatical’ cartoonists. I say it’s “interesting” now, a quarter of a century later, because only a few well known cartoonists were taking extended sabbaticals. No one does this now, or would they dare think of it. It’s just too risky, since many variables exist with editors who could easily drop a feature to replace it with something different. It is probably a better discipline to now have a very large backlog of quality material that’s actually finished so it keeps that gap filled in their deadline window.
Although the pricing structures differ from newspaper to newspaper, it is an unspoken rule regarding the fees paid to cartoonists, but I once profiled cartoonist George Storm‘s prolific comic strip career and found an old price sheet that one of his strips was earning at it’s peak and am re-posting that sheet here.