Sending Cartoons Through The mail
Mailing Cartoon Submissions
Mailing cartoon submissions was such a popular way for cartoonists to get their single panel gag cartoons in front of editors. It didn’t matter if you were mailing in your material to small trade journals that had a readership of 10,000 or if you were circulating your cartoons to major magazines like The National Enquirer that was read by six million people per week.
This was also my ‘modus operandi’ for so many years I cannot really fathom what my costs were for keeping my cartoons in circulation. I’m certain that in those peak years where I was able to get 400 to 500 separate panels published yearly, that my mailing costs were $2000 and more. Of course in doing so, I could also keep my postal receipts as part of my business expenses for each year when filing taxes . . . so they were a good write-off.
Of course not so much these days. I say this based on how the market has shifted since the internet began to affect the world of publishing in so many ways. Advertisers left hard copy print and migrated to digital advertising. Print publishers themselves, like the magazines, newsletters, tabloids and newspapers which were actually the good markets for our work had lost many advertisers, thus their budgets were dwindling to pay for ancillary content like cartoons.
Additionally, many hard copy print publishers completely abandoned print for digital. And I’m not factoring in the actual costs of paper, newsprint and other aspects that took their toll on the print market. This isn’t to say the print market isn’t proliferating, it just isn’t “flourishing”!
All of this being said, it certainly doesn’t mean I won’t stop showing my work through the mail system because there are some select cartoon markets that prefer submissions by mail only. It simply means that gone are those days where I was keeping 1,200 or 1,500 separate cartoons in circulation to various print magazines out there. Alot of this can be accomplished now using email. In a way, I really miss those days but things change and evolve, and so has the market for cartoons.