"What do you mean when you say you send in a 'batch?'" - syndicated cartoonist to me.
A "batch" of cartoons is the industry slang, among those in the gag cartoon industry, for a packet of cartoons. My batches can vary between 10-20 cartoons per mailing. I talked about this in my Selling Cartoons to Magazines entry last month.
I want to talk about the SASE, the Self Addressed Stamped Envelope, and what to do when there's no response from an editor.
I put a code in the corner of the envelope ("GH 10/1/07," for instance, letting me know that the SASE envelope (when/if I get it back) is from Good Housekeeping and I mailed it on October 1, 2007). This helps if there is no note inside from the editor.
There are no rules about SASEs.
No response from editor:
In the past year, it seems that about half of the markets are bad about returning batches. I have a SASE, and cartoonist Mark Anderson has a preprinted postcard with postage for the editor to return. He wrote about it on his blog, if you want to go Googling. We both get the same crummy 50% response rate.
I don't think that the editors are trying to send a message, I think that a lot of editors do a lot of tasks during the day. Cartoons are not as big a priority as some, and they can get back burnered and become forgotten.
I wait 30 days, and if there's been no response, I'll print off a dupe of that batch and mail the same batch to another, similar market. I do go on and keep sending for a couple months even if a market has not returned my SASEs or responded in any way. If I have a market that goes a couple months of me sending and no response, I'll call to ask (in a friendly way) have they seen my cartoons and can we have a short talk about their cartoon needs. Sometimes I get a nice person, sometimes I get someone who really doesn't have the time. A lot of times, I talk to a voicemail.
I've had long discussions with cartoonists about sending out the same batch (called "simultaneous submissions") after 30 days to another market, and some disagree with me. My take: 4 weeks is long enough for a professional editor to open my stuff at that first mag I sent to and respond. It's only by continuously moving your product that you can see sales.