The above cartoon was sent to 15 markets in the US and abroad before it was sold to a business magazine. So much of cartooning is persistence.
I was just emailing an indy cartoonist who has had some success from the cartoons he's posted -- but wants more. Heck, who wouldn't want more success?
Here's an edited excerpt of what I wrote to him:
Making money with your comics is good. (Duh.) Unfortunately, that means getting your cartoons in front of a lot of eyes and that means flogging them on social media and contacting editors who are in the business of buying your kind of work.
The more people see your work the bigger chance that one of those people is someone who will buy it.
I use that word "unfortunately" in the first paragraph because being the PR person for your own work is just not fun for a lot of creatives. I have to force myself to do it. But there are so few cartoonists who can just sit in a room and draw without worrying about creating a market for their work. If you can't market yourself, you die.
I got to thinking about all this, and I think I should add that you may want to think of the market first and then the content that you can produce for it. After all, you have over a thousand chances a year.
Here's what I mean:
Most of the cartoons I draw are business cartoons because business sites and business publications pay for cartoons.
Let's look at some of the print options. Here's the number of cartoons for some business publications per year:
- Wall Street Journal = 312 cartoons a year (6 cartoons a week)
- Barron's = 260 cartoons (average 5 cartoons per issue/52 issues a year)
- Harvard Business Review = 70 cartoons (average 7 cartoons per issue/10 a year)
So that's 640 slots for business cartoons per year for those three publications. It would be over a thousand if we include The New Yorker or Playboy, both of which publish business cartoons.
If you can create consistently good appropriate content, then it is possible to achieve more success.