Wednesday, November 01, 2006

I Have an Idea for a Book

Let's say you want to publish a book. Sure there are sites like 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.


Mr Bill said...

Mike, I agree. The Internet has that potential, and it is revolutionary. But this is a very crowded space with short attention spans. We have to learn how to work the platform so our work shows up on someone's screen.

Your site is always changing and has good material. That's fundamental.

Mike Lynch said...

Thanks for the kind words, Bill.