When I was trying to get syndicated the last time, I didn’t take advantage of any of the resources that the internet has to offer because I didn’t know any of it existed at the time.  We’ve had a computer since around 1995, but we didn’t have internet access until 2000, and for years I only went to a few places (most of them about autism), and none of them were cartoon related.  In fact, it didn’t even occur to me to look for it!

One day, when my cartoons were done and I was about to start putting the packets together, I decided to look up the syndicates and see if they had put thier guidelines for submission online.  They all had!  I was well-pleased, wrote it all down and followed it.  But I didn’t look for any other tips or anything.

The day AFTER I sent my submission out, that’s when it occured to me to google cartoons, cartoon related message boards, etc.  Immediately a whole world opened up and everyone had an opinion on how to submit and what to submit and how to make the packets look etc.  And I had done it all wrong.  I wanted to go grab all of my packets back and redo them and I was appalled that I had sent them out without making them perfect.

I had done a spellcheck.  I had kept the cover letter to one page only.  But that was about all I had done right.  First of all my strip had about 20 characters.  I had put the cartoons in a report binder.  They were one to a page.  The Sunday’s were the wrong size and they weren’t colored in.  Etc. etc. etc…  I was distraught.

And then I heard back from Universal and immediately felt a lot better.  That’s why I know, absolutely KNOW that it’s not the presentation that’s the key, it’s the content.  I hear about so many cartoonists who just obsess about how to make their packet stand out above the others.  Who worry and make themselves sick about a spelling mistake that they found after they sent it out.  I think they are worrying about the wrong things.  Worry instead about whether your writing is good.  Whether the punchline works.  If you are sending six weeks of cartoons, make sure that they are ALL your best work.   I doubt anyone is rejected over a spelling mistake or the wrong binding.

I’m not saying my content was perfect.  It wasn’t.  But I was happy with it and I knew that most of the cartoons were funny and I felt it introduced the characters and where I wanted to take the strip pretty well.  Soon, I will try to post my packet that I sent to the syndicates.   If nothing else, it might be interesting for other cartoonists to see.

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