I lost a big sale today.

I talked in the post below about re-using cartoons. It’s like a kiss, really. You don’t call a second kiss, “re-using it”, do you? A good kiss is just as sweet the second time around.

But a magazine editor today doesn’t think that way, I guess. He bought it, I redrew it, and submitted an invoice last week. Today he called to say no, they weren’t going to buy it for the magazine now. He said he was doing some housecleaning this weekend, and found the cartoon in my book that I had sent him a year ago, and now he’s not interested.

He’s bought other cartoons from me that were previously published – well, one, that he specifically wanted – so what’s the diff? The only place last week’s cartoon had been used was in my chocolate book, “What Do Women REALLY Want? Chocolate!”

I think the book publisher made about 4000 copies of this book, and only part of that number sold. (Even though it was book of the month in Family Circle, with a circulation of 4 million! THAT’s how hard it is to sell a book!)

Even if we say 4000 people had seen this cartoon before – 4 years ago – If this magazine editor had bought and used it as he had promised, many millions of people would have seen it. But his rule – except for the other previously published cartoon, of course – is only to use NEW NEW NEW work. (Of course, the other cartoonists he uses have cartoons that I’ve seen or done myself, ie, not so original! But he doesn’t know that.) I feel terrible.

What do Women Want Book
This is the cover of my book, not the cartoon he bought – or didn’t buy, now.


  1. Kevin Rains said:

    Sorry to hear about the sale. Editors can be funny that way. Many times It’s hard to know what’s going on in their head. Sometimes I really wonder about the cartoons editors purchase and use.

    September 17, 2008
  2. Thanks, Kevin.

    Yes, I wonder about the cartoon editors, the cartoons, AND the cartoonists!

    Of course, he’s allowed to have any policy he wants – he is the editor. But consistency is helpful.

    September 18, 2008
  3. mark heath said:

    Thanks to finding you on facebook, I’ve found your blog, so I get to compliment you twice: your cartoon work is superb, and your writing is frank, thoughtful, and entertaining. I love your comparison of a cartoon to a kiss. It’s perfect. Also, it makes me feel more worldly.

    I don’t know why the editor rejected the cartoon. If it had appeared in a competing magazine, that would be one thing. But a book, from several years ago, that only a few of his readers might have seen…? A puzzle.

    October 1, 2008
  4. Thanks so much, Mark! Your comment goes straight in Compliment Corner.

    The part that amused me with the editor is when he happened to find my book, and find that cartoon in the book, when he happened to be doing some housecleaning. That happens to me all the time…

    October 2, 2008

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