How to Submit Your Cartoons to Magazines

There are several ways to submit cartoons to magazines - by mail, by email, or through programs such as Submittable. Different publishers have different requirements and you should check beforehand to see how the publisher wants them. Here are common ways cartoons are submitted:

As Email Attachments

Cartoons should be saved as jpeg files. You can do this with a program such as Adobe Photoshop or Gimp, and sometimes your scanner can just save them to your computer in this format. You can save cartoons as low resolution files or higher resolution. Low resolution is 72 dpi and this is a size which requires less memory, loads more quickly and is easier to transmit by email. However, cartoons at this resolution are not suitable for quality printing. A higher resolution (300 dpi) is print quality and can still be attached to emails. Because of the higher file sizes you should not submit many at one time at this resolution. When adding cartoons to your website, this is usually done at 72 dpi because the files use less memory and load more quickly.

Some publishers prefer the low resolution files, at least for review. And if the publisher is buying them for website use that would be what they would typically prefer. If a publisher reviews your cartoon at 72 dpi and decides to buy it for a printed publication he will then ask you for a 300 dpi copy. When you scan your cartoons you should do so at 300 dpi and save two copies, one at 300 dpi and the other at 72 dpi. You should name them differently, so one doesn't replace the other. For example, if your cartoon number is 100, you would number the 300 dpi file something like 100-300 and the low resolution file something like 100-72. Otherwise one file would override and replace the other in your computer.

Link to Cartoons on Your Website

Because of the fear of computer viruses, some publishers may not want to open attachments. Most, however, are fine with attachments. If not, you can put the files on your website server and then send the link in an email. For example, if your cartoon was numbered 100-72 you would upload that to your website server and put a link such as this one in your email:

Regular Mail or "Snail Mail"

When I first went online in 1998 and I tried to submit cartoons as email attachments nearly every publisher told me they only accept submissions by regular mail. In recent years, though, publishers have become more modern a large number prefer email submissions. There are a few, however, who still accept submissions only by regular mail. In this case you do it the old-fashioned way, mailing cartoons flat in a 9/x12 manila envelope with a self-addressed stamped envelope for their return. You should send only copies, not originals, since some publishers fail to return them or they damage them.

Programs Such as Submittable

The New Yorker and a few other publishers prefer this method of submission. To submit this way you need to set up an account with Submittable. You can find a link to them from publications that require this method. The account is free. To learn more about this service visit their website.

Follow Publisher Guidelines

Before submitting you should find out how each publisher prefers to receive submissions. You can find some of their submission requirements on their websites, or you can email and ask them. If you are a subscriber to Gag Recap you can also find some information in that newsletter about publisher's requirements.

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