Mailing Publishers/Promos?

  • Hey guys,

    Hope your holidays are all going nicely! I'm working on compiling my mailing list and I am a little confused by some publishers. Is an art postcard promo considered an art submission? And if they say no art submissions, does that mean sending them a postcard would make them mad?

    I want to send a trifold mailer, which is a little on the expensive side, but if it pays off...?

    here is an example of the mailer I want to send:


    Should I also be mailing these promos to Art Agents, when I don't have one? Or should I be more targeted and direct with an agent? The research I've done still isn't clear enough to me.

    thanks again!

  • @jeanebean Good questions. My impression is that all publishers and agents accept postcards. I think it's different than an actual art submission. Every agent/art director/editor has specific submission guidelines, so I would keep within whatever parameters they ask for, because if you don't your submission may end up in the trash. If someone seems more flexible, I'd say go for sending in a trifold. I'm planning on starting a postcard mailing soon, so I'm interested in hearing how you do with yours. Good luck! Your work is lovely!

  • Pro

    This is really lovely and I have no doubt it'll be beautiful once printed! I think these count as postcards, not art submissions, and that you can send them everywhere. And it's certainly a good idea to hit up agents as well as publishers.

    I'm just personally... unsure about the whole concept of mailing postcards at all. While it can work, I find that it's an exceptionally expensive and time consuming endeavor, one that I'm really not convinced produces enough work as a result to justify the money and time spent. I did a mailing last Spring that cost me at least $100-$150 and took me weeks to complete. The result was... 0 leads. I didn't have enough money to do another so the next time I had to go with email instead. It cost me $0, took me 3 days and I got... I want to say about 5-6 leads out of that. Next mailing after that I didn't even consider postcards and went directly for email. I scored an agent and my first book deal...

    Now I don't want to say that postcards/promos don't work, this is only my experience and I'm sure a lot of people would say they had returns from mailing postcards. But it's certainly one of the most expensive and time consuming methods, and there aren't necessarily going to be overwhelmingly positive results that justify the money and time spent. It's really not a situation where the more money you put in the more return you get...

  • @laurel-aylesworth Thank you so much! Please post yours when you finish them- I would love to see them! Thank you also for the heads up. I was thinking along the same lines, but I wanted to be sure.

  • @nessillustration Thank you! That is what I thought too, about postcard vs submission. This will be my second mailer, my first one got me my first book deal (out in April! woohoo!) so I thought I might give it another go. I haven't tried an email marketing blast yet. For some reason that seems more daunting to me. I'm glad to hear it went will with you! Your work is really great. The cost really is prohibitive, to do as often as is recommended. I thought I might try one big postcard at the beginning of the year and emails throughout the year just to see which one gets the most response. I just didn't want to bother ADs who didn't want the mail. I wish it wasn't so ambiguous.

  • Pro

    @jeanebean I'm so glad to hear the mailing worked out for you, congrats on your first book! So exciting, I hope you show us when it's out!!! 😃

  • SVS OG

    Hi! I haven’t sent one myself so I’m not really much help when it comes to these matters but please keep posting your progress. I’d love to know how this will pan out. Thank you so much. I wish you all the best!

  • @jeanebean I'm hoping the SVS triumvirate will end up doing a podcast on marketing for illustrators. I've listened to a few other podcasts on illustration and SVS is the best one out there.

  • @laurel-aylesworth Oh man, me too! That would clear a lot of things up, I'm sure!

  • @nyrrylcadiz Thank you! I'll shall certainly keep updating!

  • @nessillustration Thank you! I will make sure to do a post about it and my experience. It was a bit of a mixed bag for me, for sure.

  • @JeaneBean Your postcards look so nice! I love your swamp monster; it looks like a friendly kappa. Please do let us know how the postcard mailing goes. I was thinking about doing a postcard campaign this year, too, so I'm curious what your experiences will be.

    @NessIllustration How do you find out who to email submissions to? Do you simply send a link to your portfolio along with a cover letter?

  • Pro

    @twiggyt I find publishers that I like on the web, on social media, in book stores. It's quite easy really and most often I stumble upon them when I'm not even searching, for example an artist I follow on instagram posts a picture of a book they've worked on and mention the name of the publisher. I go to the publisher's website and see if they have specific information on submissions - if they do I follow it to the letter, if not I go to the contact section and send my portfolio with 3-4 JPG attachements. That's pretty much it 🙂

  • @nessillustration Thank you! That's super helpful!

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