Friday, November 29th, 2013
Since I self-published The Mad Art of Caricature! I’ve had a lot of people ask me when or if I’ll ever have a digital version that can be downloaded and read on the ubiquitous iPad or other tablet devices. I have been reluctant to do that because I didn’t want to make it so easy for the inevitable pirating of my book and its distribution for nothing via unscrupulous “sharing” websites.
I have rethought that position, and now am happy to announce that The Mad Art of Caricature! is available via a PDF digital download immediately in my Studio Store!
Why the change of heart? Well, it really isn’t so much a change of heart as it is both the appropriate passing of time since the book’s release, and facing the reality that pirating is going to happen no matter what I do, so I might as well make it available for digital purchase to those who are willing to part with a few dollars to have a good, digital copy. That’s really the only way to combat piracy: offer it anyway for as cheap a price as you feel you can, and let the people with a conscience and some respect for authors, artists and other creators have a legitimate way to pay for the digital copy.
Yes, I know a number of people who lack said conscience and/or respect for authors, artists and other creators will upload the file to several unscrupulous “sharing” websites, but that’s already being done by people who bought the book and then spent hours scanning every page to do just that. Yes, no doubt some people will download that illegal copy and have the results of about 9 months of writing, illustrating, editing, designing and production… not to mention the 30 years of experience learning the things I am imparting in those pages… for nothing. How many of those people would actually have ever bought the book anyway? That’s the real question. If that number is less than the number of people who end up paying for a legitimate digital copy, then it makes sense to offer it digitally and let the chips fall where they may. If that number is more than those who do buy a legitimate copy, then I am shooting myself in the foot. I believe it’s the former, but I guess we’ll never really know anyway.
I did add this message to the front matter of the PDF book:
Thank You for Purchasing a Digital Copy of My Book
Supporting artists and authors by purchasing legitimate copies of their works is the only way to ensure artists and authors can continue to create the work we all love to enjoy.
The contents of this book took many, many months to write and draw, and it took almost 30 years of learning and experience drawing caricatures to gain the knowledge being shared here. A PDF of this book is available for purchase on my website for a very reasonable price. If you downloaded this book illegally and you like the content, please consider purchasing a legitimate digital copy for about what it costs you for lunch at a fast food restaurant.
Help support self-publishing, ebooks and most importantly the artists and authors that create them by purchasing the books you download and get something from.
Thank you for supporting the work of creative artists and writers everywhere.
That will probably fall on deaf ears 99.9% of the time when we are talking about people who will download an illegal copy of a book, just like the FBI warning at the beginning of a DVD elicits mostly guffaws and snorts from bittorrent users. However it’s never a waste of time to remind people that the content they are stealing was created by someone, and creators need to be supported if anyone wants then to keep creating.
So, all those of you who would like to get a PDF copy of The Mad Art of Caricature!, follow this link to my Studio Store and you can get one for the low, low price of $9.99 (cheap) with instant access to the download, and no shipping fees!! The PDF is 16.2 MB, so while it is pretty big it’s not enormous. The link will allow you to download it only once, but from there you can add it to your iTunes library for use on your Apple devices, onto your Google, Nook, Kindle or Android devices or read it on your computer, laptop, etc… anything that will allow you to read a PDF file. The table of contents is fully inked to the various pages and chapters, and the entire book has been reformatted to single page reading for a better experience on your tablet.
I’d love feedback on how the book looks on your various devices. I can increase the resolution if people think that’s warranted, although it will also increase the file size. It looks good on my iPad as it is, but results may vary.
EDIT- So I already have been told that if you download it on an iPhone, you need to make sure you save it as a PDF in iBooks before navigating away from it in Safari. Here’s a link on how to do this.
Tuesday, July 2nd, 2013
I’m down to about the last two dozen of my Limited Artist’s Editions of The Mad Art of Caricature! You know, the limited-to-120 editions with the handsome, hand-numbered bookplate and the caricature of YOU (or whomever you want) drawn by me! Please excuse the shameless plug today, but I’m hoping to close the book on this sometime soon. If you or anyone you know might want one, now’s the time! Here are some examples of how they turn out:
Thursday, June 6th, 2013
The other day I received an email I knew would be coming someday, but I was still very unhappy to see:
I do not know if you are aware of this, but your Mad Art of Caricature Book is on-line at http://issuu.com for anyone to view or read for free.
Go to the website, type in Mad art of caricature in the search area this should take you to a different page, scroll down a couple of rows and you should be able to see
the cover to click on.
Just wanted to give you a heads up.
Thanks, Doug! I knew this was going to eventually happen. I have been getting emails from people since The Mad Art of Caricature! came out asking me to sell them a PDF of the book, because they don’t want to have to pay for the outrageous shipping costs overseas. I have politely refused, simply because I did not want a PDF of my book released into the wild… I knew there was no way it would not get “shared” and eventually uploaded to a file sharing resource like issuu.com. If someone was going to make one, they’d have to cut the binding of a purchased copy, and hand scan all 184 pages. Of course, someone did. Several someones, in fact.
What’s really ridiculous is that I’ve probably gotten an email from one of these… ah… persons… telling me how they are big fans of my work and how much they love the book. They like and respect it so much they have gone ahead and STOLEN the content and shared it online so anyone can get it for free. Yeah, GREAT fans. Are people really that stupid, that they think doing something like that is somehow showing their appreciation? Apparently so.
The good news is, as an author and copyright owner, I don’t have to take this lying down… at least with sites like issuu.com or scribd.com (where I also found two uploaded copies of my book). Both offer avenues to lodge a complaint and a takedown request, and although they require you follow exact protocol when doing it, they both responded very quickly and removed all copies of my book on their sites. Scribd was particularly easy to work with, as they have an online version of the DCMA Copyright Infringement Takedown Notification Template that you simply fill out and hit “Submit” to send them. Scribd took down the instances of my book on their site within 24 hours. Issuu took a couple of days, but they also did it.
Another thing Scribd provided was this template for use in notifying any website with user-content that violates your copyright:
Attn: Copyright Agent, [website/company hosting infringing material]
Pursuant to 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A), this communication serves as a statement that:
- I am [the exclusive rights holder | the duly authorized representative of the exclusive rights holder] for [title of copyrighted material being infringed upon, and, if possible, additional identifying information such as ISBNs, publication dates, etc — or, if the material is a web page, the URL];
- These exclusive rights are being violated by material available upon your site at the following URL(s): [URLs of infringing material];
- I have a good faith belief that the use of this material in such a fashion is not authorized by the copyright holder, the copyright holder’s agent, or the law;
- Under penalty of perjury in a United States court of law, I state that the information contained in this notification is accurate, and that I am authorized to act on the behalf of the exclusive rights holder for the material in question;
- I may be contacted by the following methods (include all): [physical address, telephone number, and email address];
I hereby request that you remove or disable access to this material as it appears on your service in as expedient a fashion as possible. Thank you.
[your full legal name]
[Electronic or original signature required]
That is very useful as it follows the legal guidelines required by the DMCA for a formal take-down demand. It demonstrates you know what you are doing, and that can get less-scrupulous sites to pay attention. Just copy and paste the above into an email, find the email link to the site’s owners or, failing that, the server owner it’s hosted on. Fill in the specifics and send it off. It probably won’t do you much good if the site is outside the U.S., but it’s worth a try. Both Scribd and Issuu are in the U.S.
Scribd also has a handy page of suggestions for how to monitor the great, wide interwebs for copyright infringement of books or publications. I use the “Google Alert” message they suggest, but I did not know about the various services available that search for copyright infringement for you like MUSO and Attributor.
Sadly, my book is now out “in the wild” in PDF form thanks to some thieves with a scanner and too much time on their hands. Likely I’ll be sending off a lot of the above letter, and likely many times it will be for naught. I’ll keep trying, though. And maybe I’ll win the lottery someday, and can hire some internet sleuths to track down the… ah… persons… who scanned my book and then send some local hard boys over to make sure they don’t scan anything for about 6 months, SEE!
In the meantime there is one thing I can do to discourage people from downloading a pirated copy of the book from some shady site… offer an official, affordable downloadable eBook version they can legally pay for. I will have that done by this fall, either with or without the extra content I was hoping to get to this summer. It will only be available for full color readers, though, like the Kindle Fire and the iPad.
EDIT- I was remiss when writing this post not to thank the thousands of people out there that DID purchase an actual copy my book, especially those that did so directly from me. I know there are cheaper options out there, including Amazon and others who sell the book for only a few $$ over the wholesale price, so buying it directly from me is very much appreciated. Actually buying it at ALL is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Friday, May 17th, 2013
Hard to believe there is still “news” about a book that is 18 months past its release, but today I shipped off several cases of The Mad Art of Caricature! to a company called Basheer Graphic Books in Singapore, which will be distributing it in Asia. I’m not sure how much of Asia they mean, as Asia is an awfully big place, but I am pretty sure if you are in Asia and inquire at your local book store they can probably order a copy for you. It might take a few weeks for the book to start showing up in wholesaler’s catalogs, but it should soon. That’s good news for anyone in Asia who wants to get a copy, as they don’t have to pay the outrageous shipping costs the USPS charges, worry about customs which can delay delivery for weeks, or end up with a very beat up copy on the other end despite my careful packaging. Of course, it won’t be signed, but as Alfred E. Neuman might say, “big deal”.
I have also been exploring the possibility of selling Spanish language foreign rights to a company in Spain. They would then do a translation in Spanish and sell them directly. I will say this is unlikely to happen. They don’t seem very willing to pay a reasonable advance/royalty for these rights, and are not very forthcoming in details on the process of doing the translation. Maybe another company will be better. I get a fair number of inquiries about having the book translated, especially into Spanish, but the cost is prohibitive to do it via self-publishing. Hopefully this will end up working out, it would be cool to see the book in Spanish!
Friday, April 26th, 2013
The fourth printing of The Mad Art of Caricature! arrived today and is back in stock!
The book has a ton of extremely positive reviews on Amazon (88 as of this post), but there has been one complaint made by a just a few people—apparently on some copies the binding has come loose and pages have fallen out. I’ve only had a handful of complaints about it out of many thousands sold, so I suspect the problem only affects some copies where perhaps the glue was thin or some other factor weakened the binding on part of the run. That’s not unheard of… in the original print run a small number of copies had duplicated pages out of order (!!).
The book is perfect bound and glued, not stitched. I went with glue only simply for economic reasons. I’d have had to charge more for a stitch-bound book, and $24.95 seemed like a lot for a paperback already. The type of glued binding was called ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) hotmelt, and is a very standard type of perfect binding.
After I got those few complaints I did some additional research and found one of the shortcomings of EVA hotmelt is that it doesn’t do as well with glossy, coated stock, and that’s just what is in my book. It also is not very flexible and opening up the book to lay flat will certainly cause the pages to loosen and eventually fall out.
I’m happy to say this new printing uses a different type of glued binding called polyurethane reactive (PUR) gluing. It’s still not stitched, but the PUR binding offers many significant advantages over EVA. First, it bonds strongly to coated stock like that in TMAoC. It has a 40-60% stronger adhesion, while using less glue overall. PUR glue is considerably more flexible than standard EVA hotmelts, making it possible to open the book fully to lie flat and allow for hands-free reading… this one I have a hard time believing but that’s what they say. It also doesn’t “wrinkle” or distort the spine as much. Of course, it’s more expensive. It’s still cheaper than stitching, so the book stays the same price.
In other book news, there is now a Canadian price of $27.95CAN on the book’s UPC box. This is because it is likely the craft store chain Micheal’s will start carrying the book, and they require a marked Canadian price. For simplicities sake, any Canadian buyers who gets the book directly from me will still pay the US price converted rather than the Canadian price, which is (right now) a better deal anyway. Plus I sign it for you (big deal, I know).
Friday, March 29th, 2013
Every once and awhile I get something like this in my inbox that really makes me smile:
I’ve read EVERY book that was ever written on caricatures and at best I never considered myself anything more than an amateur caricaturist. After reading, then studying your book, I am now working the beach in Ft Lauderdale daily. Thanks to you I am now a professional caricaturist.
You made a lifelong dream come true, and for that I thank you.
Deerfield Beach, FL.
That is perhaps the highest compliment anyone who has written a “how to” book of any kind can get. You are most welcome, Tim! Thanks for buying a copy of the book, and I am glad you got so much from it. Thanks to everyone who has purchased a copy, especially directly from me.
Sunday, March 17th, 2013
Q: Is it possible to get your book, The Mad Art of Caricature, in Spanish?
A: I’ve gotten this question several times asking about getting the book in Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, etc. The folks who ask are always so nice so I hate saying this, but I am afraid the answer is no, not as long as it is self published. I have looked into the feasibility of doing a foreign language edition of the book, and what I have found is that I cannot do it myself, simply because the complexity of the endeavor makes it too expensive and unwieldy to do a translation. I have gotten a few inquiries from foreign publishing houses about acquiring the foreign rights to the book, but none of those have come with an offer to produce the book in another language.
People who think this should be an easy thing don’t understand what it would really involve. First, I’d need to hire someone to translate the book, which sounds easy but it is not. Translating it would be a hard thing to do, because it would take a lot more than just replacing the English text with some other language. The book is full of detailed descriptions and explanations of theories and ideas using comparisons, metaphors, anecdotes, and other literary devices that don’t immediately translate. What I’d need to do is find someone who would literally rewrite the book, explaining what I am trying to get across using another language. That would be an enormous undertaking, and to pay someone properly to do it (assuming I could even find someone who could… they’d need to have a pretty good understanding of caricature themselves) would cost a small fortune. Then, I’d have to work with them to redo the layout of the entire book to fit the new text in amid the illustrations, which would be time consuming since the word counts would likely be very different. It would be like starting over, except I’d be redesigning the book using a language I didn’t understand at all. It was hard enough doing it in English… I could not imagine doing that. Finally, I’d need to do have a new printing done of a second version of the book, creating two inventories and storage requirements.
The bottom line is, doing all this with a 225 page book would not be financially viable as a self publisher. If the book was a much simpler thing, smaller and less wordy, it might be feasible. As it is, it’s not. The economics don’t work, not even for a market as big as Spanish.
No, I’m afraid unless a foreign publisher offers to buy the rights to the book from me and does the translation, production, and distribution for me, I don’t see any foreign language editions as possible. Sorry.
Thanks to Juan Pablo Valvo of Sante Fe, Argentina for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here… except for today!
Friday, January 18th, 2013
I just shipped out a whole batch of my Limited Artist’s Editions of The Mad Art of Caricature! You know, the limited-to-120 editions with the handsome, hand-numbered bookplate and the caricature of YOU (or whomever you want) drawn by me! Here are a few of the recent ones to show how these turn out:
Yes, these are still available, but we are well into the back end of the 120 limited editions, so if you want one don’t wait too much longer to order!:
Thursday, January 10th, 2013
Apparently the direct order page for my book has been down for a few days . . . I am not sure what happened there but it’s all fixed now. If anyone was trying to order a signed copy of the book, my apologies.
Also, the Limited Artist’s Editions are still available but going pretty fast:
Monday, October 29th, 2012
Announcing the availability of a Limited Artist’s Edition of my book, The Mad Art of Caricature! A Serious Guide to drawing Funny Faces, just in time for the holidays!
This Limited Artist’s Edition will be limited to 120 editions, and will feature the following:
- A handsome, hand-numbered bookplate on the inside front cover (see above)!
- signed (and personalized as directed by you) by the author (me)!
- a pen and ink caricature of YOU or the PERSON OF YOUR CHOICE, drawn by the author (again, me) from photos you send me!
Here’s an example:
You send me your photos
I draw you on the half title page! (clicky to embiggen)
Now for the bad news— this will set you back a ridiculous $75.00 plus shipping. On the plus side, it won’t be obsolete in 6 months like the iPad 3 was. I’m only doing 120 of these, then never again.
Visit the official Limited Artist’s Edition Order Page for all the gory details!