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!
Friday, October 26th, 2012
I just received the shipment of the third printing of The Mad Art of Caricature! today, so the book is back in stock both with my direct sales website and my distributor . . . we were only out for a week. Not bad timing.
Monday I will be announcing the availability of a “special edition” of the book, so if you are inclined to think about ordering a copy, you might want to wait until then to see what that is all about. Some people might think it’s cool, others might just go “meh”, but it will be limited to a run of 120 copies, and never repeated. It might make a nice Christmas gift to someone you know who is into caricature or MAD.
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2012
It finally happened, I am totally out of copies of The Mad Art of Caricature. I am supposed to have the third printing in stock by this Monday, but we will see if the shipping people stay on schedule. In the meantime, there are still a few copies on Amazon, and they sell it cheaper there (but unsigned!), but they will be out shortly as well. My apologies to those looking for a signed copy.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
The Good News
The Mad Art of Caricature is about to go into its third printing! Distribution through Itasca Book Distributors in bookstores and libraries has really risen in the last several months. TMAoC must be on the shelves of more than a few Barnes and Noble stores. Also Amazon sales have been not just consistent but growing. It is usually ranked anywhere from #4 to #15 under “Books > Arts & Photography > Drawing > Cartooning“ and a similar ranking under “Books > Children’s Books > Arts, Crafts & Music > Art > Drawing”. Thus, our third print run is already ordered and due to arrive towards the end of October. Direct sales from Deadline Demon Publishing have slowed way down, but I still get a few fairly steadily and I really want to thank those who opt to buy the book this way . . . it more directly supports the author (me!) and I really appreciate that.
The Bad News
We are going to run out of stock by the first week of October. I didn’t anticipate how quickly stock would dwindle at Itasca, and should have placed the reprint order a month ago. So, there will be a 2-3 week period of time next month when the book will be sold out. I am pretty upset with myself over this, but it cannot be helped. However, we will have plenty of stock well in time for the holiday season, so if you are planning on getting a copy for someone as a gift, there will be no problem by late October. This time I increased the number of ordered books, so we should be good to go for a pretty long time.
More Good News
Speaking of gifts for the holidays, once I get the new stock in I will be announcing the availability of a special edition of The Mad Art of Caricature in time for the holiday season. What’s this all about, you ask? You’ll just have to wait until about this time next month to find out, but I hope a few people will like the offer.