I did have a cover done way back in the mid 1980's I imagined would be used for a collection book of my cartoons someday which it never did sadly but may yet be thanks to POD. So I took the forward looking advice of a friend, learned how to produce an e-book and finally realized my dream of becoming a self-published author. Thank the fates for epub becoming a viable format at just the right time in history for all of us struggling cartoon creators.
Within a few e-weeks Cartoons That Will Send Me Straight To Hell vaulted into the top 100 selling cartoon ebooks on Amazon and iTunes! It regularly haunts the top 20 with it's sequel More Cartoons...etc right behind. I had found my new career.
I love making e-books. It is hard, no question there; coding has never been something I had much knowledge about or any aptitude for. But what I did have was a strong desire to be a publisher of my own cartoon books and a significant financial motivation. The two combined along with Lynda.com training classes made it all possible and here I am now with a newly formed company to do more of my own e-books as well as those of other cartoonists.
These are exciting times in publishing. We don't need big publishing houses with their lengthy contracts and their small advances which many times comprise the total amount we see from those houses for our efforts while they keep the rest. If we create a huge success in the e-world the publishers now come to us asking to put them in print. A nice reversal of fortunes. That's the way it should be in an author's mind. We created these entities from our talents and sweat equity so why should they make the most from them? The system has been backward forever but finally there is a light on the horizon for the artist.
I have more e-books planned: some of mine and some for the many friends I have made in this crazy business of cartooning. They are starting to look to me to get their dreams of publishing made real. I seem to be gaining a reputation as a publisher, a guerilla publisher if you would. It's kind of cool and now I don't feel the panic as much being a totally self-employed artist. It is still a bit scary but I've found as long as you have hope and a desire to be something and work hard to achieve it you can still find your own American Publishing Dream.