Recycled Paper Greetings Responds

I got this comment from Recycled Paper Greetings’ Steve Gruhn today. (You might want to read the original post to get up to speed…)

Hey Mark,

I’m the author of that rejection letter. You failed to mention that you have been sending our company your cartoons for years. I’ve sent you many previous letters asking you not send anymore designs in a “nice way”. I said that I didn’t think your cards were a good fit for our company. It seemed as though nothing was getting through. I actually figured we were on a distribution list of yours and they were always going to keep coming. Sorry that it had to be so harsh.


Hey Steve,

You got me.

I’m a persistent guy. I sent Recycled stuff for a long time, even after a lot of rejection and “you’re not a good fit” notes, because that’s what good cartoonists do.

95% of the material a cartoonist sends out get rejected, and that’s if you’re good.

Here’s the thing – if you’re going to accept submissions, accept them. Sure it’s annoying, but I’m sure you’ve discovered some profitable talent that way.

If the incoming slew of cartoons has significantly gummed the machinery, stop accepting submissions. To my knowledge neither Hallmark nor American Greetings accept submissions, and I’ve never sent them any.

In any case, you don’t have to worry about any more submissions from me.


P.S. – For the record, I’ve been submitting to greeting cards for about two years. So “years” is technically correct, but just barely. Also, I don’t recall any “nice” stop submitting letters outside your normal rejection form letters, but even now I get rejected an awful lot, so I’ll have to take your word for it.

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Dear Recycled Paper Greetings, I GET IT! – Mailbox

Normally I save my Mailbox entries for goofy emails I get, but today’s mail was goofier than normal, so here it is:

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Let’s see… The top left is copy of Reader’s Digest from my editor. I’m in the October 2006 issue (page 13)…


…with this cartoon. Nice.

The bottom right are a few rejections from Harvard Business Review. Pretty standard, and I sold them recently.

But the big brown envelope underneath is a load of rejected material from Recycled Paper Greetings.

You might remember a particularly crappy rejection letter from RPG a while back. Well, since then I’ve gotten a few of these packs back from them. Today’s is pretty typical:

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Five packs I sent out between March 2, 2006, and April 4, 2006. Two opened, the other three unopened.

I’m fine with rejection, and I haven’t sent them anything since their “dear God, stop sending us stuff” letter. But, criminy, enough with the rubbing salt in the wound already!


It’s pretty clear that not only did they not take the time to even look at most of what I sent them (even though they took seven months, and accept, hell, solicit submissions), but they clearly didn’t read the little postcard I include with everything I send out. (Ironically, it was paper-clipped to the top of today’s returned stack.)

“To save on postage, I no longer ask for my cartoons to be returned to me via SASE. Instead, please indicate your intentions by checking off an option below and returning this card to me. Please recycle any unwanted cartoons.”

No, you read that right…

Please recycle any unwanted cartoons.

You’d think Recycled would understand this. But no, they send back mostly unreviewed submissions Priority Mail. What a waste of postage, energy, and time.

It’s very clear RPG doesn’t want to do business with me. OK. I don’t need or want Recycled’s business.

I work with a number of greeting card companies, and I have one in the wings that I’m very excited about. (More later…)

But enough already with the packs.

I think next time I’m gonna refuse it and let them choke on it when it comes back.

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Rejection Is Still Hard Sometimes

I have cultivated an extremely thick skin for rejection after years in sales and cartooning, but I got a rejection letter today that, for some reason, really cut me to the quick.


Here’s the bad part:


I’m OK with the standard form letter, but the fact that they took the time to beg me in handwriting to please stop sending them my submissions hurt more than I’m used to.

Greeting cards have been a good extra stream of revenue for me in the past year or so, and I thought Recycled might be a good fit.

Guess not…

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