Nice gets you nowhere…

By Jeremy Meltingtallow

I created this strip based on personal experience. That’s probably obvious. Occasionally, friends of friends will have a “great idea for a {children’s/business/niche market} book” and come calling. I’ve finally learned to say “no” (unless there’s true interest). But it’s been a long road.

Now, I have illustrated books in the past. But I was sought after professionally and paid for the work. This was also pre-syndication/pre-kids, when I had more time. You wouldn’t believe how often people still ask me to illustrate an unpublished book on the assumption that it’ll get picked up (“Then you can get paid in royalties!”). Well, I’m too old and jaded now. I’m also honest up front. I politely let people know that I simply have no time and that most manuscripts are submitted without illustrations, anyway.

As I said, it’s been a long road. Fact is, I’m a people pleaser. The only time I really feel comfortable expressing opinions (outside of family/friends) is in my work. It’s a great outlet, but in person I hate disappointing others. Problem is, people-pleasing tends to backfire… a lot. The less I’m true to myself, the more I get stung. Ouch.

As I try to instill in my kids…just be honest. It usually pays off. Not in royalties, but in respect.