I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving break. Some of you probably even did some shopping for the holidays, while those of you who have your own business may find yourselves having to ship out things! So with that, let’s talk about how to ship artwork! Some of you may have your own art business or want to start one, but isn’t sure about how to ship out things. I remembered when I was first starting out my business, I didn’t know where to begin and had to do some Youtubing and Googling around. Although there are many things you can ship out as an artist (depending on what you make), I’m going to focus this post on how to ship out art prints and comic books/graphic novels/art books.
NOTE: Some of the services I explain in this article only pertain to those who live in the United States and might not pertain to those who live outside of the U.S.
1) Art Prints
There are several methods to ship art prints. Some people ship them flat while others ship them in a cylindrical shipping tube.
For flat artworks, I’ve seen people put the artwork into a clear plastic sleeve. Then what they’ll do is place the artwork in between 2 cardboard pieces that are slightly larger than the artwork. From there, they can put the cardboard pieces into a bubble mailer or large envelope and ship it. For larger pieces of artwork, some people would use a large cardboard box instead and place shipping peanuts, newspaper, or air cushions into the box to prevent the artwork from moving around.
For artwork placed in a cylindrical shipping tube, all you need is a tube with the appropriate dimensions, then you’ll roll up the artwork and place it in there. The only downsides to shipping in a tube is that some people don’t like their artworks rolled up, plus shipping in a non-rectangular package can cost a bit more money.
2) Comic Books/Graphic Novels/Art books
To ship books, you can do it multiple ways. I’ve seen people just put a book inside a bubble mailer and send it out. This is probably the cheapest and easiest route to take especially if you have a hardcover book. You can do it where you place the book between 2 cardboard pieces and then put it inside a bubble mailer or a regular large envelope. There are also pre-made cardboard book mailers that comes with scored edges that you can fold your book according to the size you need. And of course, you can put your book inside a cardboard box and include peanuts, newspaper, or air cushions along with the book to keep it in place.
*USPS also provides their Priority Mail flat rate envelopes and boxes that you can use to ship. This is helpful if you think you’ll be shipping out a lot of books and need to save on shipping.
*Tip for shipping out graphic novels: Whichever way you choose to package it, when it comes to shipping graphic novels, you can actually send your books using the USPS Media Mail service. It is a cost-effective way to send media and educational materials, as long as you have nothing else in your package besides books or graphic novels. Comic books (the floppy ones) can’t be shipped with this method due to the advertising included. With this method, there is a possibility of your package getting inspected in case you really aren’t shipping books. This method may also have a longer delivery time.
After that, you can create a shipping label and take your items to the post office to ship. If you want, you can also pay postage online and drop off your package instead.
And that’s it! I know shipping may be a pain and may not be the most fun thing to do, but it’s great to know that your package was put together by you and that it might be delivered in one piece.