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tanggod
05-15-2008, 11:29 AM
I am currently creating a 2-issue mini series to pitch to a publisher.

My main question is this:
Will completing the whole story (writing and art) get me 'bonus points' with the editor(s) who'll be reviewing my story?
I think this because a) its "only" 2 issues long, so shouldn't take too long to complete.
And b) completing the story before i submit might show my dedication and belief in the story, aswell as give the editors the opportunity to read my proposal as a comic from start to finish, and thus, hopefully make an accurate decision.

Of course, if the story and art is a pile of wank and a lump of shit respectively, it wouldn't really matter if i print and bound the book out of my own pocket. But lets just say, for now, that it is a genuinely good story worth telling.

Thoughts and comments would be nice.

Kep!
05-15-2008, 12:43 PM
YES! Anytime you have a book in the can...or at least one issue...it shows the publisher that you can complete what you started and you won't leave them hanging. When you are an unknown, this can be the critical tipping point.

Raff
05-15-2008, 01:09 PM
Y'know some publishers will say that they only need to see 5 pages to greenlight a book but that's really not true if you're a first timer. Even if those 5 pages are amazing the publisher may not want to take a chance on you not finishing the remaining 60+ pages. With "unknowns" working on comics part-time it may take years to finish a 3 issue mini-series and that's if all the parties stay on-board. What are the chances of that?

So if your project is finished and can be read in it's entirety in one sitting then you are at an extreme advantage to anyone else.

I also recommend you have it printed up by Ka-Blam so it looks like a real comic --this will double your chances of being picked up. Believe it.
Holding that finished product in your hand has major impact. Publishers will envision their logo on the cover --so leave yours off.

This is all predicated on your art being professional quality --if the artist is not ready for prime time then everything above is invalid.

This has worked for me.

http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/9392/manbannerms3.jpg (http://www.drunkduck.com/Manifestations/)

dhyatt
05-15-2008, 04:56 PM
I don't remember the last time I ever saw a one-shot or 2 issue mini-series from a no-name. Best bet is to offer at least 3 issues which is the norm as I'm sure would help your chances. More books = $$$ to the publisher as long as it's worth their effort to market a book that's going to be available longer then 2 months. 1 month to us is like 3 months in marketing. They have to take time to run ads and get the book distributed. When I buy books, I usually don't pick them up until the 3rd issue as a consumer.

Sure you can try your hand with 2 books to offer. Bigger companies already have a good report with Diamond when they want at least 3 books from no-names publishers. Some publisher may carry the same demands of Diamond if they are a smaller publisher.

JAQ
05-15-2008, 11:44 PM
Why 2 issues?

Why on Earth 2 issues?

If you have the story done (or can have it done before you go to press), it makes no sense to publish it in two parts.

If I had a dollar for every "2-part" story from a small publisher or new creator where I bought the first issue but never saw the second one (either because the creator never finished it, or the publisher canceled it due to bad sales of the first one, or the retailer didn't order enough of it)... I'd still be pissed off, because I probably paid three times that for the first issue, and never got a completed story.

Just finish the whole thing and publish it in a single volume. Floppies labeled "#1 of 2" and "#2 of 2" will never sell beyond the week they're released, but a self-contained one-shot with a spine (even a thin one) might have some shelf life.

The Anti-crest
05-16-2008, 01:22 AM
Why 2 issues?

Why on Earth 2 issues?

If you have the story done (or can have it done before you go to press), it makes no sense to publish it in two parts.

If I had a dollar for every "2-part" story from a small publisher or new creator where I bought the first issue but never saw the second one (either because the creator never finished it, or the publisher canceled it due to bad sales of the first one, or the retailer didn't order enough of it)... I'd still be pissed off, because I probably paid three times that for the first issue, and never got a completed story.

Just finish the whole thing and publish it in a single volume. Floppies labeled "#1 of 2" and "#2 of 2" will never sell beyond the week they're released, but a self-contained one-shot with a spine (even a thin one) might have some shelf life.

great posting. Listen up, hombre.

The Anti-crest
05-16-2008, 01:30 AM
Y'know some publishers will say that they only need to see 5 pages to greenlight a book but that's really not true if you're a first timer. Even if those 5 pages are amazing the publisher may not want to take a chance on you not finishing the remaining 60+ pages. With "unknowns" working on comics part-time it may take years to finish a 3 issue mini-series and that's if all the parties stay on-board. What are the chances of that?

So if your project is finished and can be read in it's entirety in one sitting then you are at an extreme advantage to anyone else.

I also recommend you have it printed up by Ka-Blam so it looks like a real comic --this will double your chances of being picked up. Believe it.
Holding that finished product in your hand has major impact. Publishers will envision their logo on the cover --so leave yours off.

This is all predicated on your art being professional quality --if the artist is not ready for prime time then everything above is invalid.

This has worked for me.

http://img368.imageshack.us/img368/9392/manbannerms3.jpg (http://www.drunkduck.com/Manifestations/)

I dunno about most companies but Slave Labor Graphics actually goes against this.

1) How much of my graphic novel should I realistically have completed before pitching it? This question is made even more complex by the fact that I would be looking to sell a series of graphic novels (I recognize this will be more difficult than trying to sell a single GN).

First, you should read the submission guidelines of the company you're sending the submission to and see if they have a desired number of pages. SLG's say at least five. If you have more, by all means send as many as you feel best represents your project. But don't draw the whole thing before pitching. You don't have to finish your graphic novel before pitching it, but you do need to know the whole story.

Brian Wood has some salient advice on the subject in a recent New York Post article: "If you're just trying to get an editor interested in you, you don't have to fully execute your 100-page graphic novel. You can just do the first chapter." (Heh. I bought the first issue of Channel Zero from Brian at the 1999 -- or was is it 1998? -- Comic-Con. I asked him if he liked William Gibson for some reason.)

This is where the graphic novel world differs from the regular novel world because you'd better not even think about sending a submission for a prose novel without finishing it first! I guess the reason is that . . . drawing is harder? It does take longer to draw a page than write one, so I can see the rationale. If the editor asks for changes, it would be really onerous if you have to redraw large portions of the book. Pitching a graphic novel is more like pitching a nonfiction book -- or a movie -- in this regard. Please note that it is not like pitching a movie in that we are impressed by people who act like buzzword-spouting slimeballs. (There is a terrible prejudice against the movie industry in comics, isn't there?! Terrible!)

And you're right -- selling a series of GNs is going to be much harder than selling a single graphic novel. What if the first one flops? Is a publisher going to want to make a commitment that could end up costing them thousands of dollars? I know this wasn't your question, but I think new artists are much better off starting with a graphic novel that stands on its own. Or at least if it's part of a planned series of GNs, make sure the first volume ends in a place that can be an ending if it comes to that.


but with a two part book I don't know if it will make as big of a difference.

http://slg-news.livejournal.com/249315.html

And i mean, the company you are pitching for is really the best people to ask. Dark Horse wants the entire thing written, I believe. They prefer an artist attatched but will look at submissions from people who do not have artists. But what it comes down to those, it sounds like, basically you have to hope one of their artists likes your book and wants to work on it.

tanggod
05-16-2008, 02:34 AM
Wow, some great advice here.
I'd never thought about the 2-issue problem before. I read somewhere that a publisher was more likely to green light a project if it was a short mini series, than a longer one. Makes sense, since it takes less time and money to publish a 4-issue series than say, a 12-issue one. It just never occured to me that having too few would also be a problem for the publishers (and consumers).

dhyatt
05-16-2008, 03:15 AM
I dunno about most companies but Slave Labor Graphics actually goes against this.

1) How much of my graphic novel should I realistically have completed before pitching it? This question is made even more complex by the fact that I would be looking to sell a series of graphic novels (I recognize this will be more difficult than trying to sell a single GN).

First, you should read the submission guidelines of the company you're sending the submission to and see if they have a desired number of pages. SLG's say at least five. If you have more, by all means send as many as you feel best represents your project. But don't draw the whole thing before pitching. You don't have to finish your graphic novel before pitching it, but you do need to know the whole story.

Brian Wood has some salient advice on the subject in a recent New York Post article: "If you're just trying to get an editor interested in you, you don't have to fully execute your 100-page graphic novel. You can just do the first chapter." (Heh. I bought the first issue of Channel Zero from Brian at the 1999 -- or was is it 1998? -- Comic-Con. I asked him if he liked William Gibson for some reason.)

This is where the graphic novel world differs from the regular novel world because you'd better not even think about sending a submission for a prose novel without finishing it first! I guess the reason is that . . . drawing is harder? It does take longer to draw a page than write one, so I can see the rationale. If the editor asks for changes, it would be really onerous if you have to redraw large portions of the book. Pitching a graphic novel is more like pitching a nonfiction book -- or a movie -- in this regard. Please note that it is not like pitching a movie in that we are impressed by people who act like buzzword-spouting slimeballs. (There is a terrible prejudice against the movie industry in comics, isn't there?! Terrible!)

And you're right -- selling a series of GNs is going to be much harder than selling a single graphic novel. What if the first one flops? Is a publisher going to want to make a commitment that could end up costing them thousands of dollars? I know this wasn't your question, but I think new artists are much better off starting with a graphic novel that stands on its own. Or at least if it's part of a planned series of GNs, make sure the first volume ends in a place that can be an ending if it comes to that.


but with a two part book I don't know if it will make as big of a difference.

http://slg-news.livejournal.com/249315.html

And i mean, the company you are pitching for is really the best people to ask. Dark Horse wants the entire thing written, I believe. They prefer an artist attatched but will look at submissions from people who do not have artists. But what it comes down to those, it sounds like, basically you have to hope one of their artists likes your book and wants to work on it.


Wow, I really like your insight on this. Makes a lot of sense. :thumbs:

The Anti-crest
05-16-2008, 09:01 PM
not my insight. Jennifer Deguzemens.