PUBLISHING HELP?

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PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby Bronshtein » Wed May 07, 2014 9:05 am

Writer (unpublished -not me) is looking for help/advice about publishing a dystopian future novel as a comic/graphic novel. He knows nothing about the process of working with an illustrator or how to make contact with a graphic novel publisher or agent. Does anyone on here know and could point him in the right direction?

It's about half written and what I've read is brilliant and I wish I could steal it for myself - but that's another story.

I think it would be superb as a graphic novel but I have no idea how that works. The people I know are bloody useless and think pictures in books are for morons.

I mentioned to Andy (my friend) that I knew of a forum full of smart intelligent helpful people who would know all about this sort of stuff, but I thought I'd try you lot as well. 8)

The people at Frothers strike me as people who would either know how he could go about this, or might know a person who does.
(I know about Writers Yearbook etc and the online sites but he's looking for someone who knows from first hand experience how the process of interaction with illustrators and the graphic publishers works, not the public fol de rol).

Anyone looking for a fantastic idea for a graphic novel, illustrator or publisher, or knows of one who might be interested put their hand up now. I'll pass them on to Andy and you need never deal with me again. :D
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby An Absent Humphrey » Wed May 07, 2014 11:05 am

I can't help with your specific query (finding an illustrator to do the illustrating for your friend's plot), but all I can do is create a few more problems and pitfalls to be aware of.
I'm lucky in that I've had four books of my own published (through an agent, who found a publisher), but the books I've done are just wordy books. And my own work.
So what you're saying is that your friend has a plot idea but wants someone to visualise it? I don't know if that's how it works in the graphic novel world, but my impression was that the plot and images were all the work of one person. To start with, anyway. Once the writer has shown their worth then they can probably find an army of people willing to work with them. But not at the start.
It's hard to see how the royalties would be split in the case you are talking about. Your friend is supplying the plot and someone else is doing the drawing. So I would very strongly recommend that before he even thinks of getting an illustrator he is fully aware of all legal matters - who owns what copyright, how royalties are to be split, is it by licence or is he buying all rights to the illustrations, etc. I would want to be very clear in my own mind on all those details before even thinking of an illustrator.
First time books, whether graphic or just words, are often the labour of love of one individual. In the case of a graphic novel it could be the work of two people (the writer and the illustrator) who are good friends, work on it together, get a bit of commercial success, find they didn't have any legally binding contract in place to distinguuish who owns rights to what, and then promptly fall out over royalties. So your friend needs to make sure all is clear before starting. That's what I would be worrying about to start with (assuming he hasn't already).
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby Bronshtein » Wed May 07, 2014 3:12 pm

Thanks for the thoughts Humph. Appreciated.
He has more than an idea - he has written most of it but in 'straight' novel form.
I confess it was probably my over enthusiastic gushings which pushed him along the graphic novel path.
Yes, it is a visualisation he was after I suppose. But more than that he was looking (or rather I was asking on his behalf) for any tips from those who may have done it before.
Take the point re copyright/royalties. I'm guessing (dangerous) this is a frequent and normal part of the graphic novel/comic world. I read/see lots of works where the writer is a different person from the illustrator.
How this liaison is arrived at - before or after selling the idea was one of the things he was interested in.

Thanks again.
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby KingSkin » Wed May 07, 2014 3:44 pm

I've not had anything published but there are a couple of points I can make. Firstly, comics and graphic novels aren't written as straight prose. They're more like film scripts which describe the action and layout and include any dialogue. If it's written as prose it won't work as the basis for any sort of comic without being re-written as a script. The level of detail included can vary though. Some scripts will lay out the exact panel format and detail what is in each frame while others leave it more open to the artist's interpretation. Others sit somewhere between the two.
So the first thing he'll need to do is research how to turn it into a script, the same as if he'd written a novel and wanted to sell it as a film, but comic and film script conventions are different so he'll need to check on that.

After that he could try approaching some publishers with his idea. Again he'd need to research how (and indeed if) they take submissions and make sure he's going after companies that could possibly be interested (for instance Marvel are unlikely to pick up an entirely new property from an unknown). If it gets accepted then I'd imagine the publisher would pair him up with an artist and take care of the division of royalties, etc.
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby Bronshtein » Wed May 07, 2014 5:43 pm

Thanks Kingskin.
Point taken about the way a graphic novel is written vs a straight prose version. He is aware - being a big fan of both genres - that it would take a re-write. How big a re write I am not sure. I once did a small section of one of my ideas as a graphic novel script format - strangely it ended up taking somewhat more effort than that section of the novel - I'm crap at descriptive writing of scenes (the Dickens waffle)- so I had to put that in as advice to a potential illustrator about who was where, what the (rough) background for each shot was etc - so we have talked about that. His writing is very different from mine, but it is obviously not comic format ready. Mine never got past the one section experiment so I never got any practical experience of the graphic novel publishing publishing route that could help him.

The advice about researching agents, publishers, etc is good of course. I was trying to see I could short circuit the slush pile (if graphic novel agents/publishers have such things?)for him and see if there was anyone who had been down the rejection from Marvel, DC etc route but had then succeeded via another road and could offer him directions.

But thanks for the thoughts. All welcome.
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby mr tough guy » Wed May 07, 2014 7:33 pm

To be honest unless you're an established name, you're going to have a hard time getting something published as a writer, it would be a lot easier if you have an artist lined up, and can show artwork/character designs/sample pages. it might be easier to find an artist first and then find a publisher.

I don't think there's an easy way to do it, you'll have to your research, look at comicbook publishers and look at their submission guidelines, there are a few that look for creator owned stuff but honestly you'll find that most are looking for artwork to be included, I think this is a good indication on what you can expect
https://imagecomics.com/about/submissions
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby Bronshtein » Wed May 07, 2014 8:48 pm

Mr Tough Guy.
Thanks. I suspected that would be the case. 'Ordinary' publishing has long been in the 'we'll happily take a chance with you if you're established' mode. I can see why, but I was hoping it might not be quite so sclerotic in the graphic novel world. No idea why - they must be as inundated with dross as anyone else I guess.
As for the creative pairing first, contract later - if that is true as a rule it is useful to know (I had heard that it was not necessarily so but your link proves it works for at least one publisher!).
So thanks again.
If of course anyone else knows different... :)
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby Bronshtein » Wed Aug 20, 2014 6:58 pm

Just an update - I scared up an artist I know from a west country university and put the two in touch - nothing definite yet but they may be working on something soon. Still no idea from the 'straight' publishers I know about how to go about it from there or even if 'there' is an acceptable place to start from. Thanks for the comments/thoughts/suggestions.
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby Kes » Wed Aug 20, 2014 10:36 pm

Don't know if it would work, but how about visiting something like Comic-Con or MCM Expo and wandering around, talking to some of the writes/artists there? There's one in October I think that I'm taking the kids to...
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Re: PUBLISHING HELP?

Postby Bronshtein » Wed Aug 20, 2014 11:18 pm

Good thinking - worth a go - I'll let him know.
Thanks. :D
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