Archive for March 8th, 2009

Mar 08 2009

Writing Tip of the Day: Pick Your Publishers Carefully

I provide advice about how to write novels, comic books and graphic novels. Most of my content applies to fiction-writing in general, but I also provide articles specifically about superhero stories.

This should be pretty obvious, but unfortunately it isn’t.  When you submit a novel manuscript or a comic book script, pick your prospective publishers carefully.  Make sure you submit it to publishers that actually work with stories that have a lot in common with your story.

  1. Audience (age and gender)
  2. Genre and content
  3. Style/mood
  4. Setting (real-world Earth vs. historical vs. the future vs. a Tolkien-like fantasy world)
  5. Length, for books (length usually goes hand-in-hand with the age of the audience)
  6. Art style, for comic books (dark and gritty vs. Western cartoons vs. anime/manga, for example)

Prospective publishers love it when authors put some thought into this.  If your query clearly shows that you have looked into which publishers will be the best fit for your book, you will look professional and competent.  A good place to start is looking up 5 or 10 comparable works on Amazon.  Where did they get published?  For comic books, which editors signed on?  That should give you a few publishers to look into.

I’ll use a very particular example to show how easy this is.  For example, right now I’m looking for publishers that would be interested in a guide for how to write superhero novels and comic books.  It’s aimed at teens.  Many publishers have printed books for kids that want to write, so finding apt publishers shouldn’t be a problem.  I’d also like to look at publishers that have printed guides about writing comic books.  

After 30 minutes on Amazon, I found ~10 works that seemed comparable at first glance.  Let’s look at why these works might or might not suggest that their publisher would be interested in mine…

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