Archive for January 3rd, 2010

Jan 03 2010

Nine Surprising Facts About Writing Comic Books and Graphic Novels

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.

1. Marvel and DC Comics don’t consider unsolicited submissions. Fortunately, Optimum Wound has a useful list of publishers that do. If you’re dead-set on working with Marvel or DC, I’d recommend taking a job with them in some other capacity (such as editing, sales or marketing) and then moving laterally into writing.

2. Most publishers won’t evaluate a comic book submission unless it has ~5 illustrated sample pages. This means that a writer will usually need a professional-grade artist friend willing to work for speculative pay, a paid freelancer or the skill to illustrate his own work.  If you don’t know any artists and don’t have $500-750 for a freelancer, I’d recommend submitting to Dark Horse or another publisher that doesn’t require art samples.  However, if you can pull off a competent art sample, it will really help your submission.

3. Pretty much no one considers proposals for licensed works. Do you have an awesome idea for a Star Wars or Buffy comic?  Unfortunately, with licensed works, the publisher will almost always contact the writer it wants to work with rather than vice versa.  Additionally, when they need a writer for a major series, they will hire someone experienced and proven rather than an unpublished author.  Sorry. If you want to write for Spiderman or Batman, you need to establish yourself first.

4. Comic book companies usually buy the rights to the series and characters. In contrast, novel series are almost always creator-owned.  If you really care about maintaining ownership over your characters and stories, I’d recommend looking at Image Comics. Almost all of their series are creator-owned.

Continue Reading »

7 responses so far

Jan 03 2010

The Intern Takes on Book Promotions

The Intern provides some useful advice she got from her book promoter.

I’m a bit skeptical about some of the advice, though.  Is Facebook really the Holy Grail of online book promotions?  If you’re tech-savvy enough to handle WordPress or something similar, I doubt it. Facebook pages don’t handle search engines well and are not very customizable. Also, if you’re writing for a target audience older than 30 or younger than 13, I’d wonder about whether Facebook is actually the most effective way to reach your prospective readers.

3 responses so far