If you have dreams of creating and publishing a comic book you’ll probably have consulted the ol’ Google in order to look up how to do just that.
But as any cursory glance will reveal, getting your beaming, gleaming graphic novel out there and into the right hands is… a process to say the least.
But people get it done, right? It is a thing that happens and not some magical miracle?
Yes, but it is definitely also miraculous.
Previously we’ve broken down a few steps you can take in order to get your work published and out there on your own terms but today let us look into getting discovered by some major publishers and how you can catch the attention of the big leagues.
AKA Notice me, publisher senpai!!!
Setting up your presentation and improving the overall pitching potential of your project is a great way to hit the ground running and become super comfortable and familiar with your work.
You’re going to want to include all relevant information that would be of interest to potential publishers, summaries, character breakdowns and some story and act structures to help them gauge what it is you’re doing and where it is all headed.
If you’re predominantly a writer, try to include some visual cues or if you’ve commissioned something for the project make sure to add that to your pitch pack.
Do. Not. Send. Unsolicited. Anything. Except. Thoughts. And. Prayers.
Unsolicited manuscripts and pitches can make an extremely bad first impression and actually hurt your cause way more than help it.
The poor souls at the receiving end of them are often inundated and overwhelmed already and you adding to that is really not fun for them and they might just ignore future chances at networking or communicating with you because of it.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I cannot stress enough how important it is that you create opportunities for being discovered.
Create social media pages for your project, chat with others doing the same, and go from there. It not only helps your chances at being seen but also shows potential publishers that you believe in your stuff and are willing to put in the work to get it out there.
If you do get a shot at submission or are answering an open call, read the submission guidelines over and over again and make sure to stick to them, strictly.
SHOP IT AROUND
Don’t be beholden to one publisher. Unless you sign some kind of clause that requires exclusivity to your project whether it gets approved or not, you are fully within your rights to hawk your magnificent wares wherever you like, so we really encourage doing just that.
Try getting into smaller pubs, lists, newsletters etc
Look, we’d all love to get our big break right off the bat with a huge deal at DC or Marvel, but sometimes starting out super small is a kindness and not at all a cruelty.
Guerilla publications and small, indie projects of manageable scope are an amazing way to cut your teeth in the industry and learn the ropes. These kinds of projects are also usually bursting with creativity and specificity and allow for a lot of freedom, something that bigger publishers will not.
So have a go at it and have fun doing things on a more intimate scale. Think of it as really wild and out there training wheels for you to practice on.
- Dante Ludolf