1. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Publishing a Graphic Novel

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Dauracul, Apr 5, 2011.

    The term 'graphic novel' is actually pretty vague, so I'll try to clarify. It can mean anything from comic book, to manga, to illustrated children's books. My work is closest to a manga, but of course I am not Japanese nor am I using the "backwards" Japanese format.

    In any case, I'm having trouble gathering information on publishing a graphic novel. I've encountered various comic and graphic novel publishers who have submission guidelines, but they tend to be varied and based on that particular company... which is cool if I choose that company. But I'd like to have a baseline manuscript ready for a variety of submissions, and I can't really find any standard information on the same level publishers want from regular novels. Things like formatting and whatnot.

    Any help would be appreciated!
     
  2. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    My guess is it's like trying to get anything else published. They choose you, if you're lucky, you don't choose them. And with that leverage, they make the rules, and will all have different preferences, and you'll end up re-formatting a manuscript to meet each of their individual expectations like is normally done with short story submissions, poetry, cartoons, novel queries... pretty much the nature of the industry.

    My advice would be to find a manuscript form that you can easily work with and format to their expectations. Otherwise, I'd go with standard manuscript formatting standards and be sure to include your name, contact info, page layout count (instead of word count) and once you have all this info on hand, be prepared to read submission expectations carefully and spend a lot of time reformatting to meet them, as is done for pretty much everything that is submitted for publication.
     
  3. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'standard' will depend on whether it's to be done like a comic book, in which case the ms must be in script format, or be like a novel with pictures, which will call for a standard prose format...

    so, is yours mostly dialog, thus being suited to a script?... or has it significant amounts of narrative, making it more a work of prose?
     
  4. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    A graphic novel script should not be mostly dialogue. If you're submitting a script rather than a finished work, then your script should contain everything an artist needs to complete the work; every panel should be described in detail with not only dialogue but a description of everything important that happens in that panel in as much detail as you can possibly give. The scripts will generally run much, much longer than the final product will.

    Guidelines for submitting scripts are varied because generally publishers want finished works, especially if it's an original idea you want to get published rather than a licensed one (which presents another problem, since submitted scripts with licensed characters are destroyed without being read). If at all possible, try to find an artist on your own and submit a work that is completed. In my experience, illustrators have better contacts in the industry anyway, so it will probably help you in the long run to at least have an artist attached who can help you negotiate the publishing side of things. Ultimately, it's very different to publishing a standard novel, obviously, and formatting isn't really as important as the content...there isn't an industry-wide format for writing the scripts, with some writers choosing a script-like format, others just writing prose descriptions of each panel, others using mainly storyboards with some notes, etc.
     
  5. Dauracul
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    Dauracul Member

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    Sorry for not clarifying, I'm not just making the script, I'm also doing the artwork. When I choose to submit the graphic novel, it will be in its most complete format, fully drawn and with text and dialogue included. That's the type of formatting I'm wondering about, page size and whatnot, how to present each page (pdf file, one image per page, etc.).
     

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