Author Topic: Writing a Graphic Novel Query  (Read 1392 times)

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Offline TanjaW

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Writing a Graphic Novel Query
« on: August 21, 2012, 02:20 PM »
I'm just about at the point in my graphic novel project where I'm ready to submit my query letter.  So I've been doing research and thought I'd share some of the resources I've found. :)
If anyone has any relevant query experience with their own GN project, please post!  I'll update the list as I discover more.


1. This one, although posted in 2007, still seems very practical and relevant, especially if your query is to a mainstream publisher rather than a standard comic book publisher, as more publishers look to develop their own graphic novel options.
http://comixpedia.com/a_road_less_traveled_writing_the_query_letter

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Last month Tim Broderick, began a series of articles detailing the path to publication of his graphic novel, "Cash & Carry" (based on his webcomic Odd Jobs, featured at Moderntales and Timbroderick.net). In his first article at ComixTalk last month, Tim covered how he signed with a traditional prose publisher as opposed to a comics publisher. This month Tim dives into the specifics of how he constructed his ultimately successful query letter for "Cash & Carry".

2. Recent article interviewing Archaia Editor Rebecca Taylor about how to pitch a comic:
http://panelbound.com/2012/08/18/how-to-pitch-a-comic-an-interview-with-archaia-editor-rebecca-taylor/

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Cover letters are a chance for us to get a sense of a creator. What are their goals for their project? Why, specifically, do they think their project is the right fit for Archaia? Who are the people involved in their creative team? Also, while I would never come to a conclusion about someone’s character from a cover letter alone, it’s a good way to get a general first impression of who the creator is, both professionally and personally, and whether he or she is someone I’d be excited to work with for the year, at least, that it takes to produce a book. So when putting together your pitch, even if you’re submitting to multiple publishers, definitely take the time to customize your cover letter to each company.

3. Commentary by Larry Young about how to pitch a comic/graphic novel (includes recommendations about captions/dialogue balloon word count, query letter, etc.):
http://www.bleedingcool.com/2012/06/01/how-to-pitch-your-comic-by-or-possibly-to-larry-young/

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I answer every single query email sent me, because if you do the hard work of writing a script, you deserve a prompt answer to your query email. Sometimes I give advice; sometimes I give lengthy notes on what I would address to make it publishable. Sometimes I just answer, “Sorry; we’re not looking for new writers right now.” But the guys who just write, “Please review my comic book script at http://www.whatever.com,” those, I just delete. Such an economy of words drives only an economy of response.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 04:51 PM by TanjaW »

Offline AJSchumacher

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Re: Writing a Graphic Novel Query
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2012, 08:01 PM »
Hi Tanja!

I'm fairly new to the boards so I'm very late to this discussion but thought I'd write and see how things went. I've done work only for the direct market and find it quite fascinating that graphic novels are now being considered by literary agents and mainstream publishers.

Hope all's well  :grin3
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World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

Offline TanjaW

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Re: Writing a Graphic Novel Query
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2012, 08:16 PM »
Hi AJSchumacher,

I went to the New York Comic-Con last month (my first time at that convention and I was a panel speaker, too - whee!) and picked up some useful information about the graphic novel submission process, which I'll be happy to share.  Some of the info, of course, was more targeted for my own GN query, but I'll post what I think others may also find useful.  In any case, if you have a GN project I'd certainly recommend attending NYCC or SDCC to get some valuable in-person information directly from publishers and editors, and other writers/artists speaking in the panels offered at the Con.

- Tanja

Offline AJSchumacher

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Re: Writing a Graphic Novel Query
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2012, 08:33 PM »
I've heard NYCC is great!

I've actually been to SDCC many years (though not for the past 3 or 4) as well as Wondercon and taught workshops at the Alternative Press Expo. So mostly the West Coast cons. I've done work for Viper Comics, Arcana Studios and 215 Ink and was just curious as to the process of GN writers/artist who work outside the comic publishers circuit with publishers like First Second or Graphix.

That's cool you were on a panel! What was the panel about?
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World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)

Offline TanjaW

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Re: Writing a Graphic Novel Query
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2012, 07:51 AM »
SDCC? Cool!

Our NYCC panel (there were 8 of us) was a discussion about our individual experiences as Womanthology contributors (writers, artists, and editors).  The first project, "Womanthology:Heroic" actually had about 150 contributors.  :love5: 

"Womanthology is an anthology graphic novel created entirely by women for Charity. The purpose of the book is to showcase the works of female creators of every age and experience levels."
You can read more about it here:
http://womanthology.blogspot.com/

- t

Offline AJSchumacher

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Re: Writing a Graphic Novel Query
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2012, 09:46 AM »
Very cool! I'm definitely going to check that out. Sounds like a great anthology!

 :yay
http://alexschumacherart.com/
World's Crummiest Umbrella (2014, Wandering in the Words Press)