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What does a Graphic Novel submission package look like and how long it takes?

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For those of you who have submitted Graphic Novel to publishers before (author+illustrator team or author-illustrator,  with or without an agent), what does your submission package look like?

Is it a syllabus + a few sample pages, or a complete script + a few sample pages, or a pencil draft of the whole book with texts printed on every page?

Can you also share some information on how long does each process takes, from idea to submit, and the time it takes for the editors and you to revise and finish the whole book?

Thank you!
#1 - March 19, 2021, 01:33 PM

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I believe graphic novels are submitted as manuscripts with illustration notes, like this:

Panel one: View of city with Batman and Robin visible in silhouette in the distance.

Narrator: Gotham was quiet that night.

Panel 2:

Robin: I feel like we're missing something.

etc.

If you are doing the artwork, you'd definitely want to submit some completed pages of art. I'm not sure about a full mock up though. I hope this helps. You could try Googling this.
#2 - March 19, 2021, 06:15 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

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Agent Maria Vicente has a great post on what she expects. https://www.mariavicente.com/blog/graphic-novel-pitch-package It is very similar to what my agent submitted to publishers.  I personally felt I had to have a complete MS before submitting just to be sure I could actually pull it off! For my 1st, it took 2 - 3 years just for the MS, but the pitch package itself was much quicker.  My publisher gave me less than a year to get the rest done - waaaay too tight but it is what it is ( & I ended up making it tighter by doing a pandemic "rushed" book for the same publisher during the time I should have been starting on my GN). I'm hoping with one book under my belt I'll be able to negotiate better terms next time.

For the art, I can do about 6 pages of thumbnails/day, 4 pages/day sketches, 4 pages/day finals (not sure if that includes scanning/editing - I may need to hire a helper to do the scanning for me!). That's working 4 - 5 hour days on art only. I admit I wasn't terribly focused when I did the thumbnails so maybe I could do it faster now that I've got the focus issues more under control! I'm sure it varies for each illustrator!
#3 - April 03, 2021, 07:36 AM
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I believe graphic novels are submitted as manuscripts with illustration notes, like this:

Panel one: View of city with Batman and Robin visible in silhouette in the distance.

Narrator: Gotham was quiet that night.

Panel 2:

Robin: I feel like we're missing something.

etc.

If you are doing the artwork, you'd definitely want to submit some completed pages of art. I'm not sure about a full mock up though. I hope this helps. You could try Googling this.

Thanks Debbie. I asked the question mainly because I was wonder if there is going to be any difference in the submission package with and without an agent :)
#4 - April 13, 2021, 02:24 PM

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Agent Maria Vicente has a great post on what she expects. https://www.mariavicente.com/blog/graphic-novel-pitch-package It is very similar to what my agent submitted to publishers.  I personally felt I had to have a complete MS before submitting just to be sure I could actually pull it off! For my 1st, it took 2 - 3 years just for the MS, but the pitch package itself was much quicker.  My publisher gave me less than a year to get the rest done - waaaay too tight but it is what it is ( & I ended up making it tighter by doing a pandemic "rushed" book for the same publisher during the time I should have been starting on my GN). I'm hoping with one book under my belt I'll be able to negotiate better terms next time.

For the art, I can do about 6 pages of thumbnails/day, 4 pages/day sketches, 4 pages/day finals (not sure if that includes scanning/editing - I may need to hire a helper to do the scanning for me!). That's working 4 - 5 hour days on art only. I admit I wasn't terribly focused when I did the thumbnails so maybe I could do it faster now that I've got the focus issues more under control! I'm sure it varies for each illustrator!

Thank you for the information. It's very helpful! and you are working really efficiently. I am working on an MS and am currently hoping I can illustrate 1/2 page per day on average ... sketching, inking, coloring, so many steps ... And I am dreaming of hiring someone for coloring could be an option too, if GN is accepted and is paid well. Just dreaming ...
#5 - April 13, 2021, 02:29 PM

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As far as I know, what you'd submit to an agent is the same as what you''d send to an editor, but I'm no artist.
#6 - April 13, 2021, 06:52 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
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... And I am dreaming of hiring someone for coloring could be an option too, if GN is accepted and is paid well.
A friend's publisher hired a colorist for her. When you get to that, do ask them to provide one.

#7 - April 14, 2021, 07:09 PM
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A friend's publisher hired a colorist for her. When you get to that, do ask them to provide one.



Haha, thank you for the info.!   :truck
#8 - April 14, 2021, 09:50 PM

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