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Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Wed May 19, 2010 8:45 pm
by Paul Bedford
With the release of The List Vol III (the last in the series), I will be making moves to submit it to publishers and Diamond (maybe - see my post in the 'News' section). I have always planned to do as such, but I bided my time until all three were complete.

The burning question that I seek your opinion on is whether to submit the work as a serialised three part story, or a single volume Graphic Novel (I can hardly call it a TPB).

I have discussed this issue with others who believe that the American market is more likely to pick up a work by an unknown if it is serialised, and while I don't disagree with that, the single volume GN seems to be the trend in the market (also, The List was written as a one shot). Serialised is fine with floppies, but each volume of The List is 50, 66 and 85 pages respectively - which, when I put it like that, may turn off publishers from picking it up as a GN due to its size. :roll:

Anyway, your click is appreciated. Also, if you would like to reply with your thoughts, that would be appreciated.

Many thanks,

Paul.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 12:20 am
by J Marc
I reckon go down the GN path, but of course keeping yourself open to the option floppies. I think The List will read best as a GN, also (more commercially-minded people can tell you this if I'm on the right track here) I think thicker books can be more attractive to publishers because the profit margin is higher, not to mention having a little more visibility on the bookshelf. Jason and I originally pitched 'The Sixsmiths' as a 96pp GN and it was accepted; it's now going to be 160pp, and the publisher seemed to be very pleased with that development. Manga's popularity has influenced the trend toward thicker books, too. A 200pp indy horror manga sounds pretty marketable to me.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 3:52 pm
by Paul Bedford
Thanks Marc. I tend to agree with your points, and the votes (thank you to everyone who has voted), though only a small number thus far back up your stance.

Personally, I prefer the single volume also, but my personal feelings have little to do with it - I want to know the best business choice.

Thanks again.

Paul.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:18 pm
by Daren White
Paul

I guess my vote for a single edition won't come as a great surprise. For Diamond, the higher retail price will give you a lower sales target to hit their minimum (although solicitations for new books appear to listed in any event, at present). Also, the paperback format will give a better profile on Amazon and the like.

With regard to submitting to publishers, I'd do that before publishing the third part, in what ever format you decide on. The publisher will make the decision regarding the format and how best they think they can market the material. I'd dummy up a completed draft and submit them first, or what ever the specific publisher suggests for submissions. If you don't get any bites, you can follow through and self publish, as originally intended.

My experience with submitting ideas to commercial publishers is that you can never predetermine what'll hit and what'll miss. Send it in and see what happens.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:25 pm
by Baden
Hi Paul

if you pick up a publisher I'd let them decide - they will have their own interpretation of the market and economics to work around.

If you are going to self-publish, if you were assuming equal sales between floppies and a tpb the tpb will give you a better return - but this will largely depend on the page count.

I would just continue with a separate vol 3 for now and let the publisher worry about the rest.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 5:59 pm
by Paul Bedford
Many thanks for your thoughts, Daren and Baden; that is great stuff! Man, it's nice to have guys to turn to. I will, however, admit to being a little confused with regards to not submitting the entire story, as I was of the belief that publishers like to know the resolution of the story - though, that said, it can be covered in the (always required) synopsis). But, that said, the comic version reads better than a synopsis ever could.

I am leaning toward the GN while also keeping my options open (mentioning to publishers that it was previously a serialised work).

Btw: I am so confident that The List will be a massive seller that I have just made my first down-payment on a private jet constructed entirely of cocaine. ;)

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:25 pm
by Tom
For Diamond and Amazon I've heard that if you don't sell well with your first in a series these guys won't take you back for subsequent issues so going for the full comic is probably the wisest idea.
As for publishers, what everyone else said.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 6:52 pm
by Paul Bedford
Tom wrote:For Diamond and Amazon I've heard that if you don't sell well with your first in a series these guys won't take you back for subsequent issues so going for the full comic is probably the wisest idea.
As for publishers, what everyone else said.


Thanks Tom/The List inker. That's a very serious consideration. It's certainly looking like the single edition.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 8:07 pm
by Baden
Paul i would definitely show any publisher you have the complete thing - they would love that as they know if they invest they are getting a complete package - just don't get hung up on the format too much until then.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 20, 2010 9:30 pm
by Daren White
Some publishers only want a synopsis and small number of pages to represent the finished page. I'd send them exactly what their submissions guideline specifies (usually a one page pitch and around 6 pages of finished art). Any submissions editor will be able to judge the quality of the work based upon a sample and will request the rest of the book if they're interested. Obviously you send them your best 6 pages and let them know where you are with the rest of the pages.

I always assume that a professional editor is overloaded with work and, consequently, you have a very small window of opportunity to grab their attention. Give them exactly what they want.

That said, submitting is part of the game. Publishers need fresh creators as much as creators need publishers.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 8:20 am
by Paul Bedford
I'll certainly not be messing with any criteria stipulated by the publisher, but I may note in my cover letter that I have full volumes available for perusal.

That said, submitting is part of the game. Publishers need fresh creators as much as creators need publishers.


Never truer words were spoken. If only the movie industry would realise this, I mean remakes of Nightmare On Elm St and The Karate Kid! C'mon!

Again, thank you to everyone for their input. It has been invaluable.

Paul.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Fri May 21, 2010 9:20 am
by J Marc
When I submitted my first comic, the publisher's guidelines were for 5 pages, but I had the whole thing completed. I contacted them and asked them if it was okay send the whole thing, because I thought the whole comic would leave a better impression, and they said it was fine. So basically, don't be shy about contacting a publisher to send the whole thing rather than a short sample, especially if your gut tells you it's a good idea. (My comic was a lot shorter than yours, though!) A side benefit of this is that you open up a line of communication with the editor, which makes your submission a little more personalised when it arrives.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Mon May 24, 2010 1:56 pm
by Paul Bedford
J Marc wrote:When I submitted my first comic, the publisher's guidelines were for 5 pages, but I had the whole thing completed. I contacted them and asked them if it was okay send the whole thing, because I thought the whole comic would leave a better impression, and they said it was fine. So basically, don't be shy about contacting a publisher to send the whole thing rather than a short sample, especially if your gut tells you it's a good idea. (My comic was a lot shorter than yours, though!) A side benefit of this is that you open up a line of communication with the editor, which makes your submission a little more personalised when it arrives.


The above does seem to sit right with me. Having just printed out and read the entire script (it comes in at 200 odd pages, so it's not thaaaat much longer than yours), it certainly reads better and serves the story better as a single volume.

I will of course keep in mind the option of the serial should the publisher feel that is the better way to go (assuming they want it in the first place of course!), but contacting them before hand saying that I have a completed, printed single GN may just work in my favour - and yes, make them aware of who I am before it arrives. Thanks again, Marc.

Cheers,

Paul.

Re: Serialised or single volume GN? *Poll Question*

PostPosted: Thu May 27, 2010 1:26 pm
by JasonFranks
My own thoughts have mostly been covered by Baden, Daren, Marc et al, so I'll spare you the repetition.

I will say that my understanding is that the number of pages requested in submission guidelines can generally be taken as a minimum requirement and if you have more pages you should send them along. Marc and I provided about 30pp of art in the SIXSMITHS pitch and I've heard several Image creators saying that they sent complete first issues; inked, lettered and coloured.

You do still need to follow the guidelines--send them a synopsis and whatever other documents they request as well as the finished pages.

Having said that, some editors want to have input in the direction the story goes before it's finished--which is fine for a new project, but if yours is complete it's not really an option, either.

-- JF