Tag Archives: self-publishing

Learning about Graphic Novels and Publishing from Barbara Slate

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I attended a talk by comic book writer Barbara Slate (at the VA Book Fest). She was one of the first female comic book writers, and has since branched out to her own graphic novels. After her talk I picked up one of them, “Getting Married and Other Mistakes“. It looks like a lot of fun, and like Slate herself, seems to have a nice sense of humor. She also has a book about how to write graphic novels.

She also spoke about the process of getting “Getting Married” published. She said that she was rejected about 60 times. I didn’t pay attention to that detail much that day. I wrote Monday about my own excitement, that I perhaps had a publisher interested in Zish and Argo. After further research, it looks like one of those pay-to-self-publish rackets, dressed up. I felt so duped! I was so excited, and they misled me. Fortunately, I figured it out quickly and for free. I channeled my frustration to overcome my fear of sending the manuscript off; on Monday after my realization I sent the manuscript to 5 places. Afterwards it occurred to me–if a woman like Slate who is familiar with the industry, knows publishing and knows people takes 60 rejections to place her book– then people aren’t going to be jumping out of bushes to publish me. It will take sober, dull work for me to get published, just like her. As it likely will for all of us. Please, may some eager publisher fall from the sky and praise me, but it’s not something I can expect or even take at face value. So last night I thought up a new story for Zish and Argo, and I will continue the slow marathon towards my goals.

Maintaining my creative momentum

This blog is now a little over a month old, and soon the Etsy store will be a month old too. I’ve made 8 journals and 4 copies of the Fairy Tales in the last month, not to mention sourcing materials, testing color profiles, etc. Bookbinding, blogging, and website maintenance takes time, time that normally would go to my creative process. Last night this blog crossed 250 views total which of course many blogs get per day, but it felt like a big achievement. It promotes the feeling that these endeavors, so different than my normal choices, are worthy ones.

My most ambitious current writing project is a collection of short stories from different planets in a planetary alliance, the Quaiin League. Some of the stories are over 7,000 words, some are quite short. All of these stories will have at least one woodblock style black-and-white illustration, like the one featured for this entry. It will be many months before this collection is complete, probably over a year. As I share my projects with people, there are more and more tasks to keep track of. But it helps to remind myself here of my goals.

It may not be easy to begin as a writer, but I feel that momentum will continue to gather. As long as I keep pushing and caring, I will accomplish these things.