The new Modern Tales Submissions Guidelines have been released and submissions for Modern Tales are now being accepted. Modern Tales’s new free collective will be a non-exclusive relationship, allowing cartoonists to maintain their own websites or alternate collective memberships as they wish.
As promised, here’s the Modern Tales submission guidelines. With this post, Submissions are now open, provided you follow these guidelines in doing it. Consider it… a test, grasshopper.
Oh… you might notice a minor little thing in the draft. Something about “non-exclusivity?”
We’re not requiring exclusive rights to our free webcomics. If you want to maintain your own website, with all your archives, in addition to being on Modern Tales? That’s fine by us. And if you’re a member of another collective, regardless of size, we’re okay with you staying a member of that collective, provided they don’t require exclusivity (since… well, if they do, you can’t be on Modern Tales, can you?)
Oh, finally? It’s not going to be called Modern Tales Free. That’s just a shorthand to make clear which part of Modern Tales we’re discussing.
Ladies and Gentlemen? The floodgates are open.
SUBMISSION GUIDELINES DRAFT (1/2/06)
Modern Tales is now accepting submissions for MODERN TALES FREE. We are interested in both ongoing and limited series webcomics ranging from single panel up through infinite canvas. We are not interested in one-shot submissions at this time.
Modern Tales is looking for professional quality webcomics updated frequently. Successful submissions will have solid art and writing and a proven history of meeting regular deadlines. Update schedule is negotiable, however all Modern Tales Free webcomics must update at least weekly. The more frequently a strip updates, the more likely Modern Tales Free will accept it.
Modern Tales is willing to work with new artists, but preference will be given to artists who have a proven track record. Previous publication is acceptable, and strips with good depth of archive are desirable. Queries are unnecessary.
Submissions must come from a Cartoonist (artist, writer or both) with creative control and copyright authority on both the current strip and the strip’s archives. If the submitter shares creative control, copyright authority, or both with any other person or legal entity, this information must be disclosed as part of the proposal along with all applicable contact information. Submission packages should include a cover letter, a complete list of creative personnel working on the strip (with appropriate contact information), a link to the current home of the strip (if applicable), and at least five comic strips (links to archived strips are acceptable, as are uploads or attachments). Examples should be typical of the strip, demonstrating its strength and range. If a given strip is strongly story based, the examples can be sequential but do not have to be. Submitters must be at least eighteen years old.
The cover letter should include the goals the Cartoonist(s) have for the strip, the projected length of the strip (particularly for limited series), the strip’s update schedule and a sense of where the strip is going. This is the sales pitch, so treat it accordingly.
At this time, all submissions should be sent to MODERNTALES.SUBMISSIONS@GMAIL.COM. We cannot accept submissions to any other e-mail address. Any supporting documentation or files should be included as an attachment. Text files should be saved as plain text or rich text format and attached. Example strips and other graphics may be attached directly, or links provided. Please note that Gmail has a 10 mb limit on incoming messages, so plan accordingly.
Modern Tales receives a lot of submissions. While we will work hard to answer you as quickly as possible, please understand that response time is often measured in months instead of days. Please, no followup queries for at least six weeks.
Cartoonists on Modern Tales Free not paid directly by Modern Tales. They will be given an area of their web pages where they may sell advertising (using Google AdSense, AdBrite, cj.com, or any number of other third-party advertising vendors — or using a private advertising server we will set up for them) if they wish to do so. Ad space on the cartoonist’s pages will be allotted like so: There will be a single standard 468×60 ad banner across the top of all pages on the free site, to represent Modern Tales’s stake. That banner is site-wide and its compensation will go entirely to Modern Tales. An additional skyscraper sized advertisement (the more successful ad in today’s ad market) will be entirely the artist’s to use if they choose. All funds from ads sold into this space will go directly to the Cartoonist. Cartoonists may also choose to advertise merchandise, graphic novels, other comic strips, or anything else they wish in this space. Cartoonists who do not wish to sell independent advertising may choose to leave this space blank.
Modern Tales Free is a NON-EXCLUSIVE collective. This means that cartoonists are free to mirror their Modern Tales comics (both current and archived) on a website of their own or any other website. Cartoonists who are members of other collectives may continue to be members of those collectives as they wish (assuming those other collectives are also non-exclusive). All print and merchandise rights remain with the cartoonist. Modern Tales claims no rights save the right to display current comics and archives.
Modern Tales Free gives access to Modern Tales services like the private ad server, the Small Press Swapmeet, and the like, as well as the Modern Tales advanced content management system.
Modern Tales Cartoonists are expected to provide consistent updates in a professional manner. The most successful cartoon strips on the web have a consistency of appearance, and that consistency is key in developing a readership. When accepted, Modern Tales and the Cartoonist will set a schedule for updates. Hiatuses can be negotiated as needed, but inconsistent updating can be grounds for removal from the Modern Tales site.
How do I put together a submission cover letter and proposal? I’ve never done anything like that, and I don’t think they covered it in school.
If you’re foundering, let me quote former Girlamatic Editor and all around cool human being Lea Hernandez: