The Road Less Traveled: Still Traveling
There's one last thing to pass on in this series about publishing your graphic novel through a traditional prose publisher: Does this work?
Easy answer: Yes.
The title of the series refers to the fact that I'm not a trailblazer in this - not even close. Big names in cartooning had already been courted and published before I ever thought of doing this.
So if you're trying to judge whether to try this by whether it's been successful for me, that'd be a mistake. It doesn't matter if it's successful for me or not.
For the record, things are going OK. It ended up being a soft launch:
- Although I had the book in February and it was available on Amazon, it took until April for Ingram to have it in their system.
- It took even longer to have Barnes & Noble accept it into their system, but it's on shelves around Chicago and I'm busy marketing it.
- Amazon had it up on their system since early February, and my rank gets up into the mid-five figures occasionally. That's not bad for a new, basically no-name author.
I'll be hitting two big selling events in June (Printer's Row and Chicago Wizard World). That'll be a good test. And I continue getting smaller signing opportunities, so that's not bad.
But my experience - good or bad - will not influence your experience. My experience should only serve to inform you. And I would be remiss if I didn't thank Xavier and Comixtalk for allowing me to do this column.
So, yes, try this!
Finish your graphic novel. Sure, there are a lot of people who are better artists and better writers - and both, but if they don't have a finished product then who cares how good they are?
Write a killer query letter.
You may get rejected or you may get accepted and sign a contract, in which case you'll need to sell your book.
It's hard work, you may end up hating it so much that you give up cartooning forever. Or you may find enough success that you'll continue on.
But you won't know until you take that first step on a road less traveled.