Self-publishing your comic/graphic novel/manga

I found this website where Lars Martinson, a cartoon, writes about how he went about self-publishing his own graphic novel. Some of the advice may be American-oriented but I think they’re quite useful for comic artists of all nationalities as well. =D

Read and learn then.

How I Self-Published a Graphic Novel

  1. 1/10 – Introductions / Disclaimers
  2. 2/10 – Honing Your Craft / Creating Your Comic
  3. 3/10 – Research, Research, Research
  4. 4/10 – Savings & Money Management
  5. 5/10 – The Xeric Grant
  6. 6/10 – Preparing for Press
  7. 7/10 – Working with Book Printers
  8. 8/10 – Distribution
  9. 9/10 – Marketing
  10. 10/10 – The Long Haul / Conclusion

moon

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On self-publishing for manga

I was looking around for people who self-published their own manga online when I came across PandaBuddha Manga that has published Project Blue Rose, a manga that seems to have some yaoi elements if I’m not wrong. =3

If you like this type of manga, head on over to their site and have a look.

What I’m more interested in is their advice on self-publishing which you can take a look. I’ve been looking around for self-published illustrators, mangaka, comic artists to feature on the AMWC Book Tour Series but somehow, they all seem to be missing in action. =x

Where have all these talented people gone? There are no lack of people who declare they want to be a mangaka but where are the ones who have taken a concrete step towards realising their dream of being published?

If you know anyone who is published, do let me know. Even my legendary googling skills have failed to turn up anyone. LOL.

Aspiring mangakas, PandaBuddha Manga also has useful tutorials on topics like page bleeding, inking and how to sell art at conventions.

Also found an interview on Madeleine Rosca who self-published her manga  “Hollow Fields” online and got discovered by Seven Seas Entertainment.

moon

Self-Published = Not Easy.

When I started writing The Basics Of Flight, I actually wanted to send the story to local publishers, because let’s face it: it’s by a local (Singaporean) writer, right? Wrong. When I started sending queries, I got told – bluntly – that my story was not publishable. Just like that. I felt taken aback by the curt tone of the editor (well, I assumed it was an editor, not just a paid monkey to read email submissions).

When I combined The Basics Of Flight with Phoenix With A Purpose and tried the local traditional publishing route again, the same happened. Local publishers are just not interested in science fiction, simply because science fiction is so low-key it is not commercially viable or profitable. The local book market is replete with self-help books, memoirs, recipe books, children’s books and ghost/horror stories. No science fiction or speculative fiction. The only local science fiction novel I know is The Star Sapphire by Han May, but even then, it was not a popular book and was not well-received by the mainstream reading crowd.

I am sure that there are science fiction readers out there in Singapore and I am also sure that there are science fiction writers. We are seriously facing a problem: science fiction writers are not recognized.

So I decided to self-publish and to tell the truth, it felt like I was thrown into the deep end and asked to dog-paddle. I was suddenly the writer, the publisher, the type-setter, the designer, the marketer, the speaker and the printer all rolled into one. I ended up doing all the leg work and I sometime wonder if it was all worth it. It is not an easy route to take and you have to be really shrewd, to know your audience well. I turned to Lulu and Createspace to publish my book. I spoke to people. I advertised on my Livejournal blog.

There are days when I want to give up and throw up my hands in despair. Why is self-publishing so difficult? Why does it feel so solitary, lonely? Yet the lessons I have learned from this experience are invaluable: resilience, a thick skin, a never-say-die attitude and – yes! – creativity. I learned that I could come up with covers by myself and I ended up falling in love with photography again. I learned that self-publishing is publishing: you take on the role of the publisher. I did research. I read. It was a steep learning curve.

I have to repeat this: self-publishing is not easy. More so if you are an emerging author or a new writer fresh on the scene. I ask myself this question all the time: Will people take me seriously?

So, if you want to self-publish, remember to

1. P – Publish: Work on your publishing skills. That means being more particular when it comes to writing and editing. Get someone to proofread for you. Get someone to critique your work.
2. L – Love: Love your own work and let it go to editor or proofreader. Your attention to detail (your love and passion) will come through and people see that straightaway.
3. A – Audience: Know who your audience is. If you are writing for a genre market, be aware of the demographics.
4. N – Network: Writing might be a solitary activity. But it has a social aspect. These days, social media is the new buzzword. Network, get to know people, talk to them.

Most of all, if you are set on the self-publishing route (journey, as I always tell myself), PLAN. What is your long term plan before you launch your book. What is your targeted print run? Who do you want to distribute your book for you?

Reproduced with Jolantru’s permission from her blog at A Wolf’s Tale

If you have something to say on writing or mangaka-ing on AMWC, do check out the guest blogger details~! We welcome all constructive posts. =3

A long absence and moon’s mag

Hallo all! Sorry for the long absence. =x

Been working on a little project of mine, due to be launched in either late August or early September. I’m planning to set up a kids magazine for kids ages 7-12 so hopefully you guys can support me when the first issue comes out! Hehe. The magazine will also feature artwork by members of AMWC namely, deliri, szelin and kyo83! So do support the mag! =3

I will definitely publicize its launch here so no worries about missing it! Heh.

Anyways…been doing quite a bit of reading on self-publishing (in the process of doing research for my magazine) and since I’ve not been updating for very long, I decided to leave you with a link to some articles that I hope you’ll find useful. =)

Is a Traditionally Published Book Superior?

The articles basically discusses whether self-publishing is a good idea for the market and if it is the way to go when your manuscripts have been rejected one too many times.

Mmmm, on a personal note. I think self-publishing is the route to go if you know you have a good book on hand. Marketing plays a big part no matter whether you go traditional or self-publishing. But of course, make sure you do your homework and present your best work to the world.

Yes, I know I should be writing more…but at this time…not much to update except that AMWC has grown a bit more with a few more new members. Well…welcome to the Club people! =3

moon