In This Genre, Pictures Speak Louder Than Words
If you think that graphic novels are just for kids, think again. Graphic novels are more than just comics; they can be books, Manga stories, or compilations of monthly comics that cover a complete story arc. If you take a look at what people are reading at the bookstore, you will see that all different types of people enjoy reading graphic novels. Even as graphic novels are not new, graphic novel publishing is not a new idea. In fact many graphic artists got their start by self-publishing their work.
How to Begin in Graphic Novel Publishing
First we need to deal with the skeptics. Did you know that graphic novels are so popular that a bestselling romance novelist releases some of her books as graphic novels? Sherrilyn Kenyon, who sometimes writes as Kinley MacGregor, has turned to graphic novels as another medium for adding to her Lords of Avalon series as well as her Dark Hunter series. The popular TV show Buffy was cancelled a year before the creators were ready for the story to end so they wrote the whole last season as comics. Those monthly comics have now been compiled into graphic novels for anyone who wants to read, and see, the final season unfold. Current hit TV show Heroes has been using online comics to build and add to the storylines that are seen on TV. After each season they have complied the online comics and turned them into a graphic novel. Furthermore some graphic novels have been turned into movies. Watchman, Sin City, V for Vendetta, 300, From Hell, and The Spirit all started out as a graphic novel first. Graphic novels are simply another way of writing a story where the author can share their vision of the characters and action.
Next to the business of illustrating graphic novels. Graphic novels can be illustrated by hand on a simple sketch pad. You need to create the size of each story panel and then draw out each scene within the panel. A much easier way to illustrate is to use a graphic software program such as Manga Studio or Photoshop. If you are unsure how to illustrate your own novel, many schools now offer certifications and degree programs in graphic novel illustrations.
There are many different avenues for getting your graphic novel published. NBM was the first graphic novel publisher in America and they continue to devote their business to graphic novels. Of course there is always Marvel and Dark Horse, the biggest two publishers of comics and graphic novels. If you want to be published through an established publishing company then you should hire a literary agent to submit your graphic novels for you. If you want to primarily release your graphic novels to online readers, then you just need a website like Create Space that will allow you to distribute your novel. It is not recommend that you try to print your own graphic novel if your novel is in color. Desktop color printers can't handle the depth of color that many graphic illustrators use. If your novel is in black and white then your printer may be able to print the graphics in a good enough quality for your readers. This is just another reason why graphic illustrators find a publisher or printing company to handle the printing of their novels.
Graphic novel publishing has gotten much easier now that graphic novels are more popular. Self-publishing is an easy way for a graphic novel creator to start building a fan base on the internet. Once you have an established fan base, it will be easier to get one of the large publishers to publish your novel if that is your goal.