Building on its previous year's high of $870 million
, 2014 saw an increase in graphic novel sales to $935 million, divided equally among digital and print.
These figures are encouraging, because graphic novels may be the last great print holdout. (All we really need is one.)
Why am I such a fan of print?
It is because there is something irreplaceable about the smell, feel, and look of a book on paper (or papyrus). Holding one in your hands, cuddling up with it, or flinging it across the room when the author fails to deliver a satisfactory ending, are all things that enhance reading, and make it an experience that cannot be replicated on a screen.
Also see:Oni Press Opens Door to Graphic Novel Submissions - No Agent Required7 Graphic Novel Publishers Accepting Manuscripts Directly From WritersGraphic Novel Sales Hit $870 Million in 2013
From Publishers Weekly
, July 1, 2015
By Calvin Reed
Led by increases in the book trade, combined sales of graphic novels and periodical comics in North America reached $935 million in 2014, a 7% increase over 2013, according to a joint report by comics trade news sites ICv2.com and Comichron.
Sales of graphic novels in the book trade rose 16% to $285 million, while periodical comics sales in the comics shop market grew 4% from $340 million to $355 million.
Digital download-to-own sales were estimated to be about $100 million in 2014, an 11% increase over 2013. Though the ICv2/Comichron report noted the rate of digital growth declined from the 29% (on sales of $90 million) reported for 2013. Once again the report noted that “digital appears to be complementing, rather than cannibalizing, print."
Comichron’s John Jackson Miller called 2014 the “biggest year for print since 1995, adjusting for inflation.” Indeed, the report noted growth across all formats, print, periodical and digital. Print (both periodical and book) sales grew $55 million to $835 million in 2014, up 7% from 2013.
Oni Press is an American independent comic book publisher based in Portland, Oregon. They have published well over 100 titles, with multiple books undergoing reprints. Several of their books have won the Eisner Award including: Bryan Lee O'Malley's Scott Pilgrim
, Rick Spear and Chuck BB's Black Metal
, Hope Larson's Grey Horses, and Greg Rucka's Whiteout: Melt and Queen & Country
, with many more receiving nominations.
Oni is currently open to submissions directly from graphic novel writers. Be sure to read their complete submission guidelines
_______________________________________From the website:
ONI PRESS OPEN SUBMISSIONS GUIDELINES
On May 1st, 2015, Oni Press will be opening submissions to the public. We are on the hunt for new stories from new creators, featuring characters that reflect the diversity of the world around us. Oni Press has always valued content and execution, and we are looking for creators and projects that can support our goal to publish excellent, varied and original work.
WHAT WE’RE LOOKING FOR:
PITCHES - Cartoonists and writers, we’re looking for pitches. If you’re a cartoonist who can write and draw we’d love to see what you have. Writers, this is the day you’ve been waiting for—we are looking at story pitches without necessitating an artist attached. If you already have an artist lined up you think is up to snuff, fantastic! But if you’re a writer who needs help finding an artist, if your pitch is THAT good, we will help partner you up.
PORTFOLIOS - Illustrators and colorists! If you think your work is up to snuff and you are looking to be paired up and you think your artwork would fit in amongst some of the best storytellers in comics, now is your chance to prove it.
WHO SHOULD SUBMIT:
Anyone with a unique perspective and a firm grasp of the comics medium.
WHAT WE WANT TO SEE:
An excellent sense of storytelling and well-developed characters with a definite perspective.
WHAT ASSOCIATE EDITOR ARI YARWOOD WANTS TO SEE:
I got my start in literary journals and feminist pop culture critique (shoutout to Bitch). I’m looking for complicated and nuanced characters with a developed perspective. I want to see diversity and originality, and I want stories with underrepresented characters—all I had in my formative years was Livejournal and The L Word, and no one should have to rely on The L Word to see themselves reflected in media. I’m a big fantasy, sci-fi, romance, and literary fiction fan, but most of all I want to read something I haven’t seen before. My favorite movie is Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, because life is a rich tapestry.
WHAT EDITOR ROBIN HERRERA WANTS TO SEE:
I started off in the YA/Children’s book world and I think that world has a lot of crossover with the comics world in terms of story and execution. I want fully-realized characters (not necessarily “strong” or even “likable”) with agency and direction. I want unique perspectives and different takes. I’m into a lot of different genres: high fantasy, science fiction, contemporary, literary, romance, coming-of-age, and anything that has to do with weird food-based Battle Royales. Or Battle Royales in general. (I wrote my graduate thesis about point of view choices in Battle Royale and The Hunger Games.)
WHAT SENIOR EDITOR CHARLIE CHU WANTS TO SEE:
The biggest thing I would like to see from incoming submissions is more diversity in not only the voices we publish, but also the kinds of stories and characters in our books. For too long a period of time, we’ve seen way too much of the same ideas from the same narrowing demographic of creator get pitched to us, and the only way to change that is to evolve the pool of creators we are talking to. If you are a female writer or artist, someone who identifies as a person of color, or LGTBQ, consider this an invitation and please come pitch us. We’re not looking for affirmative action in our books by any means, but with the readership growing larger by day, it’s important we find space for new voices who bring new ideas to the table while still maintaining the same level of pop appeal that defines the Oni Press library. As the tentpole and genre focused member of editorial, I’m hoping to find fast-paced and ambitious books that center around grounded, believable characters with the same diversity as the world we live in, and most of all, books that are fun, accessible, and original.
WHAT EDITOR IN CHIEF JAMES LUCAS JONES WANTS TO SEE:
Oni Press has always been a place focused on publishing comics for an audience inclusive of a wide demographic. With other publishers finally catching up, it’s important for us to continue to break boundaries and continue to grow the diversity of our line. Our catalog has always been diverse, but it’s time for that variety to be reflected in the characters starring in our books and the creators making them. I’m looking for inventive stories with rich characters, a thoughtful approach to comic book storytelling, and a dedication to craft. You should be pitching us fully realized, considered pitches that continue the long Oni Press tradition of character-driven narratives that don’t fit in with other publishers’ conventions.Read full submission guidelines HERE
Chart courtesy of Comichron and ICV2.com
Once relegated to gathering dust under the beds of pre-teens, and eventually their parents' garages, comics and graphic novels have expanded their reach by leaps and bounds over the past decade.Publishers Weekly
recently posted this interesting article (see below) about the breakneck speed at which the comics sector is expanding.
If you are a graphic novelist, click below for publishers accepting manuscripts from writers.7 Graphic Novel Publishers Accepting Manuscripts Directly From Writers
Comics, Graphic Novels Market Hit $870 Million in 2013
By Calvin Reid | Jul 16, 2014
Led by book format comics with $415 million in sales, the North American comics and graphic novel marketplace generated $870 million in sales in 2013, according to a new estimate by ICV2 and Comichron, two comics industry trade news and data sources. The estimate includes sales of traditional comic book periodicals, digital comics, and book format comics in both the comics shop market, newsstands and the general book trade.
According to new estimates, the $870 million figure for 2013 can be divided into $365 million in sales from comics periodicals—traditional American comic books—sold almost entirely via the direct market or comic shop market, the network of about 2,000 comic shops around the country. Comichron also noted that about $25 million of the $365 million in periodical sales come from newsstands.
Book format comics or graphic novels, have grown into the largest section of the comics market. Graphic novels generated $415 million in sales in 2013, divided between sales in the comics shop market ($170 million) and general bookstores ($245 million).
Digital comics sales, the newest and fastest growing category in the market, are estimated to be about $90 million in 2013.
Read the rest of this article here.
Graphic novels, or, as they were formerly known, comics, have always been popular among teens. But the publication of Maus, Persepolis, Watchmen, and other contemporary graphic novels has launched this medium as a literary genre of its own.
Tie-ins and film productions based on comic book heroes have driven this genre into the lucrative mainstream, nonetheless, the alternative comic tradition still invites creative thinking, and imaginative writing. Some of the biggest names in the graphic novel industry still welcome submissions.
As always, read the publisher's submission guidelines very carefully before submitting.
Drawn & Quarterly
is currently the most successful and prominent comics publisher in Canada. It was founded in 1990 by Montreal resident, Chris Oliveros, who was only 23 at the time. Drawn & Quarterly has a strong reputation in the comics community and its anthologies have won a number of Harvey Awards. The publisher has a reputation for the quality of the books it publishes, both in terms of content as well as the books' paper, binding and design. Submissions
: "Drawn & Quarterly welcomes submissions for consideration in a number of our publishing venues. We have a seasonal selection of general graphic novels, strip collections, and children's focused publications. We do not review scripts." Electronic submissions accepted. See full guidelines here
Top Shelf Productions
is an American publishing company founded in 1997, owned and operated by Chris Staros and Brett Warnock. The company is based in Marietta, Georgia, Portland, Oregon, and New York City, New York. Top Shelf publishes comics and graphic novels by authors such as Alan Moore, Craig Thompson, James Kochalka, Andy Runton, Jeffrey Brown, Nate Powell, Alex Robinson, Jeff Lemire, and Matt Kindt. Submissions
: "Regarding submissions, we're easy. Just send us a xerox copy of what you'd like us to look at (or a URL link), and enough postage if you want the materials returned to you. Just please do not attach and send image files to our email addresses. Also, we cannot accept scripts or plot synopses, unless they are accompanied by a minimum of 10-20 completed pages (i.e., fully inked and lettered comic book pages). We prefer to respond via email, so be sure to include your email address with your submission." Read full guidelines here
Dark Horse Comics
was founded in 1986 by Mike Richardson in Milwaukie, Oregon, with the concept of establishing an ideal atmosphere for creative professionals. Dark Horse publishes many licensed comics, including comics based on Star Wars
, Avatar: The Last Airbender
, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
, Mass Effect
, Dragon Age
and Who Wants to be a Superhero?
Dark Horse also publishes creator owned comics such as Frank Miller's Sin City,
Mike Mignola's Hellboy
, Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo
, Gerard Way's Umbrella Academy
, and Michael Chabon's The Escapist
: "Dark Horse still welcomes your submissions, and all submissions will still be reviewed, just as they always have been. The only difference is that submissions can no longer be mailed back to the sender. The reason for this change in policy has primarily to do with the growing number of submissions; Dark Horse simply does not have the resources necessary to respond individually to each submission. Submitted samples are often kept on file for future reference, but only those creators for whom Dark Horse has immediate work will be contacted." Dark Horse requires a signed submission agreement. View full guidelines here
is an American comic book publisher. It was founded in 1992 by high-profile illustrators as a venue where creators could publish their material without giving up the copyrights to the characters they created, as creator-owned properties. It was immediately successful, and remains one of the largest comic book publishers in North America. Submissions
: "Image Comics only publishes creator-owned material! In other words, we want to publish YOUR comics—we aren’t looking to have you work on books that WE dream up. When you’re submitting stuff to us at the home office, we expect it to be something original, not something utilizing existing Image characters. Image Comics accepts only PROPOSALS for new comic series or graphic novels, etc.WE DO NOT ACCEPT writing (that is plots, scripts, whatever) samples! If you’re an established pro, we might be able to find somebody willing to work with you but it would be nearly impossible for us to read through every script that might find its way our direction. DO NOT SEND your script or your plot unaccompanied by art—it will be discarded, unread." Read full guidelines here
Titan Publishing Group
is an independently owned British publishing company, established in 1981.The books division has two main areas of publishing: film and television tie-ins, and cinema reference books; and graphic novels and comics references and art titles. The company is a division of Titan Entertainment Group, which also owns Titan Magazines. The company has a backlist of over 1,000 graphic novels. Submissions
: "The majority of our graphic novel titles are licensed from overseas publishers or acquired through agents. We do however publish a growing number of originated graphic novels. We run portfolio sessions at comic conventions where your work may be reviewed. We are interested to hear from writers and artists who would be interested in working on licensed projects we have already contracted. Please send initially a brief synopsis and covering letter only, not a full manuscript." Read full guidelines here
Archaia Entertainment, LLC
is an American comic book publishing company established by Mark Smylie in 2002. Mark Smylie formed the company as a home for his comic Artesia
because the publisher, Sirius Entertainment, wanted to print the third series in black and white. He realised he might as well publish other titles and early titles included Mouse Guard
and The Lone and Level Sands. Submissions
: "Submissions for graphic novels are more than welcome, and we will be looking for works that enthrall and excite us, that strike us as having a unique take or perspective on a medium, story, character, or genre. While we’ve primarily published works in the adventure, fantasy, horror, pulp noir and science fiction genres, we are interested in passion projects, works that are driven by a creator’s unique vision and voice, and so authors are invited to submit works of any genre to us. For graphic novel creators, please note that Archaia does not generally put creative teams together for creator-owned titles (i.e., we do not pair writers with artists), so submissions should only be for book and series proposals that have finished art pages already available." Read full guidelines here
is an American publisher of alternative comics, classic comic strip anthologies, magazines, graphic novels, and the adult-oriented Eros Comix
imprint. Many notable cartoonists publish their work through Fantagraphics, including Jessica Abel, Peter Bagge, Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Roberta Gregory, Joe Sacco, Chris Ware, and Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez aka the Hernandez Brothers. Submissions
: "Fantagraphics Books publishes comics for thinking readers - readers who like to put their minds to work, who have a sophisticated understanding of art and culture, and appreciate personal expression unfettered by uncritical use of cliché. Fantagraphics will practically always reject any submissions that fit neatly into (or combine in a gimmicky fashion) the mainstream genres of superhero, vigilante, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. While some of our publications are suitable for young readers, we do not publish children's picture books." Read submission FAQs here