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Graphic Novel Creator is a daily bite-sized digest of comic book production and marketing inspiration for writers, artists, and publishers. Every day we provide you with one carefully selected article, video, photo, or work of art to get your creative juices flowing.

A little nugget of information which goes well with your morning coffee and croissant. Bon appétit!

How to Write a Comic Book Script

Written by Martin Shapiro on Tuesday, 16 September 2014. Posted in Comic Book Writing

How to Write a Comic Book Script

A comic book script is a set of instructions for the artist and the letterer. It's intended to present the mechanics of your story with the greatest possible clarity. Adhering to a precise format, as in screenwriting, is not necessary. When you write a comic book script, you don’t have to worry about using special software like Final Draft. Any basic word processor, such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs, will suffice.

Deadlines and Flaky Artists

on Monday, 07 October 2013. Posted in Comic Book Art

Deadlines and Flaky Artists

Creating a comic book is a lot more work than it seems on the surface if you've never done it before. Many things can go wrong in the process, and often do, especially for new writers who don't have a publisher working with them from the outset.

Having gone through several painful comic book productions in the past, here are some words of wisdom to help you avoid problems and keep from pulling your hair out. These include the classic mistakes I made that slowed me down.

Royalties for Artists

Written by Martin Shapiro on Monday, 02 September 2013. Posted in Publishing

Royalties for Artists

When hiring an artist to draw your book, the subject of royalties may came up during contract negotiations. As a publisher or a writer who's doing a creator-owned book, it's up to you whether you're willing to give back-end royalty compensation in addition to a work-for-hire page rate.

At the risk of upsetting some artists who frequent this website, my suggestion to most writers of independent, small press comic books is to not offer royalties if you're already paying a respectable upfront page rate.

Comic Book Movies Are Still Red Hot

on Friday, 16 August 2013. Posted in Comic Book Writing

Comic Book Movies Are Still Red Hot

2 Guns debuted as #1 at the box office last week. So far, it has racked up an impressive $51 million domestic gross. The action comedy film stars Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, two of the most bankable actors in Hollywood. What most people don't know is that the movie is based on a comic book series published by indie comics publisher BOOM! Studios.

Good Website Design is Important

Written by Martin Shapiro on Monday, 04 March 2013. Posted in Marketing

Good Website Design is Important

The remarkable growth of Internet users in the past few years has transformed the manner in which consumers discover products and make purchase decisions. This rapid growth, combined with the rise of self-publishing, has led to an increase in competition among publishers looking to sell books. One way to stand out from the competition is through good website design.

Comic Book Publisher Radical Studios Raises $3 Million

Written by Rachel Abrams (Variety) on Monday, 04 February 2013. Posted in News

Comic Book Publisher Radical Studios Raises $3 Million

With the big screen adaptation of "Oblivion" on the horizon, comic book publisher Radical Studios has raised $3 million in equity to help broaden its digital strategy and licensing capabilities.

Should I Write The Movie Script First?

Written by Martin Shapiro on Friday, 01 February 2013. Posted in Comic Book Writing

Should I Write The Movie Script First?

When I optioned the movie rights to my horror comic book series Chopper, the movie screenplay was already finished because in my case the movie was written first and then adapted into comic book format. However, it was my choice as to whether or not to let the producer know that fact. I chose to be upfront about it, so basically the producer was getting two assets for the price of one.

How Much Money Will I Make From My Comic Book?

Written by Martin Shapiro on Friday, 25 January 2013. Posted in Marketing

How Much Money Will I Make From My Comic Book?

There is no definitive benchmark for typical comic book sales numbers that I'm aware of. Book sales numbers are not tracked like movie box office grosses. Some comic book stores don't even use UPC bar code inventory systems. Furthermore, most publishers are private companies who don't have to report their revenue to public investors, so there's no way to know how much money a company is earning or losing.

Digital Download Codes Inside Books

Written by Martin Shapiro on Saturday, 15 December 2012. Posted in Marketing

Digital Download Codes Inside Books

With the release of Avenging Spider-Man #1 in November 2011, Marvel Comics instituted an interesting program: with every print copy of the book, readers also got a digital code allowing them to download a free electronic copy to their Comixology account that they could read on their smart phone, tablet device, or computer if they so desire.

The Future of American Comic Books

Written by Martin Shapiro on Wednesday, 14 November 2012. Posted in Marketing

The Future of American Comic Books

Many small and mid-sized publishers have come and gone over the years. The comic shop market is a brutal place for newcomers. With only five companies, Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse, IDW and Image, dominating over 90% of the playing field, independent books get very little, if any, shelf space in stores. Because all comic books sold in the direct market are non-returnable, most comic shop owners tend to be conservative on their orders, fearing they won't sell all the copies they buy of a particular title.

New Opportunities in Graphic Novel Publishing

Written by Martin Shapiro on Monday, 12 November 2012. Posted in Publishing

New Opportunities in Graphic Novel Publishing

The American comic book industry has a tremendous amount of untapped potential. There is room in the market for many more styles of comics. The industry needs to advertise its products better and reach out to people who are not already buying comic books. For example, one key demographic group who has been chronically under-served is the female audience.

The Death of Comic Books

Written by Martin Shapiro on Friday, 09 November 2012. Posted in Publishing

The Death of Comic Books

Due to a recent string of popular Hollywood blockbusters that were based on comic books, the market for comics and graphic novels has maintained respectable sales numbers for certain well-known superhero titles. According to Nielsen BookScan, which tracks retail book sales, graphic novel sales in U.S. bookstores have grown in recent years. Bookstores have devoted more and more shelf space to graphic novels, bound collections, and manga.

Comic Book Publishing - The Status Quo

Written by Martin Shapiro on Wednesday, 07 November 2012. Posted in Publishing

Comic Book Publishing - The Status Quo

For the last 25 years, the competitive environment of the American comic book industry as remained essentially the same. Two publishers, Marvel Comics and DC Comics, continue to dominate the playing field. These giants control roughly 70% of the market share. They have been around for decades and have the most widely known characters. Marvel owns Spider-Man and The Avengers. DC has Batman and Superman.

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