Smart Publisher Tricks: Call for Submissions

Here’s how to ask for submissions:

Big Head Press is seeking submissions from thoughtful comics creators for a new feature story to be serialized on our website starting in December 2006. The cartoonist or creative team selected will have paid close attention to our requirements, as follows:

1) We want a story that in some fashion or another promotes individualist themes, whether personal, political, artistic, economic, or spiritual. It can be in any genre, serious or humorous, or even non-categorizable. Although, if it’s a superhero story it will have to be the most brilliant superhero story ever conceived, using an approach to that genre that we’ve never seen attempted before.

2) We prefer a single story with a beginning and an ending, but will consider a continuing series if there is a finite story arc to start with. Length can be anywhere from 72 to 200 pages.

3) The cartoonist or creative team must commit to producing at least 13 completed story pages per month. (This is figured in terms of the standard 6×9 comic-book format, but we will consider alternative formats which may change the needed page count.) If you can produce more quickly, that will count in your favor, but we will want to see some evidence.

4) The artwork can be in any style so long as it looks professional, and suitable for the story. Can be black-and-white, greyscale, duotone, tritone, or full-color. We strongly prefer receiving artwork in electronic format.

5) Adult situations and some nudity are acceptable, even encouraged, but we’re not looking for pornography or anything that would require us to demand proof that readers are 18 years old. Sorry.

6) Submissions must include: A story synopsis not to exceed two typed pages; a chapter outline; at least 5 and no more than 12 finished pages of artwork. If the creative team has, either singly or collectively, any previously published credits, we’d like to know.

All stories published by Big Head Press are creator-owned, and we pay advances against royalties, the rates of which are negotiable. We serialize our stories on the World Wide Web, with the intent to publish trade-paperback versions for sale to the book trade as well as “Direct-Sale” markets once the projects are completed and the serializations have run their course. Marketing and re-licensing are also part of our business plan and creators get a piece of every pie.

Submissions or queries should be sent to submissions@bigheadpress.com

They lay out clearly exactly what they’re looking for, who would be a good match, and what they’re offering in return, demonstrating both clarity and flexibility. They even pay in advance, not just back end.

The only suggestion I have is that it would have been a good idea to post this on your own website as well as someone else’s message board. (This was originally posted on The Engine, link no longer available.)

Other than that, this is an excellent, professional model that more companies should follow.


3 Responses to “Smart Publisher Tricks: Call for Submissions”

  1. ChuckSatterlee Says:

    absolutely. I will take a lesson from this one. Thanks for posting it, Johanna.

  2. Blog@Newsarama » Meanwhile… Says:

    [...] At Comics Worth Reading, Johanna shows us all a good example of a submission call: They lay out clearly exactly what they’re looking for, who would be a good match, and what they’re offering in return, demonstrating both clarity and flexibility. They even pay in advance, not just back end. [...]

  3. Scott Bieser Says:

    Thanks for the props, as well as the suggestion. I had meant to get this posted on our site but simply forgot to. As it turned out, we got several high-quality submissions. I hope to be able to announce our next new feature story within just a few more days, after contracts are squared away.

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