You doodled your way through school, creating fabulous cartoons everywhere your pen could reach. Your notebook s cover never stood a chance   neither did the bathroom wall. It s not your fault! When artistic inspiration strikes, it must be released onto the nearest canvas. In an ideal world, public expression wouldn t be against the law and every surface could be your canvas. In the real world, the next best thing is comic book software. It can harness your creativity, organize storylines and produce printable graphics ready to be published. But how exactly can you get a graphic novel published? It isn t easy. However, here are a few suggestions to help you get published:

Professional Work
The key to getting published is having a fantastic story line and original, amazing art. If you can catch an editor s attention, you ve got it made.

Comic Book Software   Translate hand-drawn comics into 3D or 2D renderings with a comic book software package. Not only will a comic book software package help you refine your work, but it will make it that much more professional looking when you re ready to submit.
Clean Prints   When submitting your graphic novel, use a professional printer to make copies or print your pages. Never submit original artwork to a publisher   you most likely won t get it back. Not because they will keep the artwork for themselves, but because of the large number of submissions received, it will simply be destroyed if the publisher doesn t want to work with you.
Comic Arts Degrees   Many colleges and universities are now offering degrees in comic arts. Some, like The Center for Cartoon Studies, have built an entire school around the subject. If you re serious about getting into the trade, think about enrolling in a comic arts program and obtaining a degree.

Guess what, you re not the only person in this world who wants to be a comic book writer, letterer or colorist. There are plenty of people wanting a spot in the comic book world so you have to set yourself apart from the rest.

Submissions   You can t get your work published if you don t submit it for review. And when submitting your graphic novel, be sure to follow the submission guidelines to a T. Each publisher has different requirements and a non-conforming submission will most likely end up in the trash. Remember, you only have one shot to grab the editor s attention. Make it worthwhile.
Dealing with Rejection   There are hundreds of comic book publishers out there. If you get rejected from one, submit to three more. If you get rejected from three publishers, submit to six more. Keep your head up and keep trying.
Alternate Career Paths   Top publishers like Archie Comics, Marvel Comics and Oni Press don t accept submissions at all. They do, however, hire freelance colorists, writers and letterers if you d prefer to go that route.

Waiting to hear back from a publisher can be hard. Patience is essential. If a publisher does want to work with you, you should hear back within a month. If a publisher doesn t want to work with you, you may never hear back at all. Be sure to follow the submission guidelines to the letter and, if anything, you should receive an email response back either way.

Practice and Refine   If your graphic novel isn t selected for publication, get back to the drawing board. The comic industry recognizes talent, and if you are continually working on your skills and technique, you ll eventually be noticed. Use comic book software to get your ideas down on  paper  and to refine your writing style and artistry. Practice makes perfect, right? For a little help from industry professionals, try taking a course in comic art from a local college or online school.
Closed Submissions   Many publishers only accept submissions every so often. Check back regularly to see when submissions open or call to see when they will be accepting again.

Breaking into any industry is hard. It is even harder when the industry is as beloved as the comic book industry. Set yourself apart with professional work, refined with comic book software and a killer storyline. Who knows? You just might have the next Spiderman on your hands.


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