Monday, March 17, 2008

Illustrated books

Happy St. Patty's day, me wee little beasties;)

No calls or subs going out today, so I've been catching up on incoming subs and putting together a call list for this week. Most of the clan is still waiting (and waiting) for the ultimate yes/no, so the focus has been and will be on new client projects and making more editor contacts.

One of the projects we represent is a work of manga. We also have some graphic novels we're pitching around, as well as picture books, so I thought I'd delve into the world of illustrated works today.

Gonna go into 4 types of illustrated works briefly, but wanted to point out that manga and graphic novels are pretty good sellers these days. Lot of new imprints have recently started up that take on just these two types of works, so now's a great time to write a graphic novel or manga piece.

Here's the 4 types and some differences between-

1. Children's picture book-

This type is probably the one we all know and love most. The books our parents read to us or we read to our own children. These days, the word count is best at 850 or less, while the premise needs to be truly unique to make it. A tough challenge considering there are so many wonderful picture books out there.

2. Early readers-

Early readers run somewhere around 1,000-2,000 words. These works are geared toward children who like to be read to, as well as those taking those first all important steps to reading on their own.

3. Graphic novels-

Big market for these lately. Graphic novels are just like comic books, only longer and generally bound in a sturdier form (like a smaller hard cover or slightly larger paperback).

James Patterson's Maximum Ride series will be appearing in graphic novel form, DJ MacHale's Pendragon series as well. Graphic novels can run the gamut of Young adult all the way to more adult works (The Dark Tower by King). My children are currently hooked on The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew graphic novels (nice to see these classics making a comeback).

Most graphic novel imprints hire freelance artists.

4. Manga

Originating in Japan, manga has its own style and form. Appealing for all ages and in just about any genre. Biggest thing to note about manga is that most manga houses require you to come to the table with illustrations. Most submissions ask for 5 pages (in order) and character sheets.

Tokyopop is one of the best known manga publishers. Bertelsmann imprint Del Rey has stepped into the manga market, and Little, Brown imprint Yen Press opened up not too long ago.


Certainly not all the types out there, but a small glimpse into the artful world of illustrated works.

Stay literate;)

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