Basewood Publishing Update
About a year ago I released Phase 7 #009 which contained the last chapter of my first graphic novel, Basewood. I sent it out to all the Phase 7 subscribers, sold a bunch of copies through my website and went to a slew of comics shows to move the rest. A few weeks ago I sold the last of the 500 copies that comprised the first printing.
As far as my plans for Phase 7, this is all on schedule. I try to set my print runs so that an issue lasts for about a year. Once a book goes out of print, I usually put the whole thing up in the Phase 7 Online Archive and then once I have enough issues out of print, I create a print on demand collection using Lulu.com. Unfortunately, I do not feel comfortable doing that this time around.
Back when I was thinking about applying for the last Xeric grant, I printed up six copies of Basewood using Lulu.com and the results were not good. The full-bleed sections were all cropped incorrectly, and the flashback scenes with black gutters were smeared and unevenly printed because of the amount of ink on the page. I spent too long on Basewood to see it reproduced in such a crummy way.
After crunching the self-publishing numbers and a lot of hemming and hawing, I finally decided to abandon my Xeric application and focus on trying to get the book traditionally published. Editors at Fantagraphics, Dark Horse and Secret Acres expressed interest in Basewood and over the last nine months I offered it to each publisher in turn, and waited patiently for their responses. All three were very kind with praise for the book, but have ultimately decided not to publish it.
So now I'm trying to figure out what to do. I'm not excited about the prospect of trying to cold call publishers who have not expressed interest in Basewood, but I want to make sure I have left no stone unturned. I'm also not quite ready to pull the trigger on self-publishing it either. I worked hard on this book (eleven years of my life!) and I would like to get it into as many hands as possible. I know that most publishers would have a wider reach than I could achieve on my own.
So I guess this long, messy blog post is my solution. I'm putting all the information out there, with the idea that people can pass it around, and perhaps some publisher will read this and want to publish Basewood. If so, here are some things to consider:
- I drew Basewood extremely large, with a lot of detail, so it needs to be printed at least 8.5" x11" if not a little larger
- I would prefer the book to be hardback, so that the pages are not flopping around in the reader's hands
- The book is black and white, 216 pages with full bleed
- I would gladly waive any payment for higher production values (see above) or more complementary copies of the book
- I have a large network of readers from my Phase 7 subscriber database and years of teaching at CCS. I am confident that I can personally sell 500 copies of the book within the first year of publication
- I plan on going on a book tour once Basewood is published to promote the book, the details of which I am already beginning to plan
- The French edition (pictured above) is being marketed as a Y.A. graphic novel
- The first chapter of Basewood won the 2005 Ignatz Award for Outstanding Minicomic
If anyone is interested in publishing Basewood, or knows someone who might be, please contact me (my first name @ this website). I have a PDF I can send along for someone to review the book. If I do not hear from any publishers in the next month or so, I will start gearing up to self-publish the book.
In the meantime, I took down the Basewood minicomics for sale from this site, and I do not intend to continue reprinting them. If anyone missed the last chapter or needs to fill in a hole in their collection, drop me a line and we can work something out.