Saturday, April 16, 2011

Open Thread

Good morning! Today is Open Thread Day. This is your chance to ask any questions or talk about what you've seen in publishing news recently. You know the rules: no politics and no in-your-face posts.

The floor is now yours. Have fun!


Daniel O Casey said...

Alright, I've asked just about everywhere else, so why not here.

This is an odd situation (not compared to my usual life but eh...)

I've been asked to provide a script for a Graphic Novel based in the world one of the video games I'm writing "stuff" for. The other material has been contracted at a flat rate cost per item (no problem), but the Graphic Novel script is a different beastie. I was thinking of a % of the eventual cover price (that's how it usually works right? I"m completely new at this), but the producer want's an up front price based on either pages scripted or chapters completed or some such.

I have no idea where else to look at this point, or even what the general ranges of pricing might be...

So, is there any chance that somebody in the accumulated body of knowledge around here might have some insight?

*confused and out of my depth, but bluffing like mad*

Dan Casey.

MataPam said...

A few days ago, Rowena asked where we thought the genre was going. I didn't answer, then, but I've been thinking about it.

My first thought was that we'd avoid the awkward near term with anything technical. The supercomupter we wrote about was likely to be on sale at Best Buy before our book hit the store. And in Space, the opposite problem. The space stations, moon base and mars colony will still be considered impractical and far off in the future.

In Fantasy, we're still seeing Epic, Medieval and Urban going strong. Vampires, apparently, really don't ever die. With the Game of Thrones movie coming out, the enthusiastic response to the trailer of the start of filming The Hobbit, I don't think fantasy writing will change much.

How about the Fantastic? Steampunk seems to have a solid if small fan base. Anime and Manga are approaching mainstream as their fans reach adulthood and stay fans. I think we'll see a lot of style creep from both these areas, into the more traditional SF/F.

What do you guys think will be the hot sub-genres in the next decade?

MataPam said...

Dan, that sounds like work for hire, and can be paid differently than completely original work.

You might think in terms of novel advances being from $2K to $5k, with that often the only money a writer will see from a book. That might give you a point to aim at. But a graphic novel, you may be splitting that with the artist. Are you doing page layouts or any of the preliminary art work? Do you have an outline? A general story idea? A desired page count?

The size they want will make a big difference in plot complexity. (And any price you want to quote to them) Is this a short story with art, or a novel partly told through visuals?

Umm, apart from babbling about stuff you've probably already thought of, I'm not much help here.

You might want to think of the size and just name a negotiable price for a recommended size. "$2000 for a 200 page story, in six chapters. But of course the size can go up or down with the artwork, and I can shorten dialog segments, or go the other way and add sub plots and complexity, if that's more what you had in mind." Some times giving a manager-type a firm "This much money, this much product." gives them an anchor to think around, and decide they want more or less. Otherwise there's no tell quite what they have in mind.

Anonymous said...

MataPam - I'm going to have to agree about the style creep and current readers growing up and influencing the Traditional Genres. I've noticed a significant trend (probably just in what I'm picking up on a whim) towards the "Other" of Urban Fantasy and such, rather than the "Further" of good SF. Probably the buyers at the local library not interested in SF however.

Personally I'm thinking near future fantasy/SF is going to be good for a few years yet (until the whole "End of the world" passes. I'm leaning toward looking closer at what's coming out our back-brains as a species... But does that fall into SF or Fantasy, or Urban Magic, or where? *sigh*

Anonymous said...

Totally off topic but totally fascinating to me as a non-indigenous Australian: I just discovered two huge documents giving vital legal advice regarding writing about indigenous Australians. and

Louise Curtis

Daniel Casey said...

Oh, right, the other part of the post.

In answer, the world is -kinda- set up, but not really, the storyline very much similar, it's sort of there, but only about 2%. The premises are also missing in action. It'd be like getting an image file and being told to figure out the story that it's part of.

And yeah, I'm scripting the whole thing from the board up, frame/panel layouts and all, the artist has asked for even more detail than I'd usually give for ... well... anything, even a written story.

I guess it's going to run as a novel (100 pages or so eventually I think) but set in ten to twenty page segments.

I suppose I'm just not good at valuing my own time in a project like this... *chuckle* I'll muddle through I suppose, it's just the scary new aspect of "lying for fun and profit" that's got me kerfluberghasted.


MataPam said...

If writers got paid by the hour, they'd all be rich. But since you're doing all the preliminary artwork, I'd add that to the product description and buck up the price a bit.

Daniel Casey said...

By the hour? Just on the stuff I _have_ sold that rate is absurdly low. (somewhere around 25 cents an hour after all's said and done maybe)

On a serious note however, thanks for some insight. I hand't thought of this in terms of an absolute total value, kinda brings it all back down to reality. Now to go and actually haggle with him tomorrow when he calls.


Rowena Cory Daniells said...

Daniel, there is no justice in the world.

If there was artists, writers and musicians would get paid as much as star football players.

I've never written a graphic novel, but I have written comics. In that case I was paid a flat rate her episode.