Say you want to get your graphic novel published by First Second.
What’s the most important thing that you can put in your submission letter?
The most important thing you can do when you’re submitting a book — the thing that will get your graphic novel looked at fastest — is to NOT send a form letter.
If you were an editor, which of these two letters would you be more likely to actually read when you have 300 e-mails in your inbox from authors and agents and freelancers and staff that you already work with that all desperately need your attention?
Dear Mr./Mrs. First Second,
I’m looking for a publisher for my graphic novel. Please find it attached. Etc.
Dear [Editor’s Name],
Congratulations on your recent Caldecott and Printz Honors for This One Summer! I was crossing my fingers for you throughout the ceremony — you guys put out wonderful books, and it’s my dream to get the opportunity to work with you. Etc.
It’s option two, right?
Nothing gets an editor or publisher’s attention quite so fast as addressing them by name and having a reasonable awareness of what’s going on in their publishing universe! And conversely, nothing is going to turn people off as fast as someone who e-mails who clearly has no idea who they’re e-mailing, what their name is, and what they’ve published recently.
The internet makes it pretty easy to stalk publishers, and it’s easy enough to find out what we’re excited about here at First Second by just checking our our blog, twitter, tumblr, or facebook page. (Seriously, there are so many ways to stalk us.)
If you’re submitting a graphic novel, use that knowledge to your advantage!
This is your ‘how to submit graphic novels’ tip of the day!