Archive for the ‘ Behind the Scenes ’ Category


October 20, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

Not all books that First Second graphic novels are the same dimensions, have the same color palette and use the same paper stock.  We do have a few sizes that are more or less ‘standard’ for our books, the truth is that the books we publish are a number of different shapes and sizes. Our Read the Rest…

September 25, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(cartoon by David Sipress; presumably from The New Yorker) There’s a pervasive myth about big New York City publishers, and it’s that they’re evil — or at the very least malicious.  They’re out to break the hopes and dreams of authors everywhere, to be difficult to impossible for the regular person to get into contact Read the Rest…

September 11, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(Edward the horse, from Adventures in Cartooning.  So adorable!  Unfortunately not for sale.) Sometimes, once they’ve turned their book in, authors will come to us and say, ‘Okay, what happens with the stuff?  Like t-shirts and posters and prints and possibly squishy animals that are all based on the book?’ All of that stuff — Read the Rest…

September 4, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(a panel from Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki’s fabulous graphic novel This One Summer) When you typically think of an editor, the picture that comes up in your mind is someone sitting at a desk writing notes on a manuscript.  I feel like this is just cultural conditioning — the same way that when you Read the Rest…

September 1, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(the blurb from the back cover of Farel Dalrymple’s The Wrenchies.  It is an excellent example of its kind.) As publishers, we frequently find blurbs to be a pretty contrived thing.  I mean, we’re obtaining them either from people we know or people we (or our authors) are convincing into reading our books through our Read the Rest…

August 26, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(Image from here.  I will actually be using it to metaphorically explain how the age category system in publishing works, so that’s exciting.) We give all the books we publish an age category. The age categories are very small segments of the population when it comes to kids: 4 – 8, 7 – 10, 10 Read the Rest…

August 25, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(art from Jen Wang’s wonderful graphic novel Koko Be Good) One of the things that an author can hear from a publisher or an agent when they’re talking about the possibility of working together is, ‘what is your fanbase like?’ What does that even mean? As a person who exists in the world, you have Read the Rest…

August 21, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(image from here) Marketing has a bad reputation. People hear the word ‘marketing’ and think, ‘that’s the thing that’s going to trick me into buying all this stuff that I don’t want.’ Then they run in the other direction as quickly as possible. That’s not how we think about marketing here at First Second. We Read the Rest…

August 18, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

(Adventures in Cartooning and sequels) Figuring out whether or not a book should have a sequel can be a challenging task for publishers.  There are lots of creative questions to ask: does the book work best as a stand-alone?  Should the author take their future projects in a different direction?  Will a sequel be as Read the Rest…

August 13, 2014
Posted by: Gina Gagliano
Categories: Behind the Scenes

As things go, being an author publishing a book is super stressful.  You’re putting your personal creative project out in the world for everyone to see . . . and who knows who will see and it what kind of success it will have?  Every single thing you do, every decision you make during the Read the Rest…