***AFTER READING THIS ARTICLE, PLEASE READ MY FOLLOW UP ARTICLE HERE***
I have a Sci-Fi pilot that I’m told would be a tough sell in Canada. No cops, doctors, or lawyers. Even as I continue to gather notes from trusted colleagues to improve the story, I can’t help but feel nervous about the fact that there are only a small handful of places I could pitch the project, even if the story was perfect.
I’ve been doing a lot of research over the past few days into Graphic Novels because I keep hearing how they can be a great way to prove a concept by sewing an audience, prior to pitching a project to a broadcaster. The graphic novel route has the added benefit of potentially recovering development expenses through book sales.
It turns out that TV scripts convert easily into Graphic Novel format (you push a button in Final Draft). From there, you hire an artist to draw the novel – a process not much different from creating story boards for a feature film.
There are considerations, such as ensuring the big reveal always happens after turning a page – which means a lot of thought needs to go into how many panels are used on a page to visually tell the story. The art itself, the gestures, and direction of the lines, will also have a subconscious affect on the story, so careful thought must be given there as well.
A 54 page script works out to be about 54 pages in a Graphic Novel. It takes 7-10 days for an artist to design the characters and environments, as well as to create thumbnail sketches of the panels themselves. Once that prep work is done, the artist can expect to complete about a page per day in full colour.
Publishing the Graphic Novel can be done free of charge using Amazon’s Kindle Comic Creator. I’m thinking that publishing the Graphic Novel as an e-book would be the simplest, most straightforward way to go. No printing. No worries about distribution. Amazon pays a 70% royalty on each sale.
Amazon also has built-in marketing tools that can be leveraged to promote the book across its world-wide network. If it’s about generating sales, to grow an audience, to prove the concept to a broadcaster, it might make more sense to sell the book at a lower price.
This is a snapshot of what I’ve learned so far. I realize it sounds a bit simplistic, but it’s really got my wheels turning. I googled ‘Book Adaptations in Hollywood’ and found the following statistics;