Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Long Road of Querying

Roxas Avenue, the University of the Philippines Diliman.

The last three years of working on The American Immigrant have been an amazing ride. During that time, I've had the pleasure of traveling to six different countries, teach over 1,500 students, and gain some working proficiency in two different languages. All that came to a crescendo back in February, where I traveled back to the Philippines for two weeks to conduct several interviews to fortify my research on the situation of education there. With consultation and support from current and former members of the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, E-Net Philippines, the Kabataan (Youth) Party List, the Department of Education (DepEd), the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), the Commission of Higher Education (CHED), and the University of the Philippines, it's finally time to traverse the long road to find a publisher.

At this point, it's advised that I look for a literary agent that can try to shop my work to various publishing houses so that it can find its way to print. In order to get a literary agent, one simply has to craft the most beautiful single page of their lives, the query letter, and mail that out to the overflowing slushpiles of various literary agencies that represent your genre. Countless hours are spent stalking agency websites, twitter accounts, and interviews, in order to woo that perfect agent who feels just as passionate as your work as yourself. Think of it like dating, except they typically take only 15% when a contract is signed vs. +50% when you settle on a real marriage. Nikki Smith's resource on literary agents open to graphic novel queries has been invaluable on this front, and I highly recommend it for any aspiring graphic novelist looking to publish their work.

During the next few months, I'll be listing updates on the hunt to grab the right agent for The American Immigrant: Philippines, so keep an eye out! Already halfway done with the initial outline for the second book of the series, The American Immigrant: South Korea, and I'm already excited to dig into thumbnailing it.

In other news, The Cartoon Picayune now has Issue #5 of their anthology up on Comixology! In addition to my comic Seoul Grind, check out the works of Josh Kramer, Andy Warner, and Emi Gennis in this issue. Cheers!

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