Here’s What You Need To Know About Publishing A Graphic Novel

Graphic novels have been around for a while, with the term ‘graphic novel’ first being used in the late 1970s. But recently, we’ve seen an explosion in popularity, due to graphic novels conveying complexity, depth, and variety; which is something traditional publishing still struggles with.

In an age that champions diversity, the graphic novel is the perfect vessel to carry this message. Different from both the novel and comic, the thing that makes a graphic a ‘novel’ is the longer narration of telling a story through graphic images as well as copy.

5 Tips if you’re looking to publish a graphic novel

1. Choose a bold topic

Graphic novels such as Blackbird tell their story through the eyes of characters who are usually underrepresented in literature, like Nina Rodriguez. But the thing that makes the graphic novel so brilliant is that each character isn’t atypical, this is just the norm. The best thing about graphic novels is the free reign of exploring and mixing genres, one book is described as a ‘goth Jumanji’.

For a round-up of the best Graphic Novels of 2019 – so far, check here.

2. Know the market

In 2018 a graphic novel made it onto the shortlist for a prestigious Man Booker prize. Sabrina by Nick Drnaso tells the story of a girl who goes missing, leaving behind a videotape with clues about her disappearance.

Universities and the British Library are even offering PhDs to understanding graphic works. With universities now on board with the academic value of the graphic, wider society is catching up to its value too.

Do your research and make sure you know the market and what you’re pitching against.

3. What type of paper/dimensions work best?

The standard dimension for a Comic Book is 6-5/8 inches wide by 10-1/4 inches high but with Printondemand-worldwide we do custom sizes so that you can have the freedom to experiment. View our size guide here.

There is a number of finishes you can choose for your graphic novel, coatings to enhance durability or saddle-stitch with a cover that uses the same paper as the interior. Take a look at our paper blog for more.

4. Try Book of One

As a print specialist, we have invested in the capabilities of printing single copy books without compromising quality or cost – our ‘book of one’ service. We produce our books using SCREEN’s Truepress Jet520HD: a system that gives you the freedom to order whatever quantity is required without having to think about implications on the paper type or print quality.

Use our BookWIZARD calculator to create your first book.

5. Choosing the right quality ink/print

The artwork in a graphic novel is often sharp, colourful and dynamic.

At Printondemand-worldwide we use revolutionary Inkjet, which is a game changer for high quality, cost-effective print. Choosing Inkjet over Litho means having the ability to produce affordable books – even with just one print, without compromising quality.

To prove Inkjet’s quality, US assessors decided to put the Screen Truepress Jet520HD to the test. Using SC inks on standard coated paper, they concluded that the “output of the Screen Truepress Jet520HD SC Inkjet web press is suitable for commercial colour work that requires offset sheetfed quality”.

Request your free sample book to see for yourself the quality of our print.