Wednesday, March 08, 2006

SureShot Presents

What is it?
The idea of Sureshot Presents is to produce consistently high quality self contained sequential art by Australian Comic Creators for current and emerging markets, driven by creators but backed by a publisher.

Why?
There are very few outlets for creators to publish their work, especially in a format that allows their ideas to grow.
Equally, there are very few outlets for readers to purchase complete and narratively satisfying stories that use an Australian Voice. Sureshot Presents is a means to provide an outlet for readers and creators.

What is the format?
The format to begin with is A5 between 36 and 48 pages. Interior pages will be 90gsm black and white. The cover will 200gsm colour optix stock with single colour printing.

How much?
It will retail for $4. Wholesale for $2.

What will be in it?
Sureshot Presents will contain a self contained story, that will not require any auxiliary purchases to enjoy. The genre and style is completely open. Where stories do not fill the whole 36 or 48 pages, a self contained back up story will be included plus text pieces.

What do creators get?
The creators of a particular issue will get 150 copies of the book. Where there are multiple creators they are able to split the 150 copies as they see fit. Creators are expected to sell and distribute their copies to preordained and negotiated markets. This will net creators $600 at retail prices and $300 at wholesale.

What do you mean preordained?
During the submission process creators and the publishers of Sureshot Presents will negotiate which retail outlets will be available to the publisher and creators to pursue. The Publisher has sole access to Kings Comics (Sydney), Phase Two Comics (Aust) and Pulp Fiction (Adelaide), however all other markets are negotiable. This includes non-comic retailers, conventions and zine-fairs.
What will be the total print run?
300, equally split between the creator and publisher.

Who is eligible?
All Australia residing creators.

What happens when an issue sells out?
That is open to negotiate between the creator and publisher. There are a number of options
  • Nothing
  • Reprinted by the Publisher with profits shared between the publisher and creator (75/25)
  • Reprinted by the Creator with profits shared between creator and publisher (90/10)
  • Creator reprints the story in a different format but credits SureShot and the publisher.
In the event where one party sells their allocation of copies, they may purchase copies from the other party for $1 a copy.

Who owns the material?
The creator owns the material 100% and can do with the material as they see fit after the initial print run. However, if the material is reprinted at A5 size, the original printing specifications must be met. If the material is reprinted or presented in any other format, Sureshot and the Publisher must be credited in an obvious manner.

How do I submit?
The format of submission will depend on the history and skill of creator and is decided by the publisher. The first step is to email the publisher (mailto:mark_selan@hotmail.com) with a request to submit a story. The publisher will reply with the format of the submission.
For new creators, they will need to send the Publisher the first 3 pages and the last 3 pages of the comic. A synopsis of the story must be included plus answers to these 3 questions
  • What is the story about (not the plot but what are the themes)?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What markets/retail outlets will the creator be approaching and why?
More established creators can supply a synopsis and some art. They'll need to make reference to the market/retail outlets question.

How are submissions going to be judged?
They will be judged by the Publisher and by two comic creators. They will be assessed on their marketability and the skill level of the creators. The better the planning by the creators and the greater market potential the more likely a submission will be approved.

How often will Sureshot Present be solicited?
The plan is quarterly but will depend on submissions.

Is there anything you are looking for?
Fresh original stories by enthusiastic creators who are not afraid to approach new markets.

Is there anything you are not looking for?
Superheroes and parody comics – they have a chance but they’ll have to be bloody good. In terms of censorship, the inclusion of sex and violence will depend on how it is done within the story.

What happens if my proposal gets accepted?
The creator and publisher will then set up a schedule to determine the delivery date and publication of the book. The publisher will act as an editor on the project, critiquing the creative aspects of the project as they are being worked on. Retail markets and marketing strategies will also be discussed and negotiated.
How will the books be marketed?
Each book will be treated differently, depending on its audience. The format of the marketing and advertising will be the same; appropriate retailers will be approached and online commuities will be targetted. Creators are quite welcome to create posters, flyers and other merchandising material at their own expense. The publisher will most likely have poster printed if the publisher attends a convention or zine fair.
What happens if my proposal gets rejected?
The publisher will provide a full critique of your work, establishing areas of improvement while noting strengths of the provided work. Some creators will be invited to resubmit proposals in the future once they have been reworked.

Can I pull out?
Creators are able to pull out at anytime before the comic goes to print. The publisher intends to have a stockpile of stories before printing the story so this should not affect solicitation schedules. It is asked that the comic not be published for a year after the creator pulls out of the agreement. If the reason for the discontinuation is laziness then the creator must be prepared to be mocked.

How long will I have to wait for my comic to be released?
It will depend, but if a comic is not released after 18 months of completion and delivery then it can be immediately reprinted anywhere at the creator's discretion.

What are the creator’s responsibilities?
  • To create a self contained comic no longer than 44 pages.
  • To complete and deliver the pages by a date negotiated by the creator and publisher.
  • To design the cover and that will include the Sureshot logo.
  • To approach markets and deal with them in a professional manner
  • The creator will have to provide sales data to the publisher.
  • In the case of reprints, send and receive money to and from the publisher depending on which reprint option is undertaken.
What’s a professional manner?
Professional manner includes turning up to scheduled meetings on time and delivering goods and invoices within two weeks of receiving orders. It also entails interacting with retailers and consumers in a polite and respectful manner, specifically when representing and publicizing Sureshot Presents work in a public arena. The reason for this is because the idea is to build the market and readership, acting like an ass will only harm other Sureshot Present creators either now or in the future.

What happens if a creator doesn’t act in a professional manner?

If a retailer or member of the community complains about a creator’s behaviour while the creator represents Sureshot Presents, then a period of negotiation will be entered in an attempt to fix and placate the situation to the satisfaction of all parties. If a major complaint is upheld then the creator must forfeit their remaining copies of Sureshot Presents. (A major complaint may include participating in an illegal activity while publicly representing Sureshot Presents).

What are the publisher’s responsibilities?
  • To act as an editor on a project.
  • To pay for the printing.
  • To check that the printing is correct.
  • To aid in the formulation of the marketing plan.
  • To have the creator’s share of the printed comics shipped to the creator at the publisher’s expense.
  • To distribute the comic to the negotiated markets.
  • To negotiate with and between parties, if a problem arises.
  • To negotiate the issue of reprints, if the need arises.
What about other responsibilities?
All other responsibilities are up for negotiation.

Who is involved so far?

Sureshot Presents will be reprinting the previous web comic Crab Allan: Gothic Boogaloo by L.Frank Weber. Chelsea Fritzlaff is also supposed to be involved as part of her prize for the 2004 OzComic Challenge but she’s lost in the wind – but I’m hoping she’s found because she’s the inspiration for the whole thing. Other creators have been approached and are interested.

13 comments:

The Frase said...

How very exciting!

Good work and good luck!
(Like the name- "SureShot"!)

not a truth fairy fan said...

why are you commenting on the TF site? Is it you? The tf? ARe you the TF? Are you the artist that drew all those cartoons on the TF site?

Anonymous said...

Daren White said...

This sounds like a great idea, and a genuine opportunity to get some fresh work out there.

If you need any editorial assistance, I'm keen to get involved.


Daren

Tonia said...

Sounds like a grand plan.

chavmcue [it was the word verification code] said...

What the hell is this TF, TF site, and TF cartoons?

muljfb said...

It's the Truth Fairy site, which features well-drawn comics with truly bizarre and disturbing content.

Mike Hell said...

It all sounds quite exciting. If anyone has the reputation and profile (not to mention the business skills I am assuming you have!)to make a success of it, it would be you. Good luck Mark. I'm looking forward to reading some quality Australian comics.

Has there been any other Aus. publisher in recent times that is not a creator (per se) and solely a publisher?

Anonymous said...

This sounds very exciting, and best of luck Mark - I hope it works out.

Anonymous said...

Uhh that last anonymous post was by me - David Tang!

Mark Selan said...

I hope it works out!
I've got one book ready; crab allan #2 and nibbles from one new artist and if he ever gets a free moment in his life ever again holgate feigned interest.

Do YOU know anyone, who like yourself, is talented and who hasn't released a book for awhile? hmmm

jing said...

I remember discussing this with you before... now that I think of it, did I say I was interested? I am, if I can ever get a narrative comic together that isn't about bishounen or zombie porn.

azahru said...

Sounds like a really exciting project. Bravo and Huzzah. Drop me a line if there are any particular projects you need a writer like me for :)

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