Secret Loves of Geek Girls - Dark Horse Q&A
First off thanks for all your support on this project and others! Thanks to many of you Fashion In Action is almost done production and will be out in the world within the next 2 months (and the restoration looks gorgeous!).
My current Kickstarter is Secret Loves of Geek Girls contributor Trina Robbin's new graphic novel A Minyan Yidn and while not all-female, does feature a mostly-female led creative cast of talented artists. Feel free to check it out!
Well! I never expected to do another update on Secret Loves of Geek Girls as it's out there and happily living on in the best way possible, but thought maybe it's time for a quick little revisit on the day of our Dark Horse Comics launch at The Sidekick tonight. (from 6pm to 8pm at 1374 Queen Street East).
Of course if you're a funder you already have the original book, so please feel free to come and get it signed and hang out with the creators! There's also giveaways, including samples of my upcoming feminist comics history book The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen.
We just launched the Dark Horse edition of Secret Loves of Geek Girls last week at NYCC and tonight is our official party to welcome this new edition into the world. I thought I'd talk a bit about the process as I've gotten a lot of questions on the subject. Here are a few of the most common and my answers. Any others, please feel free to post and I will answer.
Why another publisher?
There was a lot of demand for Secret Loves of Geek Girls and Bedside Press is managed and operated by one person - me! I just can't handle worldwide distribution to bookstores and libraries and with this project, as with Nelvana of the Northern Lights (which IDW had picked up) it was clear there was a need for this.
Other projects have been perfectly secure with my own publishing and distribution, Fashion In Action, Brok Windsor, and the newest Love Beyond Body, Space, and Time for example will likely not need access to a larger publisher.
Why Dark Horse?
I had been working with Dark Horse on the Angel Catbird project with Margaret Atwood for several months at the point where I realized Secret Loves should have a worldwide publisher. It doesn't mean I automatically went with them though! I considered the pros and cons of 5 different publishers. I eventually went with Dark Horse because of their distribution access through Penguin Random House (who I had briefly worked for last year and admired their sales staff greatly!) and their commitment to pushing the books into comic shops as well. I've been very happy with the team and the editor Daniel Chabon, it's all went very smoothly.
Why should I fund on Kickstarter if a book will go to another publisher after?
Well, the only reason you should fund a Kickstarter is if you want to see a project happen! Don't fund out of guilt or pity, fund projects you want to see. Kickstarter is invaluable to me, if a project doesn't succeed I don't lose money (or much at any rate) and I can move on to the next concept. This is unprecedented for small-press publishers and is basically the 'save' button of publishing!
If Secret Loves wasn't funded, it wouldn't be made, period. There would be no Dark Horse edition, and no Bedside Press edition. But Kickstarter, as indicated in its name, is just the first step, it gets the project made but then the publisher needs to decide what happens next. Do they stay as a small-run? Do they reach out to retailers? Do they find a distributor? Do they do a book tour? These are all things that help the project reach a wider audience outside of production. None of this could happen without you believing in the project, and now people worldwide will be able to access these stories and feel the comfort of connection.
What are the differences in the Dark Horse edition?
There are some changes, mostly made to appeal to a wider comics-reading audience that would be discovering the book on the shelves.
Soraya Robert's story is not included in the Dark Horse edition (but you should go check out her great new book on My So-Called Life now!), funders names from Kickstarter and creator's bios are not in the Dark Horse edition. My original introduction is not in the Dark Horse edition. Gisèle Lagacé's cover is not in the Dark Horse edition (it is featured on interior art/back cover only). There are no signed bookplates in the Dark Horse edition.
There is a new cover by Noelle Stevenson in the Dark Horse edition. There is a new introduction by me, a new short comic by Paulina Ganucheau, a new short story by Marjorie Liu, a new foreword by Kelly Sue DeConnick, a new foreword by Colleen Doran, a new one page comic by Carla Speed McNeil, a new illustration by Genevieve FT, and a new illustration by Deena Pagliarello. Formatting and minor text changes have been made throughout and the paper stock has changed (lighter weight, semi-gloss).
Despite the new content the new edition is a significantly thinner book, though they are both 279 pages.
How do I connect with a publisher if I have a book idea?
If you're fiction, it's generally recommended you look for an agent and have the book completed. For non-fiction, speaking on my experiences I approached the publishers and asked for meetings with acquisition people. For comics, best to have some sample pages done and a strong idea of the format and beats of the stories before looking for editor's contact pages (then editor's even if they approve will have to take it through various parts of the company for further approval) Good luck!
Will there be a Secret Loves part 2?
I hope so! I have a few other Kickstarter ideas to test out and take care of first (A Minyan Yidn now, then a Gothic Romance anthology next year). If you're on my newsletter mail list you'll receive info on submission and Kickstarter dates, or if you're on the Facebook page
Where are you now and what are you doing?
Oh, ok people never ask this, but you might want to know! I've moved Bedside Press from Toronto to Winnipeg last year so I can concentrate on my business with less financial anxiety. I'm spending my time teaching myself how to grow as a publisher and start new projects that focus on showcasing creators with strong talents. This includes projects with Kickstarters and without, and I'm very excited about the growth so far! I've also been so happy to connect to prairie creators and help promote each other's works with feminist monthly events for geeky fans and annual comic exhibits for indie creators. It's been a good move, and is letting me sink into the publishing industry. And it wouldn't be possible without the success of Secret Loves of Geek Girls and other projects.