Production Blog for the new anthology from Jason Rodriguez, coedited with James W. Powell
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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Jason: Talent Only Goes So Far

On the Q&A thread for submissions someone asked if they can pitch their two best ideas – he wasn’t the first person to ask this, the question has come to us over email and some people just went ahead and pitched two ideas. There’s really nothing wrong with pitching two ideas much the same way there’s nothing wrong with pitching without an artist attached – but it doesn’t help you.

Look, all of you can write. I know this. James knows this. We haven’t received a pitch yet that has made us groan and they all get the general idea across in 40 words or less which is amazing. If the idea seems to fit the tone of the anthology and doesn’t step on the toes of any other stories we have lined-up, we ask for one-pagers and so far they’ve been good, as well.

The fact of the matter is, of all the people submitting, we could pick 80% of you based on your writing alone, most likely. Some of you will need editing to the extent of mentoring but all of you will eventually turn in a great story.

However, this isn’t a resume piece for me – I’m putting money into this anthology and I hope to not lose all of it. I don’t want to take this book to Marvel or DC and apply for a job working editorial for them – it’s not what I want to do creatively and I don’t think they can match my day job’s salary – there’s really nothing in it for me to do that.

I want to create my own projects and sell them my way, without anyone restricting me because they don’t think an idea will work. I want to roll POSTCARDS into a volume 2 and a second project within a year of publishing the first volume. I want Eximious Press to be my publishing company, not just something to put on my stationary and business cards.

The people in my book, so far, are people who I know have the sense to represent my company if they need to. If they’re at a convention and have copies of POSTCARDS, I know they know how to present it well in the event somebody asks about it. You’ll see when we start announcing talents in the books – these aren’t just amazing creators, these are people most folks will describe as “good people.”

Right now, all I know about you is that you are a good writer and/or illustrator. I know nothing about your people skills and nothing about your creative/business sense. That’s why I ask for introductions before you send your pitch. That’s why the submission process has a well-defined structure, to see if you can follow it.

That’s why we prefer to see an artist. Because you should be able to get an artist to at least agree to put his name on a project in the event it’s chosen. No real commitment, just a declaration that he or she is interested in hearing more. Also, the style of the artist will tell us that you understand what the feel of the book is – we don’t want muscles and superheroes, no-one on the book will deliver that style.

That’s why we prefer to see one pitch at a time. Because a creator knows what pitch will work best for this book. You’ll read through the blog posts and try to feel James and I out and use that info to put forward one pitch that’s going to “wow” us. Because you should know that if you split our attention, we might not realize how amazing one of the pitches are.

We’re looking for a great story, true. But in the process I want someone who I know has what it takes to be the face of my company. Because if you’re interacting with a potential customer or posting something on a message board – you’re all they’re going to see. And we’re doing this all over email, for the most part, so there needs to be some way to tell who we can trust and who will turn in an amazing story at the same time.

So, it doesn’t hurt to submit more than one pitch or to not have an artist attached or to not provide some type of introduction, but if it comes down to you and someone who did all three of those things, even if we don’t go with the artist, we’ll pick the person who did all three of those things.


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