The last seminar I attended before embarking on my ECCC 2013 shopping spree was Writers Unite: Pitching Creator Owned Comics, moderated by Jim Zub, author of Skull Kickers.
The other panel members included:
If I remember correctly, Ray Fawkes, a 2012 Eisner Award nominee for his One Soul was MIA (missing in action) from the group.
The focus of this panel discussion was on selling your own comic.
One of the mantras often repeated at writers conferences is: Writing is an art, but publishing is a business. The same applies to the comic book/graphic novel industry.
So you have to ask yourself, why should a publisher choose your comic over someone else's?
To be successful in getting your comic on the shelves you should:
Be prepared to pitch your concept. Organize and sum up your ideas into a short and concise pitch--yeah it's the Elevator Pitch again.
However, this doesn't guarantee success, but merely advances you to the next step in getting your project approved.
To be successful, remember to treat your work as a profession and develop the work habits of a professional writer or artist. You need to demonstrate you can create consistent and professional content before anyone will pay you for it.
Success won't happen overnight, so you have to build on your work:
Stare small and improve your craft with short stories and simple ideas before tackling larger work.
Self publish, or post your material on line.
Try to write something every day. (This is another mantra I often hear during writers conferences and read in writing magazines).
Create work you're proud of and that represents your interests and passions. If you don't enjoy creating it, people won't enjoy reading it.
Writers should collaborate with artists who strengthen their work.
The panelists finished the seminar with a "Stuff We Wish We Knew Before We Got Started"
The comic book industry is more accessable than ever before.
Networking is easier than you think.
Most people don't appreciate where they're at and they compare their success with those of others.
Bigger (or even smaller) isn't always better. Find the right niche for your work.
Passion and hard work really do pay off.
I must admit I was still somewhat overwhelmed by my experience at this year's ECCC. (Last year I was only able to attend the first day and spent the entire time wandering around in a daze buying stuff).
Next year, I hope to attend even more professional panels so I can continue to improve my craft.