Submission Guidelines

2021 & 2022 print schedule

Before you submit, here's 7 things to keep in mind:

We do not accept story ideas or pitches...

Ideas are great! But comic books are more than just ideas. If you send a submission without fully completed pages (art, lettering, etc.) the submission will be deleted.

Have a business plan...

Every time you create a new comic series, a new business has been created. Make sure to have a plan for scheduling, production, and promotion.

Please only submit the first 5 to 8 completed pages...

Please label your submission files as follows: TITLE_page1 ; TITLE_page2 ; etc.

Files must be JPEGs or PDFs

Cover and logo are preferred but not mandatory.

If you submit more than the first 8 pages, your submission will be automatically deleted.

No zip folders as well ... please follow directions, thank you!

Learn the basics of comic book making...

Over the years, we've found that many creators are not familiar with the fundamentals when it comes to preparing a comic book for print. We are looking for creators that are serious about comic books and have taken the time to learn and research the basics.

Familiarize yourself with the books we publish...

With any publisher that you submit to, make sure you are familiar with their product line as much as possible before you decide to submit.

We do not pay page rates for your work...

Your comic is 100% creator-owned at Alterna. You own the IP rights and we only have the rights to publishing and distribution. Alterna pays for print costs on your single issues, we recoup those costs, and then you receive 80% of the profits.

Be patient...

Due to the amount of submissions we receive, if you do not receive a response within two months, please consider the submission rejected.  Generally speaking, we only have time to respond to submissions that are either accepted OR display potential and might be accepted if minor revisions are implemented.

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What we're looking for:

Completed Mini-Series (3 to 5 issues)

Your series does not need to be complete when you submit to Alterna, but if we like what we see, we're going to need your mini-series completed before we add it to our schedule. This benefits everyone in the long run as you'll be able to properly promote the series and not worry about lateness, last minute delays, unexpected life emergencies, and production hiccups. If you have a series that is already completed and was previously self-published or crowdfunded, we would be happy to see it.

Ongoing Series (10 issues or more)

While we prefer mini-series formats, we're still open to an ongoing series if it's done right. We only want to see an ongoing submission if it revolves around the premise that "every issue is someone's first issue".  This means that the story, characters, and settings need to be accessible and easily understood by a reader -- regardless of whether it is issue #1 or issue #100. Strong characterization and storytelling is always important, but it is paramount in an ongoing series.

One-Shots

Feel free to submit your one-shots to Alterna. As long as the story is self-contained or it's an anthology style issue, we'd be happy to take a look.

Page counts, genres, etc.

We prefer the following: single issues with story pages between 20 to 26 pages; genre mash-ups; titles with supportive creative teams that are ready to promote and interact with readers, artwork that is dynamic and features colors that are clean, clear, and bright.

What we aren't looking for:

Decompressed Storytelling

Complex stories can still be told without decompressed storytelling. "Writing for the trade" and other drawn-out methods of storytelling will not be acceptable for submission at Alterna. We strive to entertain readers with each issue -- and each issue must contain a complete story that is worth the reader's time and money. Even within a mini-series, we'll be looking for titles that have an overarching plot that features issues that can still stand alone as enjoyable, clearly told stories.

Graphic Novels

This may sound strange given that Alterna's first 10 to 11 years were spent almost solely as a graphic novel publisher, but we are no longer looking for stories that go straight-to-graphic novel.  While we still believe that graphic novels are a wonderful way to tell a longer complete story (think of them as a movie, instead of as an episode of a TV show), the traditional way of selling a graphic novel involves tremendous risk on the part of the creators, the publisher, and the retailer. We encourage creators to utilize crowdfunding to minimize that risk and finance the creation and production of their graphic novel or trade.

Miscellaneous:

Creative/Intellectual Rights

Creators retain all rights to their intellectual property. The rights to produce, publish, and monetize merchandise, film, television, video game, etc. are all retained by the creator(s) of the work. Alterna will only own publishing and distribution rights of your comic/graphic novel to various comic book and book markets.  

Book, Art, Story Quality

We look for titles that merge genres, are character-driven, and have stories that are immersed in a fictional world.  We prefer metaphorical stories over literal ones and all genres are welcomed.  Art and story must be of a professional quality.  Before you submit, please compare your book's quality with other Alterna titles of similar genre.  We reserve the right to suggest changes to title, logo, cover, or any other superficial element. No major changes will be made without creator approval.

File Format

For submission space purposes, JPEG or PDF please. Final file formats will be in either TIFF or PSD, 300 dpi, CMYK. Text needs to be on a separate layer in order for us to appropriately adjust the CMYK levels for print.

Page Count

Page counts for single issues should ideally be between 22 and 26 pages. Higher page counts are possible, but due to the economics involved, it is not a favorable situation. Still, we will evaluate all books on a case by case basis.

Prepress

Alterna handles all color separations and preparations for print, cover design layout elements (not cover image), size dimensions of the book, logo placements, spine on graphic novels, pricing, bar coding and more.

Distribution Channels

Our books are distributed worldwide in print and digital. We distribute directly to nearly 100 comic book retailers and the majority of our business also involves direct sales to readers.

Royalty Payout

Royalty payouts are on a quarterly schedule. Creators receive 80% of the profits on all print and digital sales.

Social Media Code of Conduct

You are required and encouraged to actively promote your title on social media.

 

We do not condone the use of block bots/block lists/blind blocking/block chains or any other kind of program or practice that is used to block thousands of people, blindly, en masse. 

 

We acknowledge that unpleasant experiences through social media, sadly do occur, and creators can block/mute individuals if they have had those unwanted and poor experiences with them. But due to the fact that you would be part of a creative team at Alterna and a team of retailers would need to be able to confidently sell your comics to as many people as possible, we have adopted a policy that discourages the use of anything that would directly affect our stance of full inclusion for readers and creators.  We have readers of all walks of life and it is paramount to us, that we encourage, promote, and stand by our mission statement that comics are for everyone.

As a creator, if you have poor experiences with anyone in relation to your work - online or otherwise - and feel that you are being threatened, please reach out to us and we'll do everything within our power to work with you on how to handle this situation.

We want all of our readers AND our creators to feel welcome.

Due to the amount of submissions we receive, we can only respond to submissions that we accept or submissions that require minor revisions. If you do not receive a response within two months of submitting, please consider your submission rejected. Thank you for understanding and we hope you still submit again in the future!

Please make sure to name your files in this manner:

TITLE.pdf (for PDF files that contain a complete submission)

TITLEpage01.jpg (for JPG files that have individual pages)

PERMISSIONS and PRIVACY POLICY: By clicking "SEND" and uploading your submission files to us, you are granting permission to Alterna Comics to review your submission and the files/artwork associated with it. To the best of our knowledge, we understand that you own the appropriate copyright or trademarks to the submitted work and that you also hold claim to them. Alterna Comics makes no claim or attempt to own the copyright or trademarks of the works submitted or published by us. Alterna Comics promises to protect your personal information and keep your submission information and status confidential at all times. You have our promise that your submission and information will not be shared without your express written consent.

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Based in New Hampshire, United States

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