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View Full Version : Anybody else doing an Oni submission?


Screwtape Jenkins
06-12-2015, 09:19 PM
And is anybody else getting their ass kicked by this five page synopsis requirement?

I now look back fondly at when I thought a one page synopsis was hard.

Does anyone happen to know where a greedy little black duck could get his hands on some sample submission synopses of roughly that five page length? It would put a little salve on my whupped ass.

paul brian deberry
06-12-2015, 09:46 PM
"A five page synopsis should tell the STORY of your book (or state its argument) in as much vivid, eye-catching detail as you may reasonably cram into so few pages. Preferably by describing actual scenes, rather than simply summarizing general plot trends, in language that is both reflective of the manuscript’s and is enjoyable to read."

Found that quote on this page... http://www.annemini.com/?cat=1955

Telling a synopsis of any length has always been easy for me. The actual execution of that synopsis is my bane.

The goal is to tell the story adding everything from beginning, middle and end. Even stuff that might never make it into the actual story.

Screwtape Jenkins
06-12-2015, 10:11 PM
Telling a synopsis of any length has always been easy for me. The actual execution of that synopsis is my bane.

I'm the other way around, usually because I'm trying to synopsize something I've already written.

Forbes helped me a lot to develop my skills with a one page synopsis, but this 3-5 pager is tough. Doubly so for me since I'm submitting an ensemble story with five main characters.

Thanks for the link, though.

Stewart Vernon
06-12-2015, 11:31 PM
I can reverse-engineer a short synopsis once I've completed a thing. In school I was terrible at rough drafts and outlines, so usually I would write my final paper first... then reverse-engineer the outline and really-rough draft from that.

Then, sometimes I would actually rewrite my paper and fix some things in the final final... but basically I was doing things out of order.

For technical writing, as opposed to storytelling, I found outlines to be much more natural... since I have a way of organizing things that don't have a narrative... so in that arena I was finally able to do things in the proper order. Create an outline, use that to layout the overall document chapters, then fill in the details as they came to me... and drop in art along the way.

I haven't yet found a way to fully utilize my writing/organization skills from technical writing in a meaningful way for storytelling. There is some crossover, but it isn't always obvious.

Having said all that... a 5-page synopsis? I can boil down a story to a page or a paragraph when I have to... but 5-pages seems like it would be much harder... because you still have to throw away a lot of detail from the final work BUT keep a lot more than you're usually supposed to keep for a synopsis.

We've written entire stories in 5-pages here on the forum, for example.

DaveyDouble
06-13-2015, 01:48 AM
5 pages is not a synopsis, its a short.

HouseStark
06-13-2015, 01:41 PM
Looking at the submissions guidelines, they're asking for a 3-5 page outline, and only a 1 page synopsis. Are you looking on a different site?

http://onipress.tumblr.com/post/117029040489/oni-press-open-submissions-guidelines-on-may

Screwtape Jenkins
06-13-2015, 01:59 PM
In your opinion, is there a major structural difference between a synopsis and an outline?

From their wording, I thought the synopsis was supposed to be more of a marketplace pitch. Sort of a "fans of the Walking Dead age 15-30 will eat this up because of elements x, y, z..." rather than a pure plot summary.

And I thought the outline was where the actual story would be summarized, though again, I'm not sure I ken the difference between a synopsis and an outline.

Stewart Vernon
06-13-2015, 04:17 PM
From my school of thought, an outline is very high level... meant to only hit the main beats. For a non-story book, the outline might just be the chapter headings.

For a story, I could see an "outline" formatted more like prose than the traditional formal outline... but I'd think the content should essentially be the same. Hit the high-points with little to no detail.

Unless I'm completely off-base, that's an outline to me.

HouseStark
06-13-2015, 07:12 PM
Looking at the submissions guidelines, they're asking for a 3-5 page outline, and only a 1 page synopsis. Are you looking on a different site?

http://onipress.tumblr.com/post/117029040489/oni-press-open-submissions-guidelines-on-may

Here's my take:

Logline: see the Elevator Pitch (http://www.digitalwebbing.com/forums/showthread.php?t=170939) thread in the stick section.

Synopsis: Summarizes the "story" of your book. It's in paragraph format. It tells the reader what your story is. It's the "meat" and "heart" of your book. The bones are in the outline. Your reader should know exactly what your book is about after reading this. You need to sell them here ... in the shortest amount of time as possible. They may not read the whole page, so hook them in early.

Outline: This is a high-level view of the "plot" or roughly how your story unfolds--from beginning to end. I'd break it down by issue. Personally, I like to use a bulleted format for easy reading.

If 5-pages are too much, just do three. Less is more! Give them exactly what they want require in the least amount of pages possible. You're not going to impress them by writing more. If they like what they see in three pages, they're not going to toss out your pitch because it's short.

They want good stories. If your story isn't good, they won't get past the synopsis.

Screwtape Jenkins
06-13-2015, 07:27 PM
I'd love to get it down to three pages - right now I'm having trouble squeezing it down to five. I'm half a page over now.

I'm writing it in a paragraph format, but I think it would actually be longer with bullets.

So, nobody has links to examples of any of this stuff, huh?

dmh_3000
06-13-2015, 09:47 PM
I'm pitching a graphic novel that could also be a mini-series, so I easily made four pages. Just don't be afraid to add in extra details like back story and character motivations. It'll help the editors figure out where you're coming from.

Stewart Vernon
06-14-2015, 01:52 AM
If you need to get to a minimum number of pages... my personal recommendation (and how I would do it myself if I were trying)...

Do the most basic outline you can with the least amount of details. Then ADD in detail as necessary to flesh out the story until you get up to the 3 pages... as opposed to trying to write it all and then figure out what to cut out.

DaveyDouble
06-14-2015, 07:36 AM
As above. So much easier.

Bulletboy-Redux
06-14-2015, 08:39 PM
Yeah I sent something. It's been almost a month, so I'm not that optimistic. If they liked it I assume they would've gotten back to me sooner. But who knows. Has anyone gotten their answer yet?

For my 3-5 page outline I just included an issue-by-issue breakdown. This way they know exactly what I have in mind and how it will play out. I did that first, so writing the short synopsis would be a piece of cake afterwards.

JasonEnosArt
06-14-2015, 10:19 PM
I'm curious who owns the content created for them... Is it artist owned and they publish, or it will it be for-hire and they own your characters and story? I'm looking and don't really see that end.

Bulletboy-Redux
06-15-2015, 03:30 AM
Yeah, it's creator-owned.

dmh_3000
06-15-2015, 04:26 AM
Yeah I sent something. It's been almost a month, so I'm not that optimistic. If they liked it I assume they would've gotten back to me sooner. But who knows. Has anyone gotten their answer yet?

For my 3-5 page outline I just included an issue-by-issue breakdown. This way they know exactly what I have in mind and how it will play out. I did that first, so writing the short synopsis would be a piece of cake afterwards.

Considering how many submissions they get, they may not have gotten to you yet or are waiting until the deadline to look. When I submitted an idea to Fantagraphics I didn't hear back until nearly a year later (It was a rejection, but I'm glad I heard from them).

Screwtape Jenkins
06-28-2015, 10:48 AM
Yeah I sent something. It's been almost a month, so I'm not that optimistic. If they liked it I assume they would've gotten back to me sooner. But who knows. Has anyone gotten their answer yet?


Their editorial twitter account says they had to extend the response window from 30 to 60 days due to the amount of submissions. Keep hope alive.

Kay
06-28-2015, 08:59 PM
I got my rejection after a month and four days. So... yeah. They've already talked to some people who made it through the first round.

NatMatt
06-29-2015, 12:09 AM
I submitted mine on the 18th and I haven't heard back yet so I'm guessing I've got 20 to 50 days left. This is also the first time I've submitted a pitch to a publisher so I have no experience to share.

dmh_3000
06-30-2015, 04:50 AM
Well they said they're doing two months on, two months off. So if any of you didn't get in, you've got until the end of October to work on a new pitch for them.

Kay
07-10-2015, 12:03 AM
Update: Oni has reviewed 675 submissions so far, 8 made it to their pitch meeting, while only 2 are being considered for publishing.

dmh_3000
07-10-2015, 06:01 AM
Update: Oni has reviewed 675 submissions so far, 8 made it to their pitch meeting, while only 2 are being considered for publishing.

I like those odds... because it means I can brag even harder if it turns out I'm one of the two. Which I obviously will be because *heh* come on.:p

Screwtape Jenkins
07-10-2015, 10:47 PM
Update: Oni has reviewed 675 submissions so far, 8 made it to their pitch meeting, while only 2 are being considered for publishing.

Where'd you hear that, Kay?

NatMatt
07-10-2015, 11:13 PM
Update: Oni has reviewed 675 submissions so far, 8 made it to their pitch meeting, while only 2 are being considered for publishing.

I doubt I made the cut. The odds are never in my favor.

Kay
07-11-2015, 01:39 AM
Where'd you hear that, Kay?https://twitter.com/rgb_alpha/status/619221682922876928/photo/1

there's more (not for the faint of heart): https://twitter.com/rgb_alpha/status/619220452725129216

Screwtape Jenkins
07-11-2015, 09:52 AM
Thanks, Kay.

Question for comic book pitch veterans. What are the ethics of pitching the same project to multiple companies at the same time? Previously I was told not to worry about it, as the odds of any company giving a favorable response were pretty much nil. However, I think I remember reading something on Oni's twitter or tumblr which gave the impression that they would consider it a dick move.

But given this tweet (https://twitter.com/rgb_alpha/status/619222127045156865), I don't think it would be smart for me to put all my eggs in the Oni basket.

Stewart Vernon
07-11-2015, 04:28 PM
I'm no pitch veteran... but until someone commits to you, you have no commitment to them. Unless you're entering some kind of competition where you agree to a "submissions belong to us" sort of thing, you should probably be shopping your wares wherever and whenever you can.

The best people and the best stories have been rejected time and again before someone finally gave them a shot... so you gotta keep your options open until you seal a deal.

NatMatt
07-11-2015, 04:56 PM
I'm no pitch veteran... but until someone commits to you, you have no commitment to them. Unless you're entering some kind of competition where you agree to a "submissions belong to us" sort of thing, you should probably be shopping your wares wherever and whenever you can.

The best people and the best stories have been rejected time and again before someone finally gave them a shot... so you gotta keep your options open until you seal a deal.

That sounds like a great idea. I'm very new to the whole submitting a pitch thing and I doubt Oni Press will take my pitch so does anyone know any publishers that are any good aside from Fantagraphics and Image Comics?

Bulletboy-Redux
07-13-2015, 07:08 AM
It's your project, you can submit it to as many publishers as you want. Until contracts are signed, you don't owe anyone anything. If they have the right to blow off submissions unanswered, you certainly don't owe them any higher degree of courtesy.

Screwtape Jenkins
07-14-2015, 09:12 PM
James Lucas Jones, EIC of Oni, gave some more interesting stats in the comments section of this article (http://www.comicsbeat.com/sdcc-15-less-than-1-of-open-submissions-might-be-published/):

Finally, when I was doing the statistics for our panel, I failed to take into account one fairly major consideration. While we’ve only escalated 2 pitches out of the first 675 submissions to our publisher, not all 675 were project pitches. 200 were art or color portfolios. One colorist who submitted was one of the few working professionals we received samples from and we’ve already hired them for an upcoming project. Almost two dozen more artist moved from the submissions file to our “potential artist” file and we anticipate giving many of those folks the opportunity to try out on potential projects over the next year as casting needs arise. So, the odds aren’t great (Welcome to literally any creative industry, folks!) but the numbers on the stuff we’ve reviewed thus far, aren’t quite as dire as my initial stats made them out to be.

Screwtape Jenkins
08-06-2015, 01:43 AM
Anybody hear anything on the Oni front lately? It's all quiet over here. Haven't even heard about people getting rejections.

dmh_3000
08-06-2015, 04:17 AM
Anybody hear anything on the Oni front lately? It's all quiet over here. Haven't even heard about people getting rejections.

I got mine on Monday. Very nice and polite. I replied to say thanks for getting back to me and letting me know.

I wonder, is the two months on, two months off still happening? Because if submissions are reopening next month I've got another one I've been refining.

Screwtape Jenkins
08-06-2015, 11:18 AM
I think I read somewhere that due to the volume of submissions, the next round isn't going to be until November.

If you don't mind me asking, when did you submit? I submitted only a few days before the deadline.

JamesVenhaus
08-07-2015, 09:46 AM
Anybody hear anything on the Oni front lately? It's all quiet over here. Haven't even heard about people getting rejections.

I submitted mine on June 30 and haven't heard anything yet.

Screwtape Jenkins
08-08-2015, 12:10 AM
The ax fell on my dreams this afternoon. Got a very polite rejection form letter.

Ah well. Knew it was a long shot.

dmh_3000
08-09-2015, 06:10 AM
I think I read somewhere that due to the volume of submissions, the next round isn't going to be until November.

If you don't mind me asking, when did you submit? I submitted only a few days before the deadline.

Early June. I was also trying to get a second one in but the artist broke her hand and couldn't get it done on time. Was looking forward to hopefully getting that one into the second wave but I guess this allows everyone more time to work on their next pitches.

But you'll probably hear back soon.

Bulletboy-Redux
08-10-2015, 07:04 PM
Yeah, I got my rejection form email back in June. I think I also went a little too dark. Oh well.

They mentioned that they saved the names of a few people they might want to use for future projects. I wonder if these people were notified, or if one day one of us might just get an email out of the blue.

NatMatt
08-12-2015, 06:32 PM
I got my rejection last week. Honestly, I wonder who the hell even got accepted by them. Oh well, I guess. I'm kind of relieved that my pitch wasn't accepted. Would've been too much pressure if my first published work came from Oni Press. I've already decided to start small and reformatted the story for a digital release on Comixology Submit. Hopefully they'll take my story. *Fingers crossed*

dmh_3000
08-13-2015, 04:59 AM
I got my rejection last week. Honestly, I wonder who the hell even got accepted by them. Oh well, I guess. I'm kind of relieved that my pitch wasn't accepted. Would've been too much pressure if my first published work came from Oni Press. I've already decided to start small and reformatted the story for a digital release on Comixology Submit. Hopefully they'll take my story. *Fingers crossed*

Warning, that's going to take a while to hear back from. I got a rejection after four months because of one panel featuring Bugs Bunny, then fixed it and I was accepted last week. Now I'm just waiting for them to put Living With Insanity on the store.

As long as you followed their guidelines you'll probably get accepted.

JamesVenhaus
09-01-2015, 12:16 PM
Here is the e-mail I got from ONI today: "Unfortunately, due to the volume of material received in the final week of our open submissions we have not been able to address them all in the 60 day time frame we previously anticipated. We are making our way through the remaining submissions now and hope to have responses sent to everyone in the next 4-6 weeks. Thank you for your patience."

Bulletboy-Redux
09-01-2015, 09:10 PM
Here is the e-mail I got from ONI today: "Unfortunately, due to the volume of material received in the final week of our open submissions we have not been able to address them all in the 60 day time frame we previously anticipated. We are making our way through the remaining submissions now and hope to have responses sent to everyone in the next 4-6 weeks. Thank you for your patience."

Sounds like a lot of people waited until the last possible second to send their stuff in. Buncha slackers!