Britt Siess

@BrittSiess

Adult and Middle Grade fiction agent at Martin Literary Management. PNW native, green thumb, cake lover. Still believes in fairies.

Seattle, WA

Martin Literary Management

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

Melissa Capriglione @ l👀king for comic work @mcapriglioneart

When considering an individual's portfolio, would you (or other agents) typically prefer someone who has finished GNs already? And if not, what are some good things to have ready in a portfolio? #askBrittSiess

Replying to @mcapriglioneart

If by finished you mean published, that doesn't matter to me. I care about the pitch in front of me. If by finished you mean drawn already, I'd say no. Once an OGN is sold, the editor is going to work with you to alter the story/art as needed, so what a waste!

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

Liz Kramer @ commissions✏️✏️✏️ @lizkreates

Not sure if you've run into this, but if you're pitching previously self-published work, would you treat it differently than a fresh pitch?

I've seen webcomics get picked up by in the recent years, so curious what can make it go above and beyond. #askagent #askBrittSiess

Replying to @lizkreates

I have never pitched a self pubbed book for various reasons. Some webcomics do get picked up, but in those cases, they have a HUGE following and the art is super distinct. If something is already available, I think it needs to have a huge following to put it above and beyond.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

Byron Go 🖋📖 @onetake

#AskBrittSiess What are typical page counts for MG and YA graphic novels?

Replying to @onetake

This can vary, and I highly recommend doing a TON of reading in the genre you want to write in to determine your page count. MG can (roughly) be around 200 pages, and YA can be (roughly) between 200-240. There are major exceptions to both of those page counts.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

aka Francis S. Poesy @tcanny

I notice your agent bio says you are looking for Author/Illustrator graphic novel submissions only. Can you talk about your thoughts on this choice? #AskBrittSiess

Replying to @tcanny

graphic novels/comics are a visual medium—it's not graphic until there's art. If I'm looking at a script only, I really need to feel that the writing is strong and that special something. In cold queries, I prefer to see the art as well to get a fuller sense of the pitch.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

aka Francis S. Poesy @tcanny

Would you, or any agent, match up a writer with an illustrator before submitting to publishers. I understand that's highly unlikely with picture books, but wasn't sure if it was any different with GNs. #AskBrittSiess

Replying to @tcanny

If I sold a script only, the publisher would find the illustrator for that OGN. If I had a client with a script only and I felt another client of mine would be the perfect illustrator, I might see if they wanted to collaborate, but it wouldn't be a requirement.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

PLUGO @PLUGO

One more question if you don't mind?
Black & White GNs seem very rare; particularly for young readers. Do publishers want color art only? Does it make sense to color what was originally a B/W GN in its entirety? Would colored sample pages be enough? #AskAgent #AskBrittSiess

Replying to @PLUGO

This really depends on the story and on the publisher. Some publishers really like BW and less digital art, but I think the overall trend is leaning towards digital, colorful, eye-catching art. But if BW fits the story, then that's the exception.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

srasiqueira @SraSiqueira1307

#AskBrittSiess For an MG GN what is the average of pgs.

Replying to @SraSiqueira1307

It depends on the genre and age range. For younger MG, maybe 96-126. For older, maybe somewhere around 200-220. I'd spend time reading recent MG graphic novels to find what page count yours should be at.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

aka Francis S. Poesy @tcanny

Is there a tendency for publishers to prefer works by author/illustrators. Or is that a publishing "urban legend". #AskBrittSiess

Replying to @tcanny

It just depends on the story. If a pitch is really amazing and it's by a writer and an illustrator team, a publisher isn't going to be turned off. It's less complicated to deal with only once person (less paperwork) but that's true of any scenario.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

Juliann Law @juliannlaw

#askbrittsiess Hi! Do certain stories or types of stories lend themselves better to this format than others? If so, which ones?

Replying to @juliannlaw

I don't think so. I think there's a reason that so many movies and prose novels get a graphic novel later on. This is a visual medium, and it lends itself really well to so many different stories. I think the trick is just not to overrun the page with words—be visual.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

srasiqueira @SraSiqueira1307

#AskBrittSiess I noticed there are a lot of different ways of writing a script, any template you prefer?

Replying to @SraSiqueira1307

Not in particular. I just need to be able to tell when we're on a new page and it needs to be clear who's talking in which panel.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

Justin LaRoccaHansen @JustinLaRocca

Hi @BrittSiess! For an author/illustrator submission how much art do you like to see with a finished script? Is ten or so sketched out pages with a few final spreads good or do you like to see more? Thanks!! #askagent #askbrittsiess

Replying to @JustinLaRocca

I typically like to see 10 fully inked and colored sample pages, a full synopsis of the story, and as much of the script as you have. It's okay if the script isn't finished when you query, but I definitely need to get a sense of the writing.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

aka Francis S. Poesy @tcanny

Does the current demand for MG GNs by publishers, which I'm told is high, make it any easier for writer-only or illustrator-only graphic novelists to catch a break?#AskBrittSiess

Replying to @tcanny

I think we're definitely seeing an increase in demand, but that doesn't mean it's any easier to sell your graphic novel. The bar is definitely high—and that's a good thing! We're seeing really quality OGNs become mainstream for readers.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

srasiqueira @SraSiqueira1307

If you're author only, do you have to submit a script or can you submit the story with narrations and dialogue with one sample dummy page of your idea? I got samples done by an illustrator, but the agent /publisher does not need to use the same. #AskBrittSiess

Replying to @SraSiqueira1307

If you're the writer only, you would just submit the script. If you're collaborating with an artist, then I'd say both of you would email and pitch together since it's a collaboration. This is different than PBs, where collaborations aren't really common.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

PLUGO @PLUGO

Hi @BrittSiess, Thanks for this.
1: When considering a query, how significant are details like page count, size/dimensions or color artwork vs. black and white?
2: If available, are agents willing to use a dropbox link to read a finished project? #AskAgent #AskBrittSiess

Replying to @PLUGO

Dropbox links are always fine. A lot of people use them because the file is too big to send via email. Page count is pretty important (depending on genre) but it can usually be altered if it's off. Dimensions are decided by the publisher, and I really just have to love the art

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 19

Liz Kramer @ commissions✏️✏️✏️ @lizkreates

At what point in an art career should I consider/get an agent? #askagent #askbrittsiess

Replying to @lizkreates

This is really up to you. A lot of my clients consider an agent when they have so much freelance work that it's hard for them to keep up with the admin AND have time to be creative. The upside of an agent is that an agent does the admin/negotiation/contracts, and you create.

Britt Siess @BrittSiess · Jul 10

My tweet about representing graphic novel creators has gotten so much attention. Thank you! I’ve gotten a lot of questions and I’m wondering, if I did a graphic novel only #askagent, would there be interest? #PortofolioDay #graphicnovel