I’m unlikely to ever get the time to do this, so I throw it out there for people to consider.
Slimline books are what we apparently now call the FELL Format. The FELL format is twenty pages of guts (in FELL, 16pp of comics and 4pp of text) plus covers (front, back, inside front, inside back), on sale for US $1.99.
I structure the following idea for financial ease — Image books, as at other indie publishers, are back-end only, paying royalties instead of page rates or other advance fees. Comics publishers in general will balk a bit (sometimes a lot) at any maths involving rights or royalties that look the slightest bit complicated. I speak from experience. So, easy structure, easy chunks:
Anthologies are generally thought of as anathema in US Direct Market comics publishing, not least because they’re thought to be unsatisfying to readers. So consider this: one writer, four artists, working in the following structure:
+ 1 cover.
That’s three five-page stories. Four one-page pieces. And one cover, provided by the same artist doing the four one-page pieces. Leaves the inside back cover and one page of guts over for playing with.
Four artists and one writer equals five contributors. Therefore, break the back end into clean fifths: everyone gets 20%.
Obviously, these can be single stories, serials, whatever takes your fancy. The structure’s the thing.
Anyway. Just a thought.
(I really, really want to do this one day. But no time. That said, I’m not especially worried about getting gazumped, it’s not like people are flooding to do FELL-format books as it is)
(originally written April 2007)