The purpose of this note is to explain a bit about what Caliber is...and isn’t. You may be just at the inquiring stage but we hope this note will provide you with the initial details you’re looking for. To save time for many people, we will list what Caliber is NOT looking for. It’s not meant to come across as negative but rather how we’re structured and this could save you reading the rest of this guideline.
We do not hire writers.
We do not hire pencillers.
We do not hire inkers.
We do not hire editors.
We do not want to adapt novels or screenplays.
If you’re still with us, will explain a bit more of what Caliber is.
We primarily print black and white graphic novels, whether original stories or collections. At this time, we are NOT doing serialized individual comic (floppies) in printed format. We would consider web comics and genre novels. If you are submitting comics, be aware that we will only release such titles in digital form and trade paperback collections...not single printed issues.
We do NOT assemble teams for our titles. We do NOT pay page rates although some creators might hire letterers or colorists but that is purely up to them. When a title comes to us, it should be with a complete team in place. We prefer not to enter into a contract until a project is well underway and nearing completion.
We do distribute titles via Diamond Distributors but it is their decision if they pick up a title for distribution, not ours. We can offer the title to them but can’t guarantee or even speculate if they will offer and carry the title. Even when Diamond does carry a title, SALES WILL BE LOW and because of the substantial discount they must receive, not very profitable. We’re not blaming anyone for that, it’s just the way the independent comic marketplace is and with comic shops closing annually that further reduces the outlets that Diamond sells to. The comics market cannot support all the titles offered, especially independent titles unless creators are well known or if it is based on a licensed media property. We do make printed books available in the book trade through other distributors for outlets such as brick-and-morter book stores, libraries and on-line stores world-wide.
We do put all our titles out into the digital markets (Apple, Kindle, Hoopla, Google Play, Comixology, Nook, etc) but sales can be all over the place based on platform, title, creator, etc. .
We tend not to do full color books, because the cost of color printing is ever increasing and the cover price has to be higher then a black and white in order to cover the cost of printing and turning a profit for creators. So, we don’t say no to color but royalties are usually less because of the higher cover cost. Also, removing the color from a book does not mean it will work automatically sell well as a black and white version. Pursuing such an avenue will depend on discussions with the book creator. There have been cases where we will publish a book in black and white and release it digitally in its original color version in order to maximize any potential royalty. ALSO, one of the more common mistakes is lettering. No one wants to see simple type fonts as lettering so please have books lettered as professionally as possible.
As for types of stories, we shy away from superheroes becuase that space is frankly owned by Marvel and DC. Not to say that we wouldn’t do spandex but it has to be something a little different and to be honest, can’t say what that difference is upfront. It’s one of those “we’ll know when we see it.” Same with the Anime/Manga style. We have released a few in the past but generally it's not something that we look at. We’re big on story aspects rather than action pin up shots and it doesn’t really matter what genre the title is. We have no aversion to “adult” type material but it’s very hard to sell. And by "adult" we mean mature themes with some language or graphic scenes that are necessary for story elements but we are NOT interested in pornography (with the caveat that everyone has a different idea of what porn is...).
Just because a book is creator owned does not automatically qualify it as something we will publish. Sometimes a submission might be too close to something else we’re doing, or something we’re not interested in, or we don’t like it for whatever reason.
Art is very subjective but it should be consistent and professional. If we turn down a submission, remember that it is usually just one person’s opinion so don’t let that deter you from pursuing it further. No two people are ever going to like the same things all the time so if we say no, don’t take it as a rejection...you should view it as we missed an opportunity. We’re not saying that to just soften the blow but undoubtedly, we will miss out on opportunities but realistically, we can’t publish everything sent to us.
A question you might have now is why should someone publish through Caliber if there’s no guaranteed rate, works on royalties, and no guaranteed comic book store distribution? We’re big believers in doing it yourself so if you feel you can do just as well on your own, you have our best wishes and support. At Caliber, we’ve always been big supporters of self publishing. We’re here if there are some things you want a publisher to handle. We do very little in editorial but will point out things if issues arise.
We believe strongly in creator ownership so when we sign the agreement, it is for a specified time, usually 5 years, but the creator will get complete and full rights returned after the agreement ends if not renewed by both parties. We will contract for both print and digital release of the materials and have full media representative rights for the length of the contract. For some people, that might be a deal breaker and for us, it might be as well. Again, the contract is for five years so ownership remains with creator and is returned fully at the end of the contract. If any licensed agreements are initiated in that time, that becomes a separate contract between the parties. Should any media development agreements be initiated during the term then any royalties are split 50/50 with the creators. Creators are paid 50% of all royalties. To determine royalties, we take the sales less the costs of printing and various production fees which are usually nominal and this will be spelled out. Creators can always purchase physical copies at a significant discount from the suggested retail price.
Thanks for thinking of us. Again, the purpose of this note is to let you know what Caliber is and it’s important to have everything forthright and open from the beginning. It may come off as a bit pessimistic but really, we’re not. We just want to make sure everything is perfectly clear. We make very little promises outside of the owners maintaining complete ownership and the book actually getting published. We prefer to keep it simple and realistic.
That’s the basics of what working with Caliber is about. If you are still interested, please provide a link to somewhere you have the title online or send a pdf of the title via one of the downloading platform sites or some other file transfer. Submissions go ONLY to firstname.lastname@example.org. Do not send to facebook...and do NOT post your submissions on any of our facebook pages as it will be deleted as well as your connection to us.