The Road to Manga - Finding Publishers 101 | Olga Rogalski | Skillshare

Playback Speed

  • 0.5x
  • 1x (Normal)
  • 1.25x
  • 1.5x
  • 2x

The Road to Manga - Finding Publishers 101

teacher avatar Olga Rogalski, Professional Mangaka and Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. About this course

    • 2. Why publish with a publisher?

    • 3. Where to find publishers?

    • 4. How to get a publisher to publish your manga??

    • 5. Things you need to know

    • 6. Reasons for Rejection

    • 7. Class Project

    • 8. Conclusion

  • --
  • Beginner level
  • Intermediate level
  • Advanced level
  • All levels
  • Beg/Int level
  • Int/Adv level

Community Generated

The level is determined by a majority opinion of students who have reviewed this class. The teacher's recommendation is shown until at least 5 student responses are collected.





About This Class

Have you ever wished to publish your own manga but always wondered how to get a publisher to publish it? Then this course is for you. 

My name is Olga Rogalski from Studio Oruga. I have published manga professionally and have amassed quite a lot of experience in dealing with publishers. Before I managed to land my first gig with a major publisher, I have spent 4 years hunting down editors, developing and submitting projects and trying to find my way, mostly through trial and error approach. In this part of my course series I will teach you what I learned about dealing with publishers, which will help you to avoid pitfalls. Good luck!

Let´s get your amazing manga published!

You will learn:

  • What are the advantages of publishing with a publisher
  • Where to find publishers
  • How to get a publisher to publish you
  • Things you need to know
  • Reasons for rejections

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Olga Rogalski

Professional Mangaka and Illustrator


It is never too late to start...

That is what I told myself when I first took up drawing seriously at 18 with the big idea of becoming a professional mangaka. Of seeing my books in the bookstores and touching the hearts and minds of readers.

A shy girl from a poor immigrant family in a sleepy provincial village in Bavaria, without any connections or funds. I knew that I would have to learn fast, be bold, be courageous. And I knew that I would make my dream a reality.

And I did.

Not right away but the following 4 years of constant study, self-imposed drawing bootcamps, searching, learning, project d... See full profile

Class Ratings

Expectations Met?
  • Exceeded!
  • Yes
  • Somewhat
  • Not really
Reviews Archive

In October 2018, we updated our review system to improve the way we collect feedback. Below are the reviews written before that update.

Why Join Skillshare?

Take award-winning Skillshare Original Classes

Each class has short lessons, hands-on projects

Your membership supports Skillshare teachers

Learn From Anywhere

Take classes on the go with the Skillshare app. Stream or download to watch on the plane, the subway, or wherever you learn best.


1. About this course: Hi. Have you ever wanted to publish your own Munger? But have always wondered how to get the publisher to publish it, then discourses for you. My name is Olga Gasket from Studio Yoga. I have published Munger professionally, and I have a must go out A lot of experience in dealing with publishers. Before I managed to lend my first gig with a major publisher. I have spent four years hunting down editors, developing and submitting projects and trying to find my way mostly through trial and error . In this course, I will teach you what I learned about dealing with publishers which will help you to avoid pitfalls. Good luck. 2. Why publish with a publisher?: Why publish with a publisher to sum it up? It allows you to concentrate on creating your project while the publisher takes care off things like types that production, distribution, marketing and you will get paid for your work for me. Back when I started out, the main reason waas pretty obvious. It was the money I came from a poor but fortunately well educated immigrant family. And back then there weren't many when used open to me, at least not in role parts of Bavaria, where my family ended up. I had talent but few materials and no connections at my disposal. Zero next's. I wanted to create art and tell stories, but I knew that I couldn't afford to do that, at least not for free. And I certainly didn't have the money to self publish or an audience to sell it to who knew who I waas and who would buy my stuff. I also did not have any productions kills. I mean, I knew the basics off how high the resolutions has to be and how to put a page together, but things like how to actually print it. What software you need, how to submit the fires to printers or knowing any printing companies. I did not know any of that. Also, I had no idea about marketing PR distribution, had no connections, new no sellers, did not know anybody in the news media and had no idea how to bring my projects to the readers. Also, I had no funds for that, which is why I chose to go for major publishers in Germany. They had the know how the staff and the connections that I did not have and they would pay me money so that I can concentrate on actually creating Munger. Little did I know that it would come with additional perks, like being invited to conventions with all expenses paid, staying at four or five star hotels, getting gig through cooperations between the publishers and companies, which is how I got my into three. I had no idea it would bring in paid autograph sessions and drawing workshops where would get paid more money in a day than my mother would earn in a month at her job, It might thinks a lot easier and ultimately changed my personal life. Actually, the first years at university I paid through doing manga and illustrations 3. Where to find publishers?: where to find publishers. While it is best to look first who surround in your country, you're by no means talk in your country. Publishers do accept submissions from other countries, but language barriers can make things more difficult. But first things first. If you have not yet done so, check out whether they're publishers who publish Munger or Japan related stuff in your country. Even if there are no publishers yet who do that, you can contact publishers for make publications for kids and young adults. If they haven't been living under a rock, they have noticed how publishers and other countries are making quite serious money with Munger. So be bold and ask questions. What we have to lose. Let me tell your story. Around the turn of the century or the millennium, there were many discussions in Germany whether German artists could publish their own Munger. Up till then, publishers were serializing Japanese serious, and we're making quiet, decent money. But most people were of the opinion that somebody who has no Japanese could not do that until a guy went ahead, contacted the publisher and good published. Then suddenly other people started doing the same and the success wasn't saying during that time. At one off the signing sessions, the artists and the editors almost got squashed behind the autograph session table because there were so many people there who wanted an autograph. This session was held at the train station bookstore, and it was flooded with people with a huge queue outside. Since then, many people published. Munger was publishers in Germany. I think it was in 2005 when there were more than 80 people who had published Munger with publishers in Germany. I am counting in big and small publishers, and since then I absolutely lost count. Same thing happened in other countries. In Europe, publishers are quite open to submissions from other countries, so be bold and get in touch. Ask questions, make connections. But it this, of course, easier when they're already publishers around You who published Munger, check out whether they have submission guidelines on their websites and check out whether they have titles that are similar in Jonah to your project. You can check their product catalog, but even if there's not, does not hurt to get in touch with them. It can also help to run a search for interviews with their main editor. Sometimes main editors give interviews on their views off the market and the projects, which can help you to get a better feeling on what the market situation is. One great place to get in touch with. Several publishers are book fairs and conventions. Check out whether they are conventions around to you, whether whether the publishers will have a booth there and whether they have portfolio hours. If you already know some of the editors, you can carefully request whether they could find some time to look at your project and set a fixed appointment. But some portfolio viewings can also be wrenched last minute by you going to the booth and just asking whether there's an editor who has time to look at your work. Bring in your best work with you, preferably for a certain project, but don't don't don't bring all of your things. I have seen desperate editors trying to get through. Ah, 250 plus page folder was drawings From the last 10 years I have seen the life force drained from their eyes. Personally, I find going the route of conventions and book first, best because there you get an immediate response when sending your project per mail. It might take weeks or months or never together. Reply editors are extremely busy people and things regularly slip through the cracks, so having them at location is a good way to get a direct answer, receive feedback tips and build your network. It also gives the editors on opportunity to get to know us a person. But if you have submitted your project email, you can wait 23 weeks before you're sent a polite request asking about the status off their reply and whether they have received the submission at all. A question. Do you need to be an extra vet for suggesting No, you don't Let me tell you something. I'm an introvert and many of my colleagues were drove for. Publishers are also introverts. You get used to things like dealing with editors and readers in the public, but I have to admit it can be quite intimidating. In the beginning, 4. How to get a publisher to publish your manga??: sure you need an engaging story in good drawings. This is a must. But what you absolutely have to understand is that for a publisher, humongous a product, however much you end your potential readers love you. Project. The publisher is concerned with two things. A. Can this concept be actually made be? Can it turn a profit? I will talk about the liability off a concept in detail later, but you really need to hammer it into your head that for a publisher, it is a product that needs to sell and sell well. A lot of people are involved in the production off a Munger, and they have to be paid the artist author. Which means you, the editor, the graphic design team, the self esteem, the marketing team, the printers and so on. If a project does not sell well, it creates a financial hole that has to be filled somehow, which is usually done by using revenue from a better selling product. Too many fair projects and the publisher can really get into trouble and might even have to file for bankruptcy, so they will not take a project where they think that it will not sell well. You also have to be aware that it is much more expensive for a publisher to build up a project from the ground up compared Toa serializing a title. And there they already have an audience in the fen base so they can be quite pick US projects. But let's say that you have a project that is viable and can sell well. How do you present it to the publisher? Know your project. We have to show that you know your project in detail. You have to have it written down completely. Nova Generate is who your audience is and be able to answer all sorts of questions about the project, including the character's motivations in backstory. We have to be able to talk about it in detail, but you also have to be able to summarize it and want to three sentences. I really recommend to have the following things in writing. One. A short description off this story about one page long to a detailed descriptions off the chapters where you break them down into scenes. Three. On overview over how many pages will be needed for each scene. You basically assign a page number tour certain scene. So then you can tell later on how many pages will be needed for the intro, the ending and everything in between. For a script where he described in detail what happened on each page and in each panel, including dialogue and as much information as you can, the reason for this is the following. It gives the precise picture to the publisher off what your project is and whether it is going. It also provides him with an in person that you really know your stuff. Drawing a Munger on an approximate idea. Only mad work for an extremely short story, but it is detrimental for something longer. It happens quite a lot that when you are doing a project for a few months, you're worn out and tired. You get stops and you want to change things or everything. By hammering the details out from the beginning, we can concentrate on drawing the project and follow the path that you have laid out earlier. That it's more relaxed than having to come up with a continuation from chapter to chapter. And this is something that the publisher will expect from you. That's your project. Have to be finished when you present it to the publisher. Know when you're starting out there so many things that can go wrong. So drawing your project completely and then looking for a publisher might mean that you will spend a year on more creating something that there will ultimately not take because they're just still too many errors. Which is why our publisher lacks to be involved in the productions off the project from the beginning and help you get rid of mistakes before they cost you readers and them money. So they I need only a part of the work to be actually able to make the determination whether they are taking on the project or not. It is a rare K that the publisher takes a completed project in this situation has its perks , since you can test thinks out without having to spend a year on a volume and then have it rejected by the publisher. And there can be so many reasons for rejection. But I will talk about that indeed, a later. So what do you need? Visually, One character designs, obviously to background art. Three concept art for clothing assess wars and other stuff and worked with your project for a few illustrations 54 to 5 finished pages and about tens catched pages, But it might be even better to have one chapter sketched out. 5. Things you need to know: a ah viable project, this one that gets finished and self. Ah, lot off projects do not even go beyond Pitch 20 because Thekla Reiter suffers on our block or loses interest. Not everybody can work with deadlines, and not everybody can perform well under pressure. Generally, there will be a quality. Drop it with things that were created without that lines and they want with deadlines that is to be expected. The question iss Onley, whole big will it be? And it can be quite disturbing and depressing for an artist to experience that drop in quality be ah, project has to be completed in a reasonable amount of time in a decent and consistent quality. A publisher expects a decent and consistent quality at a fast pace, this effect. So be prepared to produce a chapter every month or every two months. But things like that can be discussed with the publisher. So let's say it's a month. It does not mean that you have one page a day for Chapter that has served the pages. When you're working with publishers, they have a say in your birth, so they have to Green led everything. You do that means you have to do about a week to do the name for the WHO chapter. Then you have a week to do the clean pencil drawings, then a week to do the inks and then a week to do the screen tones with about half a week left, do illustrations and changes, revisions and redraws because in some cases you might have to scrap and read Role who pages . For me, it meant averaging about four pages per day at every stage. And if it's about two months, pair chapter. Then you get two weeks for every stage, and the speed moves toe two pages per day. See a realistic length? Yes, you can see working on the debt Lance's stuff. And if you don't have assistance, expect to be able to publish one volume pay year. Develop your first project accordingly, because if you want you store to have 20 volumes, it might take 20 years. D. Your project needs a stable style. By that, I mean that your style has to have stabilized enough so that your character design doesn't change for penalty Pennel. I mean, there might be some slight variation, but overall, your style has to be stable if you have not yet reached that stage, I can recommend you are tricked that my editor once told me, Take a blank sketchbook and fill it with drawings off humane character in every post, with every expression possible from any perspective that you can think off that has three advantages. Not only will your style stabilized by the end of the sketchbook, but also will be able to draw that character with your eyes closed, thanks to muscle memory. Plus, you will have a huge reference resource for your story, since you already did so much work on that character E one shots before doing something longer door stories that can be completed on 20 pages or less, or even dough Young coma, which are those four panel comics. This will teach you Ah, lot about how to condense the story and tell it on a limited amount of pages, and you will need that skill because during chapters off a store is not much different. We have to come to a point without running out off pages. You can also use them for the portfolio as an example off how your finished product will look like if participating contests. This is the fastest way to get a feeling for working under pressure, since they generally have deadlines. It also teaches you how to work. Knowing that there's competition out there and trying to please the readers in the jury, plus windy contests might help you get a chance to be published. For instance, there's Thesis Island Munger contest, where you have to draw among without dialogue. And then there's Medi Bank, who frequently cooperates with Japanese publishers like Shoe, Atia and Kodansha. 6. Reasons for Rejection: Let's face it. Not every project that get submitted gets accepted. In fact, on the a fraction of it dust and the Rev. Really isn't accepted on the first try. The reasons for rejection can be many. Sometimes it is the quality or but lock or timing, some reasons you can control. And some you can't be prepared for the long road here. Some examples for rejections reasons reasons you can control a length off the project. This is one of the most frequent reasons for ejection seat like this. If you're working alone, a volume will take you on average off about a year to produce, but probably more so, should you submit the project proposal for, Let's say, 20 volumes, the publisher will know that you are very likely not be able to complete it. They tried and failed was projects like that in the past. So do yourself a favor and start with something small. The realities that publishers are extremely reluctant to give beginners longer projects, let alone talk about 5 10 volumes for a project. Most publishers have made the experience that the majority of new projects fail the page 20 because there's just so much work involved, and the creators loose motivation when faced with the reality off deadline pressure. So they will be reluctant to talk anything longer than one volume for the beginning off about 162 200 pages. Unless you already have a big body off work as an finished projects off big sizes. Are publishers unlikely to give you more than one volume? Just be aware of that. Be not doing your research. If you write a story, then research it. It happens really often that new manga artist submit proposals for Munger, based in Japan, without ever having been to Japan or having researched it in detail. This leads to them regarded stating stereotypes. And all the editors that I talk with were quiet, allergic to things like that. That doesn't mean that you cannot do Munger about Japan or have characters for Japanese, but make sure to research it and my research. I do not mean to watch anime or read manga. Go for Brooks about culture, society, history and whatever else you store reduce with. If you want to include, for example, on Earthquake in Japan and your story then written books about earthquakes in Japan as well US news articles. Who knows? You might stumble upon interesting fact that will help make your story more plausible and authentic. See, not keeping your mouth shut. Admit this is actually one of the more absurd reasons. But I have seen it quite a lot that people were drawing their chances off publishing with a publisher but saying the wrong thing both life and online. I mean extremely talented people, for instance, don't start bed mouth thing, other artists or people in general during a portfolio session, especially not about the artists that they publish. Publishers are extremely protective off. Their artists and editors often become very close friends with artists. So by bet, more thing, they're artists images as well. Tear apart your portfolio because you will never get the chance to publish with them. Also, don't tell a publisher that you actually interested in a different publisher because, in your opinion, and I quote, they take better care of their artists. End of quote. Also, don't lie about your age. Don't lie in general. And don't go bad Mouth and publisher or the editor online after your portfolio session because they do have Internet and social media in general avoids talking online that you are submitting your portfolio to the publisher. It might harm the marketing off. Your project should come out too early that you're publishing with them. Also, even after signing with them, don't talk about that on social media. I have seen people lose their contracts because they were discussing inside information and bitching about their editor online. Generally, this point is rarely discussed when talking about publishers, but really try to behave professionally at all times. The publisher want to make sure that you will not screw up in interviews was in print and on video. Not always. Do you get to review the stuff that is being published? So it might happen that a good project and a skilled writer or an artist gets rejected because they act like a bull in a China shop de not being able to take critic? Let's face it, nobody came to the publishing business perfect, and there are many things that can go wrong, so you need to be able to accept input from your publisher and from the readers because there was quite a gap that you will experience between getting critic as a whole based and getting criticas a pro. Readers have much higher tolerance for mistakes with people who do manga as a hobby compared to when it's your job. So we have to get yourself a thicker skin. I know its not easy. I waas prepared and still some comment where ah hidden the stomach for me when my first project came out. But you have to get over that and be able to remain professional, at least as long as the person is not obviously trolling. In that case, you can just ignore them. Do not make the mistake off. Starting a discussion with your readers trying to justify the mistakes, they point out, you will lose. It will give you, Ah, bed press and you will be much less likely to ever publish with the publisher again. Then there are some reasons that you cannot control a. There's announced project that is about to be published, which is based in the same genre and follows a similar premise. It's your project, so your project would be a direct competition. B. You submitted the project at an inconvenient time. That means that you could have submitted the project after the budget for the year. WASP land. There is no way for you to know that, and you might not even be told that on editor might tell you that they could not accept your project in that period of time. See outside factors. For example, if there's a recession or on economic crisis, publishers are less likely to take on new projects. D The publisher doesn't think that your project will earn them enough money in order to wear in publication. I mean, they have been wrong about some project by they rather avoid the risk, which is what makes sense to submit your project to different publishers. 7. Class Project: I want you to develop a portfolio package for publisher, starting with the writing part one right down a short description off. What Juncker. Your project is who your audience is like age, gender niche, How long the project is going to be and why do you think it is a good fit with that particular publisher? For instance, they have published something in that general before, too. Write down a short description off your story chapter for Chapter three. Split your chapters into scenes and assign page numbers to them. Four. Write the script, including the dialogue Next. If the drawing part one great character sheets off your main characters. Two great concept art off backgrounds and other things that are relevant to the story. Three. Draw at least 10 pages in pencil, either in the beginning, or you can also choose an important scene and make a finished version off 4 to 5 pages for do a few illustrations. You can upload the portfolio package in the project section for feedback, or you can try your luck directly with the publisher is the way it is important that you get the experience off creating a portfolio package 8. Conclusion: In my opinion, publishing with a publisher still has merit day, especially if you're not familiar with the technical things. Outside of the creative process, having somebody who takes care of the rest can be quite a lot of help. I'm aware that the past is not an easy one. But if you take care and the work mistakes mentioned here, the past becomes far less steep. Also, it helps being active. Going directly to the publishers saves a lot off time. Don't wait to be discovered, most editor said, quite busy with their own products. Already, it is rare that editors actively go on the hunt for artists. It does happen from time to time. But do you want to wait for the chance to float down from the sky? Although you want to actively go for it, it might save you a few years, you know, Good luck