Would It Be Feasible to Turn My Book Into a Graphic Novel?

Can The Geomancer’s Apprentice be repackaged as a graphic novel?

That’s a question I sometimes ask myself.

Early in the publishing process, while I was still debating what I wanted in a book cover, I commissioned the talented Leticia Kifo, a graphic artist on Fiverr, to design my main character Junie Soong. I ultimately went in another direction, opting for a cover that was more in line with other urban fantasy novels.

However, every so often I pull out my character design and wonder: could the book work as a graphic novel? After all, the backdrop—Chinatown in Washington, D.C.—is visually interesting, especially with its iconic Chinese ceremonial arch. 

The book also features shape-shifting monsters, which I think an artist could have fun with, and lots of action, including hand-to-hand combat.

The major barrier is that it would be a serious monetary investment. I’d have to hire a graphic novel scripter, an artist and a colorist. According to a quick search of the internet, it could cost me anywhere from $100 to $300 per page to produce a graphic novel.

My book is 227 pages. Let’s say my graphic novel is half that size (a picture is worth a thousand words, right?). At $200 per page, I would have to fork out about $22,700.

And I haven’t taken into account printing costs, not to mention marketing and promotional costs. After all that, I’d have to price the graphic novel to sell rather than to recoup expenses since I don’t have an existing fan base.

As you can see, the dollars are adding up. So, a graphic novel of my book isn’t likely to happen short of me mounting a crowdfunding campaign through Kickstarter or Indiegogo.

On the bright side, I learned a fun fact while researching the issue. What is the difference between a graphic novel and a comic book?

A graphic novel has a beginning, a middle and an end. It’s basically the illustrated version of a novel. A comic book, on the other hand, is a serialized excerpt of a longer story. A comic book often is delivered on some kind of schedule, such as weekly or monthly.


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