I have a comic strip that I would like to get published in the local paper and hopefully expand later. Is there anyone out there that could give me advice on how to proceed.
Do I need to copyright the strip before having it published? Would it be better to speak with a lawyer about copyrighting the characters? Is it a better idea to approach a company with the strip first? Or is it better to go "online" with my comic strip?
Honestly I have very little idea where to start and am so ready to get something in the works. I would sincerely appreciate anyone's expertise and advice on how to proceed.
I suppose copyrighting never hurts. You can find all the info you need at the copyright office site: http://www.copyright.gov/
LegalZoom has good info, too: http://www.legalzoom.com/trademarks-patents-copyrights/summary-comp...
Years ago, to have your strip published in a newspaper required a syndicate. So, you'd have to submit to them, and be one of the thousands of annual submissions, and hope you were even noticed, much less selected.
But things have changed. Newspapers are dying, and will most probably be gone in 5 to 10 years.
Now you can reach that audience yourself through the web. But, take it from me, trying to gain a following is NOT easy. The amount of noise out there is TREMENDOUS. Thousands of things are fighting for the web-surfer's attention at every moment, and to gain a following is a serious challenge in itself.
(But still, I say do it!)
That said, if you're looking to put your stuff in a local paper, it wouldn't hurt to find out the submission editor's name and number, and send off a little package with a couple of weeks worth of strips, and a written interest in being published in their pages. You never know.
If you want to copyright your stuff before hand, that's cool, but honestly, I can say that I've never heard of a publisher stealing a strip idea from someone. (And even if they did it wouldn't offset the cost of being sued up the nose.)
My advice? Work up a few months of material. That's essential.
Then, start a site regardless of whether you get it in print or not. Start building your brand, and begin the long upward climb of gaining your audience.
All the very best, Leigha. God bless.