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Rivkah רִבְקָה

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Winter Holiday [Dec. 26th, 2007|02:50 pm]
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[mood |contemplativecontemplative]

Still alive. Just got back from a very relaxing winter holiday (I got SNOW for Christmas!!!!), though unfortunately, my laptop is still missing its monitor and the right set of keys keep jamming. *growl* And . . . well . . . we have run into some technical difficulties with Steady Beat at the moment, so I'm back to polishing Jane's S.O.S. while my editor and I discuss what to do next. Tokyopop wants me to wrap things up at book 3. However, I've already penciled the whole thing and inked about a third of it (this book turned out longer than any of the previous . . .) so it's a bit of a conundrum.

Anyway, we'll get it figured out. The main thing being that I'd like to take the main premise of the series and make a stand-alone graphic novel of it someday (different characters and situations, though, and good gracious, FAR better writing, I like to believe), but there's a major plot point in book three that if I don't get a fourth book, I'd like to take out and use for my stand-alone. So we'll see where it goes.

All in all, I'm not very happy with the way Tokyopop has been running their business for a while now (not just with me, but as a whole), and I've been feeling for a while now that my own ethics line up with theirs less and less every day. So I'm not upset with this turn of events. In fact, I rather expected it, and perhaps, to a certain extent, even hoped for it so that I wouldn't be the one to push the last hand. And honestly, for the past three years, I've basically been paid to learn how to make comics when I had no previous experience. Who can complain about that? But like the college student who graduates and moves on to a true career, so too, have a felt that there's something more waiting for me out there. That my trial period is now over and that I'm ready to put out the stories that mean most to me.

So we'll see what happens. In the meantime, I get to return to my children's novels and work on getting a publisher for them and polished and worthy of being read by small chidluns the world over. ;)

-Rivkah
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Comments:
[User Picture]From: sxyblkmn
2007-12-26 11:22 pm (UTC)

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glad to see you're still among the living and glad you had a Merry Christmas :)

[User Picture]From: joechummer
2007-12-27 12:07 am (UTC)

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I'm relatively new to Steady Beat and just wanted to say I'm really enjoying it so far! It kinda hits a little close to home since my older brother was forced out of the closet more than a decade ago...

Tokyopop may not be as great of a company as they used to be, but I understand what you mean. Even so, I'd count my blessings. I mean, it could be worse: you could be working for ADV manga instead, where they might drop your book and not tell anyone they were doing it until almost two years later when enough people ask, "Hey when's the next [such and so] coming out? We haven't seen one for almost two years, and we want it NOW."

I really hope you do get a 4th book, because nothing's better than letting a true artist tell the their story in their own way and let it come to a natural conclusion, rather than an ending people can easily tell was forced, editorialized, and ultimately unsatisfying. Even if Book 4 doesn't happen, I'm glad TP is letting you know so you can get a chance to wrap up the story on your own terms rather than giving Book 3 a cliffhanger ending that will never get resolved.
[User Picture]From: sircrazlot
2007-12-27 01:47 am (UTC)

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this may be a silly question, but can't you just present this story to a new publisher? That way you can finish off the story line?
[User Picture]From: lilrivkah
2007-12-28 08:49 pm (UTC)

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Unfortunately, no. Tokyopop owns the rights to distribute it. But I COULD take the premise with new characters and situations and title and take it to another publisher . . .

. . . or publish it myself. Who knows. I always did think Steady Beat should be read as a singe large volume, though; it's just how I wrote it.
[User Picture]From: joechummer
2007-12-28 09:54 pm (UTC)

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Doesn't their right to distribute it expire at some point? I mean YOU created it. YOUR name is on the copyright.

I know in the novel-publishing world that if a writer changes publishers sometimes they can take their backlist with them, depending on how negotiations go. Not sure why this should be different in the manga world, since publishing is publishing.

Just out of curiosity, do you have an agent?
[User Picture]From: ronelyn
2007-12-27 02:04 am (UTC)

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Happy Kwanzeidannukahristmulestice, hon. I hope that you find a worthy home for your work. Just make sure we all find out where whenever you do so we can keep up with the juicy goodness. :) Your work's really lovely, and although that's no guarantee, it means a lot. Plus, you're determined and hard-working, which adds another big whodge to your fortunes.

I hope the coming year is a fulfilling one. Also, I hope that I get to read more of your stuff this year. ;) But it's been worth waiting for, my dear, and I will enjoy it all the more when I see it. Be well, and be happy!
[User Picture]From: decibel45
2007-12-27 04:01 am (UTC)

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So that mean The Project That Shall Not Be Named is done now?
[User Picture]From: lilrivkah
2007-12-28 08:49 pm (UTC)

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Indeedy it is. Hurray!
[User Picture]From: decibel45
2007-12-31 04:36 pm (UTC)

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Erm... your phone borked? :)
[User Picture]From: dhelix_studio
2007-12-27 03:29 pm (UTC)

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Aw, Lilrivkah... I hate it for you about the publishing woes. Maybe everything will work out. If it doesn't, it's still good experience.
[User Picture]From: lilrivkah
2007-12-28 08:50 pm (UTC)

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It'll work out, and I think no matter what happens, it'll work out for the better. :) Just gotta stay focused and keep working on other things while it gets sorted out.
[User Picture]From: stirfriedguitar
2007-12-27 11:23 pm (UTC)

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That really stinks that Tokyopop is probably pulling your series out from under you like that. :/

I agree with Joe Chummer up above, however... and even more so, since you don't sound entirely satisfied with the writing you already HAVE done. This way, if they do make the cut down to 3 books, with the extra plot twist taken out, it will make the standalone down the road all the more better and interesting, I believe.

Having an editor must be frustrating... helpful, I'm sure, but frustrating.

I just hate going back and editing my own work once it's completed. Even if things aren't quite right, I wrote them a certain way initially for a reason... Although this comes more from going back to something I started over 10 years ago, so it's a different sort of monster, I guess.

I hope you have a Happy New Year, and get this 4th book dilemna figured out with as little hassle as possible.

*hugs*
[User Picture]From: lilrivkah
2007-12-28 08:59 pm (UTC)

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I like my current editor, and it isn't her fault that the book is being pushed to three volumes. Really, a lot of it is nobody's fault. I understand where TP is coming from because they pushed my books back for my taking so long to complete this third volume, but the volume took so long to complete because I moved out on my own after the second volume and spent a year simply trying to make ends meet. The people at Tokyopop like to think that if I just work harder and faster, then that means I'll get paid more often, but when you're up at the end of the month with the realization that it's going to take thirty days for them to even PAY you, you do what you have to do and get a job that's going to keep the roof over your head and food on the table THAT WEEK. It wasn't until I started doing freelance illustration that I was finally even marginally able to get back to my books.

The one think Tokyopop truly does wrong, however, is soliciting books before they're complete. If they just acted like every other book publisher out there and solicited books six months to a year in advance of publication (and AFTER completion) they wouldn't have this problem of titles not meeting deadlines and creators in a flurry of "do I pay bills this month or meet a deadline that could possibly get me kicked out of my apartment for making me late on rent?"

IMHO. Food and shelter come before deadlines.

Also, longer solicitation dates means the ability to stockpile other titles in a series if they are finished early. Book stores don't mind pushing dates UP, but they will not tolerate dates being pushed back.
[User Picture]From: comic_heroine
2007-12-28 12:05 am (UTC)

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I know what you mean about Tpop's management methods. I really do think that they've really have shot themselves in the foot. And darn them with pulling that stunt on you. Is it possible to post an 'director's cut' online possibly? Or at least the scenes left to the cutting room floor? But either way, a stepping stone is a stepping stone as you've said.
[User Picture]From: joechummer
2007-12-28 12:43 am (UTC)

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To be honest, I think Tokyopop is more worried about their bottom line now than they ever have before, and here's why. Since they sold enough popular well-selling titles, they could afford to continue publishing titles that didn't sell well, but they can't do that anymore since they're not getting many high profile licenses anymore. Del Rey Manga has an exclusive agreement with Kodansha, and Viz is co-owned by Shueisha. That's two really big Japanese publishers with big properties that TP doesn't even get a chance to license anymore. This pretty much leaves their back catalog and whatever new licenses they can manage to get from other Japanese publishers.

TP's not going anywhere anytime soon, but they're not doing nearly as well as they used to, back when they had the vast majority of hot-selling titles under their umbrella.
[User Picture]From: comic_heroine
2007-12-28 03:40 am (UTC)

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That's pretty much a given with the big names. Thank you, though I knew that already. I was speaking in terms of their original projects more than their licensed books.

I also have a friend of several years who works for Tokyopop now just as one of the bigger editors had left who was handling their project well over 18 months ago. It got booted and now he's doing a web-comic instead. Several of his pitch ideas were brilliant and had lots of promise. The next part of our discussion then would lead to demographics and what group is being sold to.

And I don't want to clog up Rivkah (or anyone else's journal for that matter) with talks on market, media and business practices.
[User Picture]From: lilrivkah
2007-12-28 08:41 pm (UTC)

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Market, media, and business practice discussions would be MORE than welcome, if not my favorite topics. ;)
[User Picture]From: lilrivkah
2007-12-28 08:46 pm (UTC)

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If worse comes to worse, that's sort of what I plan on doing; I wasn't happy with the edits to dialog (and several pages missing of dialog and balloons) in the first book and have been itching to set it strait for a while now . . .
[User Picture]From: tentopet
2007-12-28 05:01 pm (UTC)

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I'm sorry to hear you've hit some trouble, Rivkah :( What a healthy outlook, though. Hope things start looking up!
[User Picture]From: lilrivkah
2007-12-28 08:45 pm (UTC)

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Thanks Tento. :) I feel like the unexpected is inevitable, so instead of getting crabby about it, I can at least try to see how to work it to my advantage. I still love Tokyopop in that sort of annoying little brother sort of way, but like the younger brother whom you can't help loving because you HAVE to, there comes a time when you just want to stuff him in the closet and hope you never have to hear his screechy voice again. :P
[User Picture]From: sotsuki
2007-12-28 09:06 pm (UTC)

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Rivkah, are you saying you wont make anymore teen/adult graphic novels anymore? That will indeed make me quite sad! Well im looking forward to steady beat 3, 1 and 2 were amazing. I think you mentioned it ending at book 3 prior? I hoped for a 4th! But oh well, hope youre doing well and i cant wait to read your future books. ^_^
the M.A and I always knew you'd go far. : D
From: honilee
2007-12-31 05:36 pm (UTC)

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Happy Belated Holidays! And Happy New Year, too! Let's make 2008 great, okay?

And I'll wait for Steady Beat Vol. 3 whatever may happen. Oh! And I learned something quasi-new about myself. I love reading children's books. How can anyone outgrow the beautiful pictures and great stories? So I guess I'm looking forward to your children's publications, too! :)
[User Picture]From: groundbyground
2008-01-01 05:24 pm (UTC)

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Happy New Year!