While walking on my prison’s recreation yard yesterday, a man approached me. He was a casual acquaintance and had questions about how to seek a publisher for a graphic novel that he’s been working on. Since I do a lot of writing for prison-related outlets (e.g., https://www.prisonerresource.com/ and http://prisonlawblog.com), and used to teach a class on writing here at FCI Petersburg, I have lots of such discussions, even with complete strangers. While I didn’t know much about publishing graphic novels, I agreed to look into the matter for the man and try to help guide him along in his path as an incarcerated writer. It reminded me of when I first started writing from my prison cell.
As Americans, we are very used to having information at our fingertips. Have a question? Simply power on your laptop and Google it. It really is that simple. Don’t have a computer handy? You could always pick up your cell phone and call someone to point you in the right direction or use your car’s GPS to direct you to your nearest public library. But what if the library had few books (and almost all of which were trashy fiction)? What if you didn’t have a car, or a cell phone, or even a computer? What would you do to find the answer to a fairly simple question like how to publish a novel?