To Illustrate or Not To Illustrate – That is the Question

When putting together a children’s picture book you will need illustrations. Will you illustrate it or hire someone? When choosing which publishing avenue you have two options, illustrate or don’t.  Most of the time a Traditional publisher will pick an illustrator for you.  If you are an unknown, they would be inclined to pick a popular illustrator to help drum up interest, however, that is an additional expense that they may not be willing to invest in and gamble upon. This is why getting a traditional contract is difficult. Most authors would say this is a good problem to have – of course, you have NO Say on what your story will eventually LOOK like….

A picture is worth a thousand words

– You’ve heard it and know it’s true.  When submitting your manuscript adding in some well-illustrated images can be the eye-catching aspect you need to get your book noticed by them.  Your story may be good, but your illustrations make it great.  Plus, a complete manuscript with no work needed to get it running can be a lot more enticing to a publisher.  Of course, then, if the Traditional publisher bows out of doing business with you, you are ready to go the self publishing route.

Where can I find an illustrator?

I can’t draw! Neither can I.  If I could illustrate my own books I’d have two dozen more in my portfolio! Hire an illustrator.  Many can be found involved in writers and illustrators groups, or maybe an unknown is looking for exposure.  Put a classified ad in the newspaper.  See if there is someone on social media.  The opportunities are out endless, you just have to look for them.  Plus, being a part of a writers groups is good exposure for you and provides perfect networking possibilities.

I can’t afford to hire an illustrator. Do you know any high school or college students that have talent and need something to add to their portfolio? They may be willing to work cheap in exchange for credit on a published book.

Do we supply illustrators?

We can point you in a number of directions but we won’t illustrate your book for you (in most cases). We don’t have any in house illustrators. Sadly they come and go. The cheap ones can’t afford to live on that salary alone. The full timers likely charge more than you can afford.

Authors are parents of their book ‘baby’ and the parents know best how to ‘dress’ that baby for the big bad world. You have a look you are going for in your head. Since there are so many illustrating options out there to choose from, we’d prefer you work out those details with your illustrator yourself. Of course, we can do the formatting and layout of those illustrations and would be more than happy to help you from there.

We can find you an illustrator.

If you do want us to source an illustrator and work as a mediator we will. We will source many options, provide you a list with samples and proposed costs and times. Then we will complete the book for you. It will take time and effort and the cost per illustration will be up to the illustrator, not us. It will take time, but our team will not give up and we will not publish anything subpar. If we don’t like it we will send it back and our eye is critical.

If this is something you want to pay for, okay. Submit your manuscript. Then if your book is accepted by our publishing house, then we will gladly make this happen on your behalf.