by Ivory Soap

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Since announcing my upcoming (5 days!!) book release.  I have had people asking about illustrations and how you get them done for your manuscript.  Get ready….

You do not have to find your own illustrator.

This is news to all of us in the beginning, but the truth is that the ‘house’ that publishes your text will choose the illustrator for you.  They buy your text and hire whoever THEY  want to illustrate it as THEY see fit.

Picture books are a DUAL artist medium.  Notice I didn’t say COLLABORATIVE.  You never meet them.  You never talk to them.  You get NO INPUT other than the text of your book.  (Which is good in my case, because I have NO EYE for illustration. )

But, if you’re not okay with that, you have three choices:

1.  Get really good at art and design so you can be an author/illustrator.

2.  Go with a really small publisher that will let you choose your own.

3.  Write novels.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Ginny October 1, 2009 at 5:29 am

It makes illustrators cry a little bit, too. Trust me.

Teresa October 1, 2009 at 8:25 am

One of the first things I learned about the writing craft for picture books is that, just like you said, unless you 1) sell to a small publisher who’s willing to work with you, 2) are a well-known illustrator, or 3) self-publish, you should never submit an ms with illustrations…that will just mark you as an amateur. :} The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators has lots of valuable info like this for those who don’t want to, or have time to, take classes about the biz of writing. (and no, I don’t get commissions…LOL!)

tanya walton October 3, 2009 at 3:05 am

lol on the no eye for illustrations comment… you get to see your illustrations before your book is published??? were you happy with them??? I think I would have to a good artist and writer if I ever decided to write a childrens book as I get ideas in my head and that is what I want!!!

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