What Self-Publishing Children’s Authors Need to Know About Hiring an Illustrator

 

For children’s authors, a great illustrator is essential to self-publishing a wonderful book. In children’s stories, the pictures are not only enjoyable to look at, they also help tell the story. Because an illustrator is so important to the success of your book, you need to make sure you hire a talented, trustworthy artist.

Thanks to the internet, it is easy to find an illustrator. If you simply google the term “children’s book illustrators”, you will probably get plenty of results for qualified artists. However, self-publishing authors need to be cautious when hiring third-party illustrators. Here is what you need to know.

  • Some third-party illustrators require you to share a portion of your royalties. This creates ongoing cost instead of a one-time fee for their services.
  • You need to know what the trim size of your book is prior to the illustrator beginning work.
  • The illustrator needs to know specifications about bleed and gutters for the
    self-publisher being used.
  • You should arrange for the illustrator to provide high-resolution image files, not just
    hardcopies.
  • Be sure to get a written contract.

If this sounds like a headache, there is an easier way. Instead of hiring a third-party illustrator, you could hire an illustrator through your self-publishing company. To learn more about hiring an illustrator your self-publishing company, contact a representative at your publishing company.

ABOUT JODEE THAYER: With over 25 years of experience in sales and management, Jodee Thayer works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps, publishing consultants and marketing professionals; together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams and on assisting authors with marketing and promoting their book once published. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Jodee Thayer can put you on the right path.

Self-Publishing Week in Review: 10/01/13

As a self-publishing author, you may find it helpful to stay up-to-date on the trends and news related to the self-publishing industry. This will help you make informed decisions before, during and after the self-publishing process, which will lead to a greater self-publishing experience. To help you stay current on self-publishing topics, simply visit our blog every Tuesday to find out the hottest news.

James Lloyd on self-publishing: ‘We have to rely on word of mouth’

Successful self-publishing children’s book author James Lloyd shares his self publishing experience, including what it is like to work with an illustrator. Anyone considering self-publishing a children’s book should read this article.

Self-Publishing – Publishing SOLO Releases Dictionary of Self-Publishing Terms

To clear up confusion in the digital book publishing industry PUBLISHING SOLO has recently announced, “The Dictionary of Publishing Terms,” available at their website. Also available on October 1, 2013 will be a small complimentary e-book Dictionary of Publishing Terms–designed as a primer to help those interested in publishing their own book get a good start.

Northwood, N.D., husband, wife self-publish first novels

When husband and wife Lorinda and Guy Donovan quit their jobs in the film industry and moved from Los Angeles to Northwood, N.D., the couple longed to do something creative again. In this article, the couple shares their self-publishing story.

If you have other big news to share, please comment below.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press. In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

Two Paths to Becoming a Children’s Book Author

Do you dream of publishing a children’s book? Well, your dream can come true easier than you may have thought.  Here are two ways you can become a children’s book author whether or not you have the ability to create your own illustrations:

1. Do-It-Yourself

If you are extremely talented, you may choose to write and illustrate your own children’s book. This DIY option allows you to fully engage your creativity and bring the story in your head to life. However, do not attempt this route if you do not have the skill or talent to illustrate your own book. With children’s books, the pictures are just as important as (if not more important than) the words you’ve written. You do not want your story corrupted by amateur illustrations.

2. Get Some Help

If you have a great story for children, but are not able to do your own illustrations, you can simply write your story and hire an illustrator. While there is a cost to this option, you are guaranteed quality illustrations which you would not otherwise be able to produce on your own. You may choose to hire an illustrator you find online or through a friend.  Be sure to consider whether this will be a one-time cost to you or if you will need to share a portion of the royalties with your illustrator.  If you prefer royalty-free illustrations, check with your self-publishing company for their illustration options.

ABOUT KELLY SCHUKNECHT: Kelly Schuknecht is the Vice President of Outskirts Press.  In addition to her contributions to the Outskirts Press blog at blog.outskirtspress.com, Kelly and a group of talented marketing experts offer book marketing services, support, and products to not only published Outskirts Press authors, but to all authors and professionals who are interested in marketing their books and/or careers. Learn more about Kelly on her blog at http://kellyschuknecht.com.

How Much Do Illustrations Cost?

Like ghost writing or copyediting, illustrations take time and require a great deal of skill and talent. It is important to remember that illustrators must be paid fairly for their time and expertise. The price for illustrations can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars. It depends on the size and complexity of your project. When considering illustrations, it is important to do some research, figure out your goals, and create a budget. Once you know your expectations, you’ll want to find an illustrator who meshes with your style. To do this, find out if your self publishing company offers illustration services and get a quote. You can also look at sites such as guru.com or elance.com to find a freelance illustrator. Be sure to always look at sample work before choosing an illustrator. There are many different styles, and you want to find an artist who matches your vision.

For more information on illustrations, check out these articles.

The Importance of Illustrations

What You Need to Know About Custom Covers

Illustrations Affect the Success of You Children’s Book

 

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING: Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.

Illustrations Affect the Success of Your Children’s Book

So – you have written a charming children’s story. Your children and all of your friends’ children love the storyline and the characters. You dream of becoming a published author. Perhaps you have ideas for a series that involve many stories with the same characters. Bringing those figures to life with an investment in high quality illustrations will contribute to the success of your book.

 I regularly tell authors: if you do not purchase one of our professional illustration sets, please hire an independent graphic illustrator to create your images. Make sure that you get a release from the artist giving you permission to use the illustrations and always get in writing that they will not be receiving any portion of the royalties from your book.

If you want your book to be taken seriously, you need to spend a little money to make it look professional.

 

ABOUT WENDY STETINA: Wendy Stetina is a sales and marketing professional with over 30 years experience in the printing and publishing industry. Wendy works as the Director of Author Services for Outskirts Press. The Author Services Department is composed of knowledgeable customer service reps and publishing consultants; and together, they all focus on educating authors on the self-publishing process in order to help them publish the book of their dreams. Whether you are a professional looking to take your career to the next level with platform-driven non-fiction, or a novelist seeking fame, fortune, and/or personal fulfillment, Wendy Stetina can put you on the right path.

 

The Importance of Illustrations

They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Don’t think that is true? Ask yourself, “Would A.A. Milne’s children’s classic, Winnie-the-Pooh, be just as charming without the illustrations from Ernest Shepard?” Maybe, but the beautiful illustrations have brought the world of the Hundred Acre Woods to life. Award-winning illustrations are often the difference between a good book and a GREAT one.

Finding the Right Illustrator

The illustrations in your book help communicate your book’s value to readers and buyers. As a children’s author, you must remember that children are you audience but adults are your buyers. You need to produce a book that is appealing to both children and adults. One of the ways to do this is by combining your story with great pictures.

When choosing an artist, make sure their style meshes your vision of the book. There are a wide range of illustration styles, so it is essential that you choose one that helps convey your message. Self-publishing companies such as Outskirts Press allow you to choose the artist who best fits your needs.

How Illustrators Are Paid

Payment arrangements typically include a flat fee or royalties and usually depend on where you find your illustrator. Self-publishing companies are a good place to look for an illustrator. Some companies such as Outskirts Press don’t require you to publish your book with their companies to use their illustrators but offer a discount on services if you do publish with their company. When considering a self-publishing company, be sure to read all of the fine print.

Another option is to hire a freelance illustrator without going through a middle man. This can be done by searching sites such as www.guru.com and www.elance.com. You can also talk to other writers to find out which illustrators they recommend.

Before hiring an illustrator, make sure you look at sample work. Ask yourself, is this how I want my illustrations to look? If not, keep searching. There is an illustrator out there whose style will complement your story.

Beyond Picture Books

Illustrations aren’t just for children’s books. Pictures can enhance any book. Whether you are in need of a book cover, an interior image, or a full series of illustrations, there is an illustrator you can bring your book to life.

Cheri Breeding ABOUT CHERI BREEDING:
Since 2005 Cheri Breeding has been working as the Director of Production for Outskirts Press. In that time, she has been an instrumental component of every aspect of the Production Department, performing the roles of an Author Representative, Book Designer, Customer Service Representative, Title Production Supervisor, Production Manager and, Director of Production. She brings all that experience and knowledge, along with an unparalleled customer-service focus, to help self-publishing authors reach high-quality book publication more efficiently, professionally, and affordably.