Finding an Illustrator

Good books for kids need to draw attention, it took me a while before I found what I was looking for. I had done a lot of research, and throughout the process I was pretty much looking for some examples of his/her drawings so I could “feel” the degree and extent of the individual’s creativity.

During my research, I spoke to some illustrators who told me that I would need to tell them exactly what I wanted to see on each “double truck” spread of the book. Although I had some general ideas, finding the right illustrator proved itself a difficult task for me because I believe that a good creative illustrator should be able to take the story lines and bring them to life in drawings and illustrations. During the process, I shared some of my many ideas with potential illustrators. It was a fully cooperative and collaborative effort consisting of back and forth communication.

At first I had almost no idea as to how things would result, but one thing I did know for certain was that I wanted my illustrations to present themselves as images reflecting features as close to reality and nature as possible. I would highly recommend that before you start working with an illustrator, give consideration to the following things:

Be set on a high quality presentation of your manuscript, and in the process determine which lines of the manuscript you want to see on each spread, or alternatively on a single page. It can save you time, frustration and costly changes.

Know what trim size you want for your published book. The illustrations will have to be created in relation to and in accordance with the trim size you decide upon. Ask yourself if it is important for you to own the rights to the book’s illustrations. If yes, there are many illustrators who are ready and willing to work under a “work for hire” contract.

Initially, this was to me a completely new industry, one which I needed to research, learn about and come to understand, particularly all the alien jargon involved. After I had conducted some fairly deep web research online, read about the different types of contracts typically entered into, and so on, I had a somewhat better understanding of what is important and what can be ignored. I requested a copy of the proposed contract from the illustrator I was considering to work with so I could thoroughly review it.

Ultimately I required only a few changes to the contract. It was very important to me to have affirmation that my understanding was accurate, and so I consulted with a lawyer before signing the agreement.

Please note that, in the early stages of my research dealing with different illustrators, it took me quite a long time to understand each of their respective requirements. The endeavor involved 2-3 months of due diligence, with emails going back and forth, sometimes supplemented by phone conversations, just to be sure that any and all concerns about requirements, budget, etc., be raised very early on with the illustrator, to include gaining an understanding of the terms involved in the agreement.

Tools for Self Publishing, Easy to Print Publishing, Karen Ashram

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My books will be a joyful learning experience for your child with a greater appreciation of nature.

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