If you are an author writing children’s books and stories, you must also consider the one thing that can make your book more engaging for the young readers—the illustrations. Illustrations is an important part of children’s books as it can visually engage the young minds and tell them a unique story.
If you are intended to submit your master piece for traditional publication, you might not have the power to choose the type of illustrations you want in your book. The best way here is to communicate with he assigned illustrator through art notes with less details so they can wok creatively at what you need.
Conversely, if you opt for self-publishing, it is advisable to find a professional illustrator to create a masterpiece. Professionals put many hours into creating illustrations that can engage the young readers with the story. They don’t only develop believable child characters and imagery, they breathe life in the text through many attempts of creating something exceptional. This article is going to discuss nine things that you must know when looking for a professional illustrator.
Thing #1: never expect an illustrator to compensate their time for your benefit
If you are looking for affordable children’s book illustrators you need to make sure that you consider their portfolio to determine the type of expertise your require to illustrate you book. Never expect an illustrator to provide example of characters that might suit your characters in the book for free. They put in a lot of work and time in doing so. However, if you as a newbie to do so, they’d be willing to do so for free or a low cost, in return to build their portfolio.
Thing #2: never delay payments
You need to pay a deposit as required by the illustrator as well as the progress payments as per discussed in the written contract. Many illustrators would like to be paid in three different ways:
- A deposit
- Progress payments or middle stage payments
- Upon the delivery of the final work.
Thing #3: document everything
Choose to work with an illustrator who is willing to work on contract basis. You need to document:
- The deadlines for both—the payments as well as the delivery of complete illustrations
- The price
- Kind of work
- Terms and conditions
A documented contract works to protect both parties that is the illustrator and the author.
Thing #4: never bargain on the price
Search the market before you choose to work with an illustrator. Go with a reasonable price which fit in your budget as well as is agreed by the illustrator. Make sure that your check the rates before you put in your budget in front of the illustrator.
Thing #5: give them the access to the complete document
Your final document is a necessity to create the visual representation of the words on the page. It is possible to build a character before the text is finalized but that is an exception. An author must provide the details which are required to develop a detailed image representing the story.
Once working with an illustrator, you might find the need to revise the text when working with an illustrator. They may point out some of the places with long descriptive sentences which you might want to cut down as the illustrations can do a better job and describing the scene.
Thing #6: working with a professional editor
Children’s book editors are experts in editing the books in a way which are ready to be illustrated. If you are publishing it for the first time, it is better to do it with the illustrator, but if you have already published children book before, you can go through the story on your own and eliminate the unnecessary details which can be illustrated.
Thing #7: listen to ideas and pitch in yours
While working with an illustrator, you need to make sure that you also listen to the creative ideas of the illustrator about your text and the illustrations. Ever think of an illustrator as an employee, but a partner who can work to place your book at the top shelf in the market. Establish a positive work relationship with the illustrator to be able to approach them again when you are ready to publish your book again.
Thing #8: give feedback
A good illustrator would always want to hear what you think of their artwork. Take advantage of feedback and request changes in real time. An illustrator must understand your text and provide images which are most suitable for the text.
Thing #9: get what you paid for
Beware of the standard industry rates for illustrations and get the images which are worth every penny you paid for it. A professional illustrator will always understand your concerns and listen to every conversation carefully to produce illustrations which are worth the time and effort put in to it.
Writing children’s books, editing them, hiring illustrators and the publishing process may have their ups and downs, but it an experience worth the frustrated and irritated times of the journey. Collaborating with an illustrator to produce images may be a time where you can learn a great deal which can help you to succeed as an author in the future.