Picture Book Illustrations

I often get approached to illustrated picture books by authors so I’ve put together this introduction about illustrating and publishing based on my experience.

The first thing you need to work out is how you are going to publish your story. Are you going to submit it to a publisher or self publish or self publish through a publishing service (partnership publish)?

Publishing House or Self Publish through a Partnership Publisher: 

The first thing I would recommend you do is find out what publisher’s you like, go to their websites, find out when and how they accept manuscripts and submit your manuscripts to these publishers. I do not illustrate books before you submit them to a publisher. Publishers have processes, they want to see your manuscript the way they specify, if they accept your manuscript they’ll get in touch, they have hundreds of illustrators on file which they will sort through to find the right one for your book – can you suggest me as an illustrator? Sure you can and I would love you to! But at the end of the day the publisher knows what will sell, has a name and reputation of quality to uphold and they will choose your illustrator (again there are exceptions to the rule but this is what I would say to anyone who asks me about illustrating their story).

If either publishing options chooses me as the illustrator they will work out the contract, the timeframe, I’ll submit storyboards to them and they will pass them along to you. A publishing house will pay me directly and through a partnership publisher you will pay me out of your own pocket.

Self Publish: 

I would recommend getting your manuscript professionally edited, get as much advice as you can about publishing a book, doing a HUGE amount of research so you are fully aware of the costs associated, how are you going to distribute your book, whats the price you need to sell it at – is that competitive, etc. etc. etc. If you approach me to illustrate your book please include the manuscript so I can read it and see whether I think it suits my style and reflects the values of my work.

I have illustrated a few books with Little Steps publishing.