re: Submitting Finished Art with Picture Book Manuscripts

posted 8/26/15

Dear Editor…

Do I need to have illustrations finished for a picture book before I try to sell it? How does that work?

Sincerely,
Heather

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Dear Heather…

Do not finish that artwork. If you’re an illustrator as well as a writer, submit a full sketch dummy of the project and only one or two sample finished pieces (as pdfs or photocopies, not original artwork) to showcase your artwork. Also be prepared to show a full art portfolio upon request. It’s almost certain your acquiring editor and book designer will have some revision suggestions for the illustration dummy, just as they would for the text-only manuscript. If you’re not an illustrator by profession or training, don’t submit artwork at all; the manuscript will be matched with an illustrator by your acquiring editor. Artwork that’s less than professional or in any other way not exceptional can hurt a submission by creating a negative impression. Writers who are not also illustrators (a category that includes me) must trust someone else to do the visual storytelling.

Happy writing!
The Editor

P.S. For more on this topic, read Picture Books, Submissions
posted by: The Editor
under: Picture Books, Submissions
Comments to "re: Submitting Finished Art with Picture Book Manuscripts" | Add a Comment
    1. Natasha Wing wrote (on 08/26/15 at 4:09 pm) :

      Would also like to know if you are submitting art with your story, do you have to know how to lay out the type and design the book or will an art director do that with your original art?

      [Reply]

      The Editor replied (on 08/26/15 at 5:26 pm) :

      A designer will be assigned to your book. S/he will choose the font, lay it out, etc. Book designers and illustrators work closely together to determine the overall look/presentation of the book.

      [Reply]

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