Where to send people that ask you to illustrate their children's book

  • I just had an acquaintance write me asking if Id be interested in illustrating their childrens book.
    I didn't even ask what it was about, because I don't have time for that right now (and really it's not something I'm interested in..)
    I told them I knew some places online that I could point them to that might charge them 1000-3000 for the twelve page book.
    I don't actually know anywhere though! What's a good website to point a small locoal author to to hire an illustrator for a small project?

  • Hi @kylebeaudette, I think most independent authors find illustrators on Pinterest or Fiverr.

  • I'd avoid Fiverr like the plague. I don't even recommend sending peopple there, because all it does is promote the exploitation of the website.

  • I would really hesitate recommending anyone to Fivver. I know there are many reputable creators there, but there are also illustrators who rip off other people's work. If the person asking for illustrations is thinking of a 12 page booklet (as opposed to 16 or other multiple of eight) they are probably just learning about publishing and won't be equipped to advocate for their book.

    I haven't used Reedsy.com myself, but the company says it does vet their freelancers.

    They might also look on social media...there are groups (such as Children's Book Authors and Illustrators group on Facebook) where illustrators promote themselves.

    If they want to stay local, they might contact the nearest college....also many areas have regional or city art associations.

  • Like @RachelArmington said, it sounds like they're a newbie. They might not even be ready to hire an illustrator; other things like editing and making printing and publishing decisions should come first.

    In my opinion, the best thing for them to do is first take the time to look into children's book publishing, what it takes to self-publish, educating themselves on the entire process so that they can go into it with eyes wide open.

    If they do that, they'll be better equipped, there will be less surprises, and it will be a better experience for everyone.

    SCBWI (the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators -- SCBWI.org) is a great place to start learning about children's book publishing. Their guide, The Book, is updated every year and this year they expanded the self-publishing section -- the entire Book is a great resource and that alone (to me) is worth the yearly membership. SCBWI also sponsors webinars, conferences, and more. Local chapters often offer support like critique groups or indie publishing advising, like my regional chapter does (I volunteer as one of the indie publishing advisors). SCBWI also has an illustrators gallery where they might find a great illustrator willing to work with a small budget.

    There are tons of other resources out there, and as they say, knowledge is power. Hope this helps.

  • Good feedback @RachelArmington and @lpetiti, I didn’t realize Fiverr was that bad. Personally, I have no experience with the site.

    Completely agree with @Melissa-Bailey-0 regarding SCBWI being an invaluable resource.

  • Hello.
    Well, fiverr is terrible and I agree that we should not feed that platform in any way. I had a gig there some years ago just to try, and... well, let's not go that way because I would be trashing fiverr on so many levels that would be depressing.
    Upwork may be a good platform though.

    But I agree that the person seems to need to make some serious research before.

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