To Publish or Not to Publish?

  • Hi All!

    I'm an illustrator (experienced) writer (new "gulp").
    I'm curious does anyone have opinions on publishing paths for writer/illustrators?

    Do you kickstart/self publish? Find an agent? Directly approach publishers that accept submissions? Has anyone had success or have thoughts on this? I'd be really curious to know what you think.

    Right now I'm like a kid in a candy shop with too many choices hehe.

  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    Hey there,

    I'd recommend watching Will and Jakes Children's book class. Then watch my "Making money in illustration class". Also, joining SCBWI would be very smart in my opinion. They deal with the how to get published questions daily and can be very helpful.

    Although there is no definite route, I can offer some advice.

    With self publishing, making a book is actually the easy part. There are many companies geared for getting your book in print and you can do it at a reasonable price. I recommend The problem with self publishing is distribution. That means that when you have 500 books in your garage, how are you going to sell them. This becomes where you should put your research and focus if you are exploring self publishing. A mantra I always say "Making a book is easy. Selling a book is hard" might be a good one to keep in mind. Jake did really well, but that's because he has a big resume and a ton of followers. ie, he has a ton of customers.

    Going the traditional publisher route is hard, but not impossible and being a illustrator/author is the easiest way in. I'd maybe explore this route and self publishing for a little while and see which one works out for your goals.

  • Hi Lee!

    Thanks so much! I actually watched your tutorial first, which was really great! I'm looking forward to the future installments you mentioned. I'm looking at adding Editorial Illustrations to my folio based on this. I come from Games/Apps art so Children's Book Publishing is all a bit new 🙂

    I'm halfway through Will and Jakes Children's Book class now 🙂

    I guess because I want to write and illustrate I was wondering the best course. I'm an illustrator first so I figured any writing I do could be a strike against me. Hence my wondering about the self publishing rout. But as you pointed out unless your known, getting effective marketing and sales is likely to range from impossible to an uphill battle.

    I'm leaning towards submitting to Publishers with the note that my illos and writing can be acquired separately at first so I don't miss out on illustration work if it's deemed my writing isn't quite there yet.

  • Oh wow. Print Ninja looks great! I haven't been able to find good graphic novel printing before! Thanks so much Lee! 😃

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