Episode 7: 10 Reasons I Won't Illustrate Your Children’s Book

  • SVS OG

    Listened to this yesterday. And I’m currently involved in a project with a friend. 😬 but, we have no intention of making anything big out of it. It’s just a story he tell his girls and we thought it would be fun make a board book just for family and friends, people at church... So, I feel like that’s not quite the same. I love what Lee said about the Neil Gaiman principal. Gonna have to watch that speech. And I think I’ll feel more confident about saying no from here on out. It is remarkable how many people who ask what Im doing with my art just happen to have a children’s book they’re writing...

  • SVS OG

    Great episode, the three perspectives were really interesting too. I once got an inquiry about illustrating a poem someone wrote. I had recently listened to Will video about self-published authors. When the client mentioned the main character was based on her daughter, I imagined troubles in the future of not getting her character exactly right and said no thanks.

    Best advice from Will & friends is to talk money early. That tends to weed out quite a few requests and save you time. I got a commission request last week for a "quick sketch" and when I sent over my pricing info there were no further replies.

  • Thanks for another great podcast with such great advice about this very relevant issue.
    There's definitely a few times where I wish I could go back in time and say 'no' where I've said 'yes'. The struggle is real.

  • Hey Three Amigos,
    @Jake-Parker @Will-Terry @Lee-White

    I had a couple quick questions for you or anyone who has worked with a publisher. How does an illustrator submit there artwork to a publisher (or however that works) so that publisher can partner them up with author?

    I’m currently working on a children’s book for a family friend, but would like to see if I have what it takes to work with at least a minor publisher.

    That leads to my next question, how do I find medium to small publishers to partner with?

    Thank you guys for all you do!

    C. Alan Green

  • Thanks for another great podcast. I am really enjoying these. I was recently approached by a self publisher with really great intentions and at first it seemed like a great opportunity. In the end I turned it down due to some good advice I received here (thank you!!). If I had taken that job, I would have been doing an illustration every week for a year without pay. I'm sure I would have cut my arms off by now just to avoid finishing.

  • After listening to this I feel that SVs should find someone to give a proper talk on self publishing. I just finished reading a book about the subject geared towards Canadians. My reason for reading the book was that if my current project doesn't get published through traditional means then I will push to get it done myself. I don't think there is anything wrong with using your abilities to fully develop a project. I however prefer to do my own art work, but have plans to work with an editor. I also found it amazing how many famous books in all genres have been self published way before it was even a thing people talked about regularly. I think it should also be mentioned that print on demand services like Amazon are now becoming much more profitable for authors

  • Just thought of another question. When submitting work to a publisher, do you submit a “finished not perfect” piece or only your best work?

  • I've just got to chip in and say I'm really enjoying the podcast! Thanks for putting the time in to do this.

  • SVS OG

    This was a fascinating listen. The one thing that really got my ears buzzing was @Lee-White 's idea of a contract for critique groups (listen at 33.50 in the podcast). At first, I was really appalled by the idea. I've always envisioned these groups as inherently safe places to share one's work; where there's an unspoken code of trust and ethics. The idea of proposing to my fellow members to sign a contract goes against that idealized vision. But as I thought about it more, and heard @Lee-White say that his bad experience occurred with someone he knew very well, I'm starting to get convinced of the value of such a contract. A quick Google search has not turned up anything, though. Does anyone know if such a contract already exists? If not, I'm tempted to try drafting something for my critique groups to consider.

  • Awesome! Really true persepective on things!

  • I've listened to this episode about three or four times already. Great podcast guys!

  • Thank you so much for this episode. I had an email today which is the typical seen your work on Instagram thing, but this one has about 3 red flags (at least).
    It goes:

    *I’ve been admiring your work on your Instagram page for a while, specifically your squirrel images! I’m at 3rd draft stage of a children’s book and am deciding whether to go traditional route of seeking an agent or to self-publish.

    I just wanted to forearm myself with some information from you. If I went down the self-publishing route I would need to find myself a wonderful illustrator, such as yourself, and I’d like to know the process from your end and what you would charge. The book is a chapter book for 5-8 year olds so would definitely have a book cover illustration and then perhaps some other illustrations within.

    Please fire any questions you have at me!*

    Should I bother replying to her saying why I won't accept or just ignore it?
    What would you do?

  • I JUST found this podcast... derp. I lost my login for the forum even though I have been a long time supporter of SVSlearn - so I didn't see the podcast. NICE guys! This was my first episode and I see, in the content, the folly of many of my contracts. The pitfalls are real. I wish I would've listened to this years ago to save the heartache!
    That being said, the worst day as an illustrator is still better than the best day digging a ditch.
    Time to marathon some podcasts!

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