Putting picture book dummies on my website, good or bad idea?



  • Hi, I am working on updating my website. Just wondering if anyone put picture book WIPs (dummy books) in their online portfolio? Is that a good idea to show book dummies/ WIPs online if I want to pitch them to agents/publishing house later?

    I understood Dummies are encourage to show at conferences and conventions. But I do not see Dummies or PB WIPs online much, I am wondering if it is because there is something I do not understand about how Publihsing world work, or it is because artists are perfectionists in general, and feel strange to share WIPs online.



  • @xin-li I feel like the best way to show your WIP is to post it on your blog and use your online portoflio to show only your best, selected and finished work.



  • @MartaD thank you for your input 🙂


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @xin-li I would typically hold off on showing images from a dummy. Wait until after you pitch it, then maybe start sprinkling them into your posts and website images.



  • @Lee-White thank you so much for the advice. May I ask what is the reason for this approach?



  • @xin-li I was wondering this recently too! Glad you asked the question 🙂



  • Hmm... I want to elaborate this a bit more, maybe that will help the pro illustrators here to point me to the right direction:
    I am buidling a children's book portfolio, and currently my porfolio lack some indoor/home scene, and also I do not have sequential pages in my portfolio now.

    At same time, I have a couple of story ideas I have been working on and off during last half a year or so. The stories are in rough thumbnail stage, I am still working on the pacing, and changing bits and parts. So I looked through my rough thumbnails, and picked out some scenes which are happening indoor. I plan to take 2-3 thumbnails from a single story, and take the images to finish and add them into my portfolio. But I may also use them later when I am done with the dummy book and ready to pitch the story.

    I probably need to make an effort to promote my portfolio pretty soon to attract future clients. So this will probably happen before I finish my dummy for pitching. My question is:
    Are there any portiential issues to include finished illustrations for a dummy book in my website, BEFORE pitching the story to agent/publishing house?



  • @xin-li I'm interested because this is essentially what I'm doing, too. Come up with three different ideas. Take a few pages from each to finish for portfolio. Create book dummies and pitch.


  • SVS Team SVS Instructor Pro SVS OG

    @xin-li My reasoning is that it's a project that a company could buy so they may prefer the art not already be out in the world. That's not to say you can't do a teaser image or something. Maybe one or two images that don't give too much away. But you want to avoid over sharing it I think because companies like to be sort of quiet about the things they are in the process of acquiring. I am not 100% on this approach however and would love to get some feedback from agents and publishers.



  • @Lee-White This makes a lot of sense. I will try to find a good balance. Thank you so much.


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