How much finished art is expected in a book dummy?



  • I've got a script. Makin' a book dummy. Is it okay to have the whole thing as a clean sketch, or should I have some final art? If so, How much?

    If anyone here's been successful in pitching a book dummy, what did yours look like?

    Thanks everyone 🙂



  • Depends on the agent who is going to pitch the dummy. My agent requires 50% of the book completed, which is unusual, and was a lot of work. Usually 3-4 pieces is the norm. A cover, but just a cover concept, because it will most likely get changed by the publisher.



  • Is this your script and book or is this a script given to you by an agent or publisher?



  • I would be really interested in the replies too. Personally I think it depends on who you are pitching to. Agents or Publishers. I have read that sometimes they agents don't want too complete of a dummy because it will give them an impression that you don't want to revise. I was told to have rough sketches and may be one or two finished pieces.
    I would love to hear from folks who have successfully pitched their dummies.



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  • @Eric-Castleman Thanks man! That helps.

    Also interesting info about having a manuscript instead of a book dummy 🙂 Definitely an easier route to go. In this case the goal is to have a book dummy so that whenever I find a publisher that accepts unsolicited dummies (I saw a LOT when double checking my postcards) I can send it out.



  • @Aleksey Oh this is mine. A book dummy for the sake of having a book dummy.

    There are a few publishers and agents I've found that say 'please send art examples' but a whole lot more that say 'please send book dummies'. So I wanna have a book dummy. So I can send a book dummy 🙂


  • Moderator

    When I did the book dummy challenge last year they said that 2 finished full spreads are standard. That’s what I’m sticking with until corrected. It seems reasonable. Because if the book does get taken on they, the publishers, are going to want to edit and you don’t, nor they, want to put in all that work for nothing. I was also told, don’t fall in love with your title because it will probably be changed. Lol.
    Are you going to show and tell? 😃



  • @Braden-Hallett yeah what @burvantill said. You can do sketches or slightly more refined roughs for all of the pages but 2-3 completed completed pages. Alternate the kind of pages, 1 spread, 1 spot illustration, 1 vignettes or single page. This way can see that you can do the work and also how it will look when it’s done.

    Make sure the text is on all the pages (doesnt gotta look good but placed in the right spots) and on the finished pages

    Might also be a good idea to make one of those “page flip” pdfs or epubs if its digital if you are able to. I havnt done one myself but The dummies Anna Raff has shown me were tiny zine sizes.



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  • @burvantill @Aleksey Awesome. I've got a fairly solid plan now. Thanks guys 🙂


  • SVS OG

    @Braden-Hallett hi, Braden! If you’re looking to submit your dummy, perhaps consider submitting to Collaborate. They’re a sister company to Advocate Art. They’re also a Literary agency. And as far as I know, I think they’re currently looking for authors and author-illustrators to represent.



  • @Nyrryl-Cadiz I will absolutely check them out! Thanks 😃


  • SVS OG

    @Braden-Hallett no probs. I’m trying get my work represented as well



  • Id put at least 2 finished illustrations in there. I usually do one full spread and then another 1-page.


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