A note for budding authors!
Are you on the exciting journey of writing a book and you're looking for an illustrator and publisher? If you're a budding author and looking for a collaboration project, give this a read before you begin...
This adventure you're on is very exciting! You are in for the ride of your life and I encourage you wholeheartedly. Budding authors I feel your joy as I too have experienced it!
The bad news
There's bad news?I have a habit of putting people off hiring an illustrator. Not to shatter your dreams or do myself out of work but I like to be honest and to let potential authors know how the system works.
In a nut shell I don't work for free. 'What?' you may ask. Let me explain... I have self published books and also authored and illustrated my own and I know how much time is involved. It isn’t in my best interest to collaborate with authors as it is historically not financially viable. I'm an artist and I shouldn't care about money. Let's not go there. That's a whole other topic. So if you're thinking we could work together and split the profits, I'm sorry... but that's not an option for me.
From my experience, writing a children’s picture book is a small percentage of the workload. The illustrations and publishing are very time consuming. If you would prefer to choose a publisher, you will find that they prefer their own illustrators, although authors can recommend one of their choice.
My background is in technology so it is an advantage to me to self publish my own books because I can wade through the mine field! So what are your choices? Here is an article to help out...
You can use a publisher and have books printed off for a fee (usually a minimum hard copy of 100) OR you can self publish and pay for books on demand (no minimum print). Some self publishing companies will allow you to sell straight from their door so your customers can purchase from them and they will print and post it to them. THAT'S AWESOME!
If you self publish, make sure you are on 'global distribution' so that the books are sold in 1000's of online bookstores and made available to libraries. Also consider having your book available as an ebook. If you Google 'Maggie Magee and the giant sneeze by Jenny Wood' for example, you will see how many book stores are selling it. This cost me $0!
If you self publish, you need to do the promotional work yourself and this is one of the disadvantages. So it's up to you to decide, if you want to self publish (not literally!) or find a publisher. This is the step you take BEFORE you hire an illustrator. Here's an article which will explain the downside to self publishing...
Where to from here?
One day I will decide not to collaborate with an author on a book and it will become a best seller! I will cry myself to sleep for a month, but for now, my time is very precious and I can’t afford to give it away. So I’m sorry if this robbed you of your joy. I don’t mean to do that because joy is awesome but it’s best if you know the reality of this complex mine field. It will save you a lot of time running in a giant circle. You can thank me later.
The good news is that I can do your illustrations if you pay me (because we all like to be paid don't we?)! Whoop! I charge the following rates: https://www.jennywoodart.com/commission-rates
(Contact me for the password)
All the best for your exciting adventure!