Finding the right illustrator for my book
You just finished that amazing book that you’ve worked so hard on and now you’re looking for that perfect illustrator to bring your words to life in visual splendor! Then you realize, where will I find that talented illustrator and how do I go about hiring the right one? Well, I have some tips that may help you in your search. There are many illustrators out there and finding the right one may be a little daunting. There are many websites that you can go to and many Google searches you can try but, there is no guarantee that you will find the illustrator that is right for you unless you follow some simple guidelines.
PAGES: Before deciding on that perfect illustrator, you will need to figure out how many pages your book will be. Are they all going to be single pages or are you going to have 2-page spreads throughout your book? Deciding this will help an illustrator in the layout process. If you are unsure, any good illustrator can give you advice and tips on how to make your books illustrations flow with your book.
BUDGET: The next important step is to figure out what your budget is. If you are going through a publishing company then, all of that will be taken care of because the professional publishing companies will match you to an illustrator they feel best fits your writing. If you are going through a self-publishing company, they too will have several illustrators they use and the cost of the illustrations will be factored into your final cost. Both of these are great options but, you have far less control over the feel and look of the illustrations for your book. If you plan on going the self-publishing route without the use of a company, then you have 100% creative control over how your book looks. Just keep in mind that going this route means you will have to work twice as hard to get your books in front of your potential readers! So, if deciding to hire your own illustrator you will need to figure out what you will be willing to pay that illustrator. Keep in mind that there is a TON of work that goes into the illustration process. From layouts to the actual work, all the way through the inevitable revisions! A good illustrator will spend many hours creating each illustration depending on the detail you are envisioning. There will be MANY illustrators out there that will claim they will do your illustrations for as little as $5.00 an illustration. Just remember the old adage…YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. With that in mind, there are many reasonably priced illustrators out there who can do AMAZING work. Also, you will want to avoid offering a percentage of the profits or asking an illustrator to do work for free to use in their portfolio. This is insulting to most illustrators and just bad practice. No professional will work that way and an illustrator should not have to work that way either. Just be realistic when comparing what you can afford against what style of illustrations you would like in your book. For example, don’t set your budget at $100 and expect photo-realistic illustrations on 25 pages.
WHERE TO LOOK: You have your budget figured out and now you’re ready to begin your quest for that perfect illustrator! There are many places to look for your self-publishing needs. There are several freelance websites where you can post your offer and the illustrators will start bidding like piranhas in a feeding frenzy! They will all do their best to out-bid each other for the lowest cost possible! That’s not a bad thing but, this can get a little overwhelming when getting bid after bid, not to mention time consuming. If you decide to go this route, just remember…YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR. Just because a bidder comes in at the lowest price, does not mean you are going to get what you want and none of these illustrators are going to give you a refund if you hate the work. You can try going through some websites that host hundreds of illustrators online portfolios. This is also time consuming and daunting but, worth it if you find the right illustrator. A Google search for freelance illustrators will bring you a whole list of these types of sites. Of course if you are reading this, you could always ask me for a quote!
GETTING A QUOTE AND SEALING THE DEAL: YOU FOUND YOUR ILLUSTRATOR! The clouds have opened up and there your illustrator is, standing in a beam of sunlight like an artistic superhero ready to save the day! The next logical step is for you and your illustrator to work out an agreement and settle on a final budget. Each illustrator will work a little differently as far as how they work their contracts but, some thing you may want to consider. Do they charge for revisions? Most illustrators will. It is rare that an illustrator will NAIL the illustration on the first try, so find out how much they charge per revision or if at all. For example, I offer two free revisions per illustration and $10 per revision after that. You’ll want to make sure you are giving as much detail as you can when describing what you want to see in your illustrations to make sure revisions are minimal. Remember, illustrators work with the descriptions they are given and can’t read minds. The more description of the scene the better. If the illustrator does not offer revisions, then that is a major RED FLAG and a good indication that the illustrator is not a good match. Once you have the logistics worked out most, not all, will require a down payment to start. This gives the illustrator the confidence to know that you are serious about your book.
Well, there you have it! I hope this gives you some insight in finding the
Just keep in mind, self-publishing is becoming more popular these days as the internet makes marketing your book much easier on your own but, it is a TON of hard work and not a cheap endeavor. Finding the right illustrator is crucial to the success of your book. Pay for the quality you expect and make sure you pick an illustrator that is going to work for and with you…not against. With that being said, self-publishing is extremely rewarding and satisfying when you realize all your hard work has paid off and you start selling books!! Good luck out there and if you like my illustrations, drop me a line and ask me for a quote!