1. Xyphon
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    Xyphon Member

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    Books with pictures?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Xyphon, Aug 28, 2011.

    Hello there, everyone. I have begun the process of writing a novel. I want this novel to be for teens, and I want to include pictures in it. The format will be similar to a japanese light novel where there will be 1, maybe 2 pictures in each chapter(the chapters will be approximately 5000 words each).

    I am really set on this idea. However, after a bit of research I found out that publishers often look down upon the idea of having the pictures included in the manuscript, and usually the publisher finds an illustrator for you. I really am not fond of this, because I would really like to find someone myself, as I want a specific drawing style. Is it really that big of a deal to have your own illustrator as opposed to having the publisher pick one for you? If it is a big deal, I will probably get rid of the pictures altogether.

    Also, I have another question. How would one go about including pictures in a manuscript? Can someone possibly show me an example of how to execute this properly? I am using Microsoft Word to write my manuscript.

    Thank you for reading!
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    You do not include illustrations in or with a manuscript. The publisher does select the illustrator, practically without exception.

    The typical exception is a celebrity writing a book and including illustrations. But the celebrity is the commodity in that case, not the writing. For the rest of us mortals, the writing is what is being sold.
     
  3. Xyphon
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    Xyphon Member

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    Alright, I understand. It kind of destroys what I wanted to create, though, which is a bit of a shame. I may still do this idea, though. How would I go about explaining exactly what I want the illustrations to look like, and what style I want them to be in? How would I include such a thing in the manuscript? How much of it do I include in the manuscript? Any help would be greatly appreciated, google searches certainly aren't helping me very much.
     
  4. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Don't be discouraged. The reality is an agent (since that's who you should be trying to get signed on with, not a publisher) doesn't want a writer to march in and start declaring what will and won't be done with illustrations or trying to bring on board an artist friend, etc.

    The 'no illustrations' thing is more to keep writers from embarrassing themselves by sending their own amateur artwork or to avoid writers who think they know it all.

    If your manuscript and vision are good, and you find an agent that actually believes in your work (most of them do, or they won't take you on), then they'll work with you. If you know a professional artist who is capable of doing illustrations, then it can be recommended. If you just have a clear idea of what you want, then it can be worked out some time between your query, which should focus on the writer, and an agent agreeing to take on your book.

    Basically, don't be pushy, don't start including demands in a query letter, but once you start talks with an agent about what you both want and expect from your partnership, bring up the matter. If an agent isn't willing to work with you on such things, then they're probably not the sorts of professionals that you'll want to work with anyway.

    If an agent does understand you have a vision for illustrations, and agrees to take on your book, then they'll be the one negotiating and hopefully supporting the project when in discussions with publishers.

    Nothing is guaranteed, of course, far from it. But most amateur writers think publishing is a process where once they get their hands on a manuscript the writer has no say. That's just what people hear online, and like to repeat. Just don't be pushy, don't insist things have to be your way, simply explain your vision with humility and grace, in a professional and courteous manner, and it'll at least be considered, if not the kind of thing an agent/publisher doesn't mind trying to make reality.

    A lot of people like to pit the writers against agents and publishers, but the reality is they do everything they can, within reason, to make the writer happy and make a book successful. It's not nearly as big-bad-wolf sounding as people make it seem.
     
  5. Xyphon
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    Xyphon Member

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    Alright, I understand, and thank you for the response. I'm considering just dropping the pictures altogether, but I'll give it a bit more thought. In the western world, people usually equate pictures with childish books, anyway. The original idea for the novel I am writing was brought on from my love of Japanese culture, so I really wanted to create an English "light novel", but I didn't really factor in the differences between the western world's writing culture and the eastern world's.

    Thank you both for the responses, it is greatly appreciated.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the answers are: 'you don't!'; 'you don't!'; and 'none of it'

    all you can submit to agents/publishers is your text-only ms... if/when a publisher is interested and offers you a contract, then you can dicker with them over illustrations... but i wouldn't hold out any hope for that, since as a new and unknown writer you won't have any clout to wield in getting your way...
     

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