1. AdamLeliel
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    AdamLeliel Member

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    Illustrations

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by AdamLeliel, Dec 2, 2009.

    I've been toying with the idea of adding illustrations to my book, just simple black and white ones perhaps at the start of each chapter.

    Would illustrations put you off a book aimed at adults?

    Are there many instances of this? I can't remember the last time I read a book that had illustrations in (minus maybe The Hobbit).

    Would publishers frown at this?
     
  2. DragonGrim
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    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    Give it a shot! If a publisher accepts the book, then show them your artwork. The worst that could happen is that they’d say no.
     
  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Illustrations in a book?

    I'll be honest and tell you it immediately says YA or children's book to me.
     
  4. Kas
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    Kas Contributing Member

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    I have to chime in with Wrey on this one.
     
  5. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah. And I think (this is just my opinion) that in a book being directed to an adult audience, the expectation is that the "illustrations" will be accomplished through exposition.
     
  6. Hobbywriter
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    Hobbywriter New Member

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    i've noticed in alot of novels i've been reading lately that before the first chapter or prologue that there are between one and three small illustrations.

    Usually these illustrations are maps citing specific locations in the book
    (ex. many of Tolken's work had maps of Middle Earth in the beginning)

    but as to before each chapter, that may be a little excessive. i do have a hardcover special edition of The Davinci Code in which there are numerous color photographs of the artwork and locations described in the book. it was a gift from my aunt and while i enjoyed the book, i noticed while reading it i would often get distracted by the photographs.
     
  7. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Do Illustrations. :)


    Best example of an adult book for this is Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas by Hunter S Tompson.


    Ummm... dunno what else to say except ignore the nay sayers.
     
  8. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Well, I do have something else to say.

    Let us keep the commentary pointed at the question, not at the opinions of the other members to which they have every right.
     
  9. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    Adam,

    The present convention, that calling for no illustrations in adult fiction, can be changed. And, this just might be the opportune time to explore such a deviation from the "norm". The entire publishing industry is currently wrestling with convention. New outlets such as ebooks, internet books, POD publishing, direct market distribution, etc., are challenging the traditional avenue for book distribution. Who knows...an adult book with quality illustrations might attract an entirely new group of readers. You might even start a trend. Just understand, trend-setters do NOT find acceptance among those who treasure the status quo. This obvious fact means you must find a forward-looking publisher and agent who are willing to test a market, take chances. That usually means limiting your inquiries to small, aggressive publishers who are open to avant-garde ideas.

    I think the key to such an endeavor will lie in the quality and relevance of the pictures. The old expression "A picture says a thousand words." could work for, or against, a novel. What happens if the picture says the wrong thousand words? How will readers feel if the picture is redundant...a mere visual repetition of what was already described in text? At the very least, pictures must be professional in quality, just as the writing must be. Also, adding pictures necessarily restricts the reader's imagination. Is this a drawback? The number, quality and placement of pictures introduces a new level of complexity to a story. It better be right. How will you find an editor with experience in such a new format?

    As you can see, adding pictures or illustrations might work, in fact, might become a trend. But, it is by no means a simple choice.
     
  10. Aeschylus
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    Aeschylus Contributing Member

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    As an example, Stephen King's famous The Dark Tower series contains illustrations in every edition I have seen, though some versions only have small pictures at the start of each third while others have multiple, full-page, full-color illustrations. I honestly quite enjoy these illustrations. Stephen King does not illustrate his own books--each one in the series has pictures by a different artist--but if yours are good quality, the publisher might accept it. And The Dark Tower is definitely NOT a children's series.

    As DragonGrim said, the first step is to see if they publish the novel. Once it is accepted, you can try for the artwork.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    both wrey and salty have offered good advice/observations... consider them seriously...

    and if you have to go ahead, for heaven's sake don't include the artwork with the ms when first submitting it... save it for after you snag an agent and then follow her/his advice on when it should be offered to a publisher... which, if i were the agent, would only be after a offer is made to buy the work...
     

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