1. Community
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    Will they allow a novel with pictures in it?

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Community, Aug 21, 2010.

    If I write a novel, will they allow me to have illustrations? For example, every 15 pages I would have something illustrated. I can draw it myself since I am good at it, although I don't mind if they want their own professional artist to do it their own way. It's just that I like to see the visuals there.

    I'm trying to think of a precedent. I think the Lord of the Rings novels have pictures in it if I'm not mistaken?
     
  2. Manav
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    Manav Contributing Member

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    Have you finished the novel? If not, complete it, submit it to publishers, and if they want to publish it, only then you can discuss/worry about things like illustrations.
     
  3. Nackl of Gilmed
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    Nackl of Gilmed Member

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    That's an interesting question. The only adult novels I can think of with illustrations are Matthew Reilly ones. They're usually diagrams of the layout of various locations in the stories, as his action scenes frequently pivot around some piece of landscape that might be hard to visualise based on verbal description alone.

    I suppose the important question is, do you feel your story is dependent on the illustrations in that way, or are they just a bit of extra material to help the reader imagine the world? If the former is true, you might need to revise the writing in case publishers don't like the idea of illustrations.
     
  4. Blips
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    My Dark Tower books have some illustrations within some of them. I do believe that the Lord of the Rings books contain illustrations of maps and the such.

    As for an answer to your original question: I have no idea since I'm unpublished.
     
  5. w176
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    w176 Contributing Member Contributor

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    They will if they think is makes it easier to sell. And that depends on how will you use the illustrations and what points you make with them. 99% of the cases they are dead weight, and something you should be able to summon up with words.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Only if you're already a celerity ("Look, he's not only an actor in action films, he can write in complete sentences, and paint pictures too! I've even heard rumors he can walk and chew gum at the same time.").

    Publishers accept manuscripts. For illustrattions, they invariably want to use their own preferred illustrators.

    I'm not saying it's impossible, especially if you end up with a smaller publisher. But the odds are heavily stacked against you.
     
  7. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    The Selected Works of T. S. Spivet (a novel, not an actual collection of works) by Reif Larson features extensive illusrations, maps, diagrams and other extra-textual elements. It was his debut novel, and triggered a bidding war among major publishing houses resulting in him receiving a $1m advance from Penguin.

    So it's very unlikely, but precedents for mainstream, successful adult novels with pictures in them do exist
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    But if you look more closely, the illustrations are not created by the author.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's highly unlikely you'll find a publisher willing to go to the considerable expense of adding illustrations to an adult market novel, though it's often done with the younger end of YA...

    so you'd better make sure your novel works well without them, if you want to have any chance of getting it published... as noted above, once you have a publisher offering you a contract, then you can raise the artwork question... but should not do it before then, imo...
     
  10. Community
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    Does it cost more for them to add illustrations?
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    of course it does!... the artist has to be paid, plus it's an entirely different [and costlier] process to print artwork compared to all-words...

    Why do you not google YA novel age range?
     
  12. cryssfox
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    Many of Vonnegut's books contain his own illustrations, so it is done, even in the adult literary market.
    I have a YA book with illustrations as well. My editor told me to leave them out and I could discuss it with a publisher when that time came. Don't make any mention of illustrations in a query, either. If they like you and want to publish your book they should be open to reasonable requests after they decide to take it on.
    YA is generally 12-19 though the definition of it is a bit loose.
     
  13. mammamaia
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    vonnegut could get anything he wanted!... not so with new unknown writers... but as has been said, the possibility can be brought up after a contract is offered... it's not a good idea to mention it before that...
     
  14. Community
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    I just did some research and the process to print artwork is not more than compared to words. The process would only be different and more expensive if you wanted colored photographs.
     

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