1. Rzero

    Rzero Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2018
    Messages:
    619
    Likes Received:
    940
    Location:
    Texas

    Publishing a picture book as a writer/illustrator team

    Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Rzero, Aug 25, 2019.

    I'm reposting this because I may have over-worded the first version. Brevity is not my strong suit, and I don't think people were reading it. (Original post below in spoiler)

    I currently have multiple picture books in the works, including at least one very close to final draft status. I also serendipitously found the perfect illustrator right here on WF. I am resolute in the decision to bring this project to completion with my illustrator despite many internet sources advising me not to. (Most of that advice involves not letting your buddy “who can draw” attempt to professionally illustrate a book.) This artist’s work is professional-level, and we’re working very well together.

    Here's the problem: I want an agent. Unfortunately, I'm only finding agents/agencies that either only accept submissions from single writer/illustrators or only accept submissions from writers without artwork. I understand that they also have illustrators they represent, but I know what we have in the works is the best combination for the best possible finished product. (It really is. I can't wait to show everyone!) For all I know, there are agents willing to make this exception and take on both creators, but there's no accommodation for it in the submission guidelines.

    So what do I do here? Should I submit the text to an agent and hope that after the weeks or months long process of (if I'm lucky) acceptance, that they might be willing to adjust their usual protocols? That sounds like an extremely time-consuming recipe for heartache only to start again from scratch God knows how many times.

    Does anyone know of any agents or publishers out there (I'd like to start with an agent, but I don't have to) with submission guidelines more accommodating to what I'm proposing?

    Are there solutions in the submission process I'm ignoring or unaware of? (For instance, ignoring guidelines and inserting some or all of the artwork directly into the email.)

    Or are we just screwed unless we self-publish? I certainly hope not. From what I'm reading, it's significantly harder to garner any attention for a self-published picture book than it is for a novel, and we all know how daunting even novel prospects are in the self-publishing arena. Somebody help!

    Thanks,
    Z

    I recently discovered that I love (and I think have a talent for) writing Seussian/Silversteinesque verse. I have a few books in the works, including at least one that's very close to final draft status. I also serendipitously found the perfect illustrator right here on WF. We've been collaborating and planning for a very short time, but things are coming along in ways and at a rate I couldn't have imagined. I'm confident that we'll have a finished product, or at the very least a saleable one, relatively soon.

    I've been looking around, and with all the options, (submitting to a publisher, self-publishing, attempting to secure an agent first, etc.) I'm going cross-eyed from frustrating and often conflicting advice across the internet. I am resolute in the decision to bring this project to completion with my illustrator despite many sources advising me to allow the publisher to choose an artist. His artwork is too perfect and far too good a fit to hope for anything as good from another artist. We're also working very well together in a collaborative way that I think elevates both our work.

    Here's the deal though: I think I want an agent. I know we can't (and shouldn't even if it were possible) submit to an agent as a team. Aside from the fact that we have other writing goals that don't involve each other at all down the line, the logistics would be ridiculous.

    Unfortunately, I'm only finding agents/agencies that either only accept submissions from single writer/illustrators or only accept submissions from writers without artwork specifically so they can pair each writer with the artist of their choosing. The same appears true of publishers, but I've spent less time looking there. Why they're willing to accept combo work from one person, but not a team, I have no idea. I mean, I guess I understand that they also have illustrators they represent, but so what? If it's a good combination, its a good combination (and it really is. I can't wait to show everyone!) If it's right, it shouldn't matter if it comes from one mind or two. The pairings they put together themselves are from two separate creators, so why not write two contracts? For all I know, they're perfectly willing to do that, but there's no option for it in the submission guidelines.

    So what do I do here? Should I submit the text to an agent and hope that after the weeks or months long process of (if I'm lucky) acceptance, that they might be willing to adjust their usual process? That sounds like an extremely time-consuming recipe for heartache. Does anyone know of any agents or publishers out there (I'd like to start with an agent, but I don't have to) with submission guidelines more accommodating to what I'm proposing? Are there solutions in the submission process I'm ignoring/unaware of? (For instance, ignoring guidelines completely and inserting the artwork into the submission.) Are we just screwed unless we self-publish? I certainly hope not on the latter. From what I'm reading, it's insanely harder to garner any attention for a self-published picture book than it is for a self-published novel, and we all know how daunting even novel prospects are in the self-publishing arena. Somebody help!
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2019
    The Piper likes this.

Share This Page