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Picture Books (PB) / working with a PB author
« Last post by susanne-mason on July 01, 2021, 12:51 PM »
I wonder where I would find answers re. working with a PB author. I have been approached by an author to illustrate her PB. Her budget is quite low - $2500 Can. Dollars.
As I haven't published anything yet and have no agent yet, I'm possibly tempted to accept... but would that be silly?

I'm sure info to this topic must be hidden somewhere on the SCBWI website or in this forum - but I can't find it.
I'd like to find details about how much I can charge for let's say 32 illustrations, what's the bottom limit, and where  I can find contract samples? Also some advice how to proceed when an author approaches you, etc...

 Please help - thanks a lot!

 The editor may respond to those concerns and say these are suggested changes, not demands, which I suspect/hope is the case.

As a tactical point, it would help if you began with a suggestion the editor made that you are happy to accept, if there is one ;)
What Anthony has said. A literary work can have art/photos in it. The whole arrangement is a complete package and that's what you're copyrighting.
It would be considered a literary work, not a work of art.  I missed the fact that yours is a cookbook, not picture book, but it still falls under the same category.  Once you create a user account with the copyright office, you can begin the registration process. you will need to answer questions/provide information on multiple pages. it's been more than a year since I did this, (so some of this process may have changed) but somewhere in those pages you will be asked if there are any images/art as part of the work.  A convenient part of the process allows you to stop and 'save' your registration even if it is not complete, and return to it at a later time.  you will need to provide a finished digital copy of the book, so this of course, must be completed before you begin the registration process.  (they take only a few formats, but pdf is one of them.) Once all questions and info/book have been entered, you  proceed to "check out" and pay for the registration.  until you 'check out" and pay, you can alter your info. 
Hi! Just now seeing this but since I just started working on a chapter book, I could really use some help with critiques! This is my first try at attempting to write a chapter book (I'm more familiar with YA) so I could use some advice! My email is Thanks! I'd love to be in a critique group to help me learn!
Thank for the reply Anthony.  I am trying to register my illustrated book online. I searched for many videos and tutorials but none answer my question which is: "What should be the type of work that needs to be selected( literary work, works of art)? " - How can i register entire book in one application etc. (Including text and illustrations - as a single author).
She said that as a beginner, you can't be picky and it's more about racking up publishing credits where you can get them, and getting your stuff in print.

As a former ICL instructor, I, like Chris, also *disagree* with this. I think publishing credits, any credits (if legit, of course), used to mean more back in the day. These days, if you're talking trade publishing, it's not about accumulating credits; it's about the quality of your most recent publication and how well it sold. Obscure credits do not "lead to" bigger ones, so they are not the stepping stones many would hope. I think it's a better strategy today to aim directly for the type of publisher you want to be published by as a regular thing, right out of the gate. That's the kind of history you want publishers to be able to see when subbing your next manuscript, and your next. Assuming they like the sales figures. If they don't, that's an obstacle no matter who the publisher was.

"Get your foot in the door" used to be good advice. Now it's more like "Don't waste your debut."

Unfortunately, smaller publishers don't always work the same way more mainstream ones do. The contract may not be standard. Their timelines may be different. They may edit less. Or they may do what yours did, and edit BIG without consulting you. Their editors may or may not have sufficient background to be doing the work. They may cut corners on everything from the design to the art to the font and margins. Chris is so right when she says the thrill of getting a work in print is momentary. It can pass much more quickly than you ever would have expected, but the disappointment in a less-than-excellent product will linger.

You're getting great advice on how to proceed with the editor. I hope everything works out to a satisfactory conclusion.  :goodluck
"She said that as a beginner, you can't be picky and it's more about racking up publishing credits where you can get them, and getting your stuff in print"

Obviously just my opinion but I completely disagree with the above.
Publishing credits mean very little (unless they come with 10's of thousands of sales of course:) What influences the next publisher you might submit to, is the quality and sales of your last book.  Getting work in print is a momentary excitement, it passes very quickly unless you are completely happy with the finished product. You will have to promote your book, to do that you need to love it!
You CAN be "picky", because it's your name, your work.
This is not to say that the Editor may be right or on the right track with their suggested changes. Sometimes it takes a few days to calm down from what seems like a criticism of our work, to see clearly. There is always some compromise (often for the best for the work) but it should be the Editor suggests, you agree or not, till both parties are happy with the results.
Maybe wait till after the weekend, continue mulling it over, before drafting an email or giving her a call.
In the end its you that must be pleased and proud of YOUR book.
I think Debbie's idea of dummies, to visualize page flow of both versions, is a great one. Read out loud, or have a friend/family member read to you.
I'd begin with how much you appreciate the chance to have a personal story published but you have some concerns and then ennumerate them. And ask if it'd be a good idea to talk on the phone to iron out rhyme/rhythm.

Btw, it's not unusual to be asked for input on photo/illustration research. Children deserve accurate information. Sometimes I supply a sketch or find photos. They take care of permissions, etc.

Good luck!
You will need to create an account with the copyright office.  Once you establish this, select the TX form to register a book of fiction.  Within that application form  (I say form which implies paper, but these forms can be filled out online) you will have the option to include images or artwork, and list the illustrator -in this case, you.  If it is a different person, you will either list them as copyright owner of the images, or that the images are a work made for hire. There are many videos and sidebars on the copyright site that will help you through the process.
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