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Pitching a manuscript reliant on illustrations

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 I have a book idea that would be reliant on the illustrations for much of the humor.  However, I am not an illustrator.   How would you recommend pitching a manuscript to a publisher that is somewhat reliant on the illustrations to really grab the audience?  Any thoughts or ideas on this subject?  Thank you!
#1 - June 12, 2018, 12:17 PM

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Hi Kristina,

You would have to use art notes to make note of the illustrations that need to show the humor. But be very judicious in using art notes. . . Linda Ashman had a great blog post on this when she wrote RAIN, which is a near wordless PB. Check out her link:

http://lindaashman.com/books-written-by-linda-ashman/rain/

If you scroll down to the bottom, you'll see some buttons that are "Extra for Writers." I think you'll find those helpful.

Good luck!
#2 - June 12, 2018, 04:59 PM

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That's a fantastic resource, dkshumaker! Fun to see Linda's manuscript. Thanks
#3 - June 13, 2018, 04:09 AM
PRUDENCE, THE PART-TIME COW, A CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK, IT'S YOUR FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL, BUSY BUS!, THE WAY THE COOKIE CRUMBLED
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

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Really interesting to see Linda's approach! Her art direction itself is very lyrical.

I tend to be very spare in any illustration notes, even if the text itself is quite minimal. I think that if you can evoke a particular feeling with your text, that will help to set up expectations in your reader. Setting the scene and tone together kills two birds with one succinct stone. :)

Regarding art direction, if a visual joke, character detail or plot point needs to be explained, I just add a line in square brackets detailing anything not able to be gleaned from the text. For example: [Lulu is a chocolate lab with a freewheeling, hippie aesthetic.]

It seems as though there's quite a bit of room for individual style (or perhaps I've been doing it wrong!) :)

Good luck with the book, Kristina!
#4 - Yesterday at 08:53 PM
The Ugly Dumpling, Mighty Media '16 -Kirkus Starred
Luis & Tabitha, Familius '18
The Five Sisters, Familius '19
Very Lulu, Sourcebooks Jabberwocky '19

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