SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

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I'll just speak as an editor, since that's what I am. I'm definitely NOT just signing up author-illustrator projects and I see no reason to move in that direction. I want the best writing AND the best illustrating and I can't always get that from the same person.

FWIW, I can understand agents having a preference for author-illustrators on PB projects, since there's no splitting of the advance and royalty. I don't know if that explains this shift, or if this shift is actually happening.

Thanks to everyone who has weighed in so far. It's comforting to be able to hear from an editor's perspective, Harold.
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I have also observed that the vast majority of agents for picture books now request only author/illustrator submissions.  I am sure that this has everything to do with the effort required to market a clients' work and the return on investment that the agent will receive  ($$$).  I've also been tracking the Rights Reports that appear in the magazine Publishers Weekly.  What's interesting is that you'll see that, despite what the agents are requesting, an ample number of picture books being bought by publishers still have separate author and illustrators.  Any change in this practice, I deduce, will be due to the push from the agents.

Yes, I am worried that since most works will be submitted through agents it will cause the general field to shift that way if it's financially motivated. Good to know that the current numbers haven't shifted too much, though.
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I have also observed that the vast majority of agents for picture books now request only author/illustrator submissions.  I am sure that this has everything to do with the effort required to market a clients' work and the return on investment that the agent will receive  ($$$).  I've also been tracking the Rights Reports that appear in the magazine Publishers Weekly.  What's interesting is that you'll see that, despite what the agents are requesting, an ample number of picture books being bought by publishers still have separate author and illustrators.  Any change in this practice, I deduce, will be due to the push from the agents.
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Perhaps some Agents feel selling the story to an Editor is a bit easier, when the same person who has written it, is the person who fleshes out the story with the Illustration as well. Submitting to an Editor a dummy, vs text alone. This may be even more true with books that have very few words and were  the story is being mostly told through the art.
But I do think the biggest draw for the Agent is, that advance and royalty split. If they are repping an Author/Illustrator, the full advance goes to that one client and so does, eg:,  10% royalty, as opposed to an Author only getting just 5%.
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I do think Harold has explained the shift many agents have made. I haven't seen it from editors.
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Difficulties with Art Director
« Last post by Debbie Vilardi on Yesterday at 09:33 PM »
Glad things are progressing in the right direction.
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Unresponsive publisher
« Last post by awful waffles on Yesterday at 07:23 PM »
Hurray, Rachel! Debbie, you are so helpful, as are all the folks on here. Three cheers!
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Is PB Market moving to author/illustrators only?
« Last post by HaroldU on Yesterday at 05:25 PM »
I'll just speak as an editor, since that's what I am. I'm definitely NOT just signing up author-illustrator projects and I see no reason to move in that direction. I want the best writing AND the best illustrating and I can't always get that from the same person.

FWIW, I can understand agents having a preference for author-illustrators on PB projects, since there's no splitting of the advance and royalty. I don't know if that explains this shift, or if this shift is actually happening.
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I've been researching agents to query for the last several months and it seems that SO many agents that represent PBs are only looking for author-illustrators and won't accept submissions from authors-only.  As a non-illustrating writer myself, should I be expecting fewer and fewer agents/publishers to accept my submissions in coming years? I'm curious about why so many are moving in this direction and what it means going forward for author-only opportunities. I would love any insight anyone has.

(Searched and couldn't find this topic so forgive me if it's been discussed.)

-Lauren Jane Redmond
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Picture Books (PB) / Re: Difficulties with Art Director
« Last post by JFriday on Yesterday at 11:05 AM »
Seems like it's working out. So glad!
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