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Greetings All;

I'm here on the PB discussion for the first time. I have a very long short story which another writer has suggested would make a great picture book. I agree. Problem is, I've never done this before. I apologize for my questions because they really show my lack of knowledge in this area:

1. Is the PB market a good market right now? This is a girl-centric story about empowerment and bullying.
2. How does the relationship between writer and illustrator work? Do I pay up front and then a percentage of books sold? Who sets up the contract?
3. Who sends out the queries, or do we both try to get a publishing contract?
4. I'm not agented but what if the illustrator has an agent - how does that affect the matter?
5. How long is a reasonable amount of time for the illustrator to do the work?
6. What if I like the work at first, but not so much as we move through the book?

Many thanks for your help,
Ilanna
#1 - February 19, 2019, 01:41 PM
The Bridge of Haunted

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You don't ever need to apologize for questions, Ilanna! We're here to support each other.  :hug

Using the search bar for specific questions will yield a bounty of results, but - just in general - here's the deal:

I can't answer with authority whether the PB market is good, but can say the PB market seems to have strengthened considerably in the last ten years (when the children's market was soft, due to the recession). The current market for non-fiction PBs, chapter books, and MG novels seems to be stronger than that for fiction PBs, but there is always a market for an excellent story.
 
As for your questions about the particulars of dealing with hiring and working with an illustrator, unless you intend to self-publish, you only submit the text - just as you've done with your novels. If your story is acquired, the publisher will hire the illustrator. (You and the illustrator will have separate contracts.)

Now for some things to consider about your short story: Is the main character a child? (PBs are typically read to and by children younger than 8 years old) How short is it? (most PBs run in the 500 words or fewer range) Are the words and concepts relatable to children?

Even if you need to make major adjustments to your short story in order to transform it into a picture book text, you're already ahead of the game....you HAVE a story!

Best wishes, Ilanna!

edited to add: In revising the ms, you might find it doesn't want to be a picture book. That's okay! Maybe it would be better suited as a chapter book or MG novel. The task of reworking the story is a great exercise!
#2 - February 19, 2019, 03:07 PM
« Last Edit: February 19, 2019, 03:16 PM by carrots »

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Ilanna, do you plan to traditionally publish?

If so, you don't do anything about art whatsoever. The illustrator is hired by the publishing house's art director and answers to them. They get to bring their vision to the work every bit as much as you do, and the fact is you may privately love, hate, or feel meh about the art. But usually the artist will bring fresh ideas to the text that you would never have thought of. If you are traditionally publishing, you have no responsibility to pay the artist, of course. But the royalty is split between you, whereas if you were an author/illustrator you'd get it all.

If you want to go this route, your next step is to learn to write PBs and then eventually query agents on your own. If your agent sells your PB text, s/he negotiates for you and the artist's own agent will represent them.

If you plan to self-publish, everything will be quite different and you'll get better help on the Self-Publishing board. In this case, let us know if you'd like us to move your thread there.
#3 - February 19, 2019, 03:13 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
www.marciahoehne.com

I'd like to publish traditionally but it sounds like this isn't right for a PB but more as a chapter book? It could easily be divided into five or six chapters. The MC is ten years old so it's an MG book. But's not long enough for a novel, and it's too long as a traditional story.
#4 - February 19, 2019, 05:37 PM
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It does not sound like you have a PB here. They're much, much younger and very short, normally < 500 words.

You might have a chapter book if you have several chapters and a MC who is around 3rd or 4th grade. I'd suggest reading an armload of chapter books (NOT middle-grade novels; that's a different animal) to see if your story might fit that format. Do be aware that most chapter books are published in character-driven series.
#5 - February 19, 2019, 05:59 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
Caroline Grade Mysteries
The Journey of Emilie
Anne Bradstreet: America's Puritan Poet
www.marciahoehne.com

Yes, that sounds like a good idea. This is a completely character-driven piece. She's young, as I said. Only 10 and it's not a novel by any definition, LOL. Can you give any good chapter book suggestions?
#6 - February 19, 2019, 06:30 PM
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Try:
IVY & BEAN
CLEMENTINE
JUST GRACE
JUDY MOODY
#7 - February 20, 2019, 04:30 AM
BLACKOUT -- available now
DESERTED -- available now
SISTERS DON'T TELL -- available now
www.deenalipomi.com

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Coming late to this Haunted, but it's great you are expanding the type of stories you want to tell. You can still try a PB format and see where it takes you--often it becomes an outline for an older book (why yes, I speak from experience, lol) but not all PBs are for little ones. Some are for older kids who are reading on their own. I suggest a few days at the library browsing the different age groups to see both distinctions and the overlap. Good luck!

Some useful threads:
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=87924.msg1095856#msg1095856
https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=81649.msg1037181#msg1037181
#8 - February 20, 2019, 06:02 AM
BOUND (Bodach Books, 2018)
TEN EASTER EGGS (Scholastic, 2015)
www.vijayabodach.blogspot.com
Author of over 60 books and 60 magazine pieces

Thanks, Vijaya!
#9 - February 20, 2019, 06:28 AM
The Bridge of Haunted

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