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I have a question around pb and Illustration?

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I am fairly new at this and I am so confused around submitting to agents a pb w/460 word count that diffidently needs illustrations with it but I am told the story should stand along and speak for itself? Then I hear the complete opposite where they want writers that can illustrate their stories. Which I don't do both, I just write. See my confusion?  :bewildered Even if I could send illustrations, I wouldn't know where to begin to search out a great illustrator. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you! Susan
#1 - October 16, 2015, 02:16 PM

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No, you do not need to send illustrations. If your ms needs an illustration note or two to make sense, that is ok. Only professional illustrators should send illustrations to publishers and agents, and writers do not need to find their own illustrator. Publishers prefer to do it themselves. Some agents will only represent author/illustrators for picture books, except for existing clients, which might be where your conflicting info came from? You need to check agent guidelines carefully. Publishers accept both types of submissions, though many only through agents.

If you are new to this, I would definitely read as many threads on our picture book board as you can, and also our member Harold Underdown has a terrific site with information for new writers.  http://www.underdown.org/
#2 - October 16, 2015, 03:48 PM
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The way I created this pb book was based on the action of the pictures. The words are responding to the pictures. If I send this in to agents, they will know right away that something is missing and won't understand what's happening without the pictures or at least giving description with each page.  Thanks for the link. I will take a look.
#3 - October 16, 2015, 04:52 PM

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You can provide illustration notes if they are needed to understand the text, or if the text purposely says something at odds with the illustration. But it's important only to include what's needed to make sense of the text. This is common practice. On both the PB board and the illustration board there are threads on how to do illustration notes.
#4 - October 16, 2015, 07:17 PM
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Thank you! I will look into it.
#5 - October 17, 2015, 03:01 PM

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Hello Artemesia, I am trying to find the PB board that has the threads on how to do illustration notes. I had looked a few times but I guess I am missing it. Can you help?  Thanks! Susan
#6 - October 23, 2015, 04:33 PM

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I did a search for illustration notes and found a number of threads, some more relevant than others. These ones are probably a good place to start. (the third one is quite a good discussion) But if you still have questions I can try to answer them!  :paint

https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=76697.msg954473#msg954473

https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=71742.msg891051#msg891051

https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=61860.0
#7 - October 23, 2015, 05:35 PM
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Artemisia, thank you for the mention! I actually get asked about this issue quite a lot, and wrote up an article that addresses various aspects: Picture Book Manuscripts and Illustrations.

I am always telling writers not to worry about sending picture book manuscripts without pictures to agents and editors. We have LOTS of experience at reading and evaluating picture book manuscripts without illustrations from writers. It's how we want to see them.

Recently, I have noticed that I have had to tell people that they don't need to play art director in their manuscripts--in other words, don't get carried away with illustration notes. Writers generally have no experience at being art directors, after all, so if you are acting as an art director you aren't leading with your strengths. To put it another way, if your manuscript leans too heavily on what you imagine in the illustrations, then it's not showcasing your writing. As a result, such a manuscript may not be the best way to get noticed in the dreaded "slush pile."
#8 - October 23, 2015, 07:56 PM
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Thank you so much! I am sure this will do just fine.  Also, thanks for the quick search for me.
#9 - October 23, 2015, 10:20 PM

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Susan, you have a wealth of info here from Arte and Harold and your set on the question of Illo notes. I just wanted to help clear up your mention of confusion over what you've heard.

>Then I hear the complete opposite where they want writers that can illustrate their stories. Which I don't do both, I just write. See my confusion?<

Read that information this way, Publishers (and many Lit Agents) like finding "Illustrators who can Write". So if your a Writer, not an Illustrator, that doesn't pertain to you and you can happily ignore that bit:)

 
#10 - October 24, 2015, 01:16 AM
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OK, Thanks Christripp
#11 - October 24, 2015, 02:42 PM

Hi Susan, Looks like you got great advice. I just thought I'd add that I did a post (it's two part actually) about illustration notes in picture books and when and how to use them. So, if you're still trying to figure things out you might find something there that will help you.  ::-)  http://frolickingthroughcyberspace.blogspot.com/2015/07/using-illustration-notes-in-picture.html
#12 - October 24, 2015, 06:47 PM
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Thank you Heather. I will check it out!
#13 - October 24, 2015, 11:55 PM

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