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I have found the perfect artist. How would I approach working with him?

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I know the publisher picks the illustrator if you're not an artist but I want THIS artist and he's interested in doing it.  Would I pay him up front or tell him that he would get paid when/if the book gets published? 
#1 - December 29, 2017, 08:54 PM

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Jessica, are you planning to self publish? If you're thinking of traditionally publishing and aren't agented, I think you should query agents or sub to editors without an illustrator, and when it gets picked up tell them you know the perfect illustrator and hope they'll consider him. I suspect doing it differently runs a significant risk of him doing work for no return--or you paying him up front and being out that money yourself.

This may be helpful, too: https://www.scbwi.org/boards/index.php?topic=65417.0
 :goodluck
#2 - December 29, 2017, 10:27 PM
« Last Edit: December 29, 2017, 10:34 PM by dewsanddamps »
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The other option would be for you to create a dummy with your text and his illustrations, then submit as a team. I guess the editor could say they like one part and not the other, then you could decide what to do. But he would have to do it for free unless the book was purchased by an editor; then you would each get your advance and royalties.
#3 - December 30, 2017, 02:06 PM
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The other option would be for you to create a dummy with your text and his illustrations, then submit as a team. I guess the editor could say they like one part and not the other, then you could decide what to do. But he would have to do it for free unless the book was purchased by an editor; then you would each get your advance and royalties.

If you do this, have a contract with the illustrator that specifies what happens if the editor prefers one or the other. It's better to face the issues in advance and have your thoughts codified. It avoids potential conflict later. Also, note the options in your cover letter. Otherwise, an editor who dislikes one will reject automatically.
#4 - December 30, 2017, 05:59 PM
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Great advice everyone.  Thank you for the replies. 
#5 - December 30, 2017, 06:21 PM

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And just to add, if you both decide to take the risk of subbing as a team, the dummy would contain rough, pencil Illustrations and perhaps 1 finished, coloured piece. That way, if most likely the publisher turns the art down, the Illustrator hasn't done months of work for nothing. Even on the off chance that a publisher does accept the Illustrator, your text and his art will be altered working with an Editor and an Art Director. So roughs show to the publisher you both anticipate there will be changes. A link to the Illustrators on line portfolio (in your cover letter) will allow the publisher to see what the Illustrators final work looks like.
#6 - December 31, 2017, 02:24 AM
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