SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Pitching a manuscript reliant on illustrations

Discussion started on

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI Region iowa
 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

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region midatlantic
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

Member
Poster Plus
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region ksmo
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!, EMERGENCY KITTENS!
Twitter @jodywrites4kids

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region wwa
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.]  Edit for clarity: in this PB, Lulu is a would-be police dog who flunks out of K9 school, so her breed and attitude matter. In another book this note could be scratched entirely.

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 - June 18, 2018, 08:53 PM
« Last Edit: June 20, 2018, 09:03 AM by StephC »
The Ugly Dumpling, 2016
Luis & Tabitha, 2018
The Five Sisters, 2019
Very Lulu, 2019
http://www.stephaniecampisi.com

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
Steph, the key to illustration notes is to make every detail in them important to the story. So, does the story require LuLu to be a chocolate lab and not, say, a retriever? If yes, great note. If the breed doesn't matter, leave the illustrator free reign on it. Figure out what matters to the sotyr. Maybe LuLu needs to be a mid-sized dog for the action to work but not a specific breed. Remember, a picture book is a collaboration.
#5 - June 19, 2018, 08:30 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

New Poster
  • *
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region wwa
Hi Debbie, oh yes, absolutely. In that book Lulu is a would-be police dog (who eventually fails out of K-9 school), so the breed and "mood" matter. Perhaps not the best example for me to have used given the lack of context in my post. I'll edit the above to make it clearer!

I think leaving as much as possible open to the illustrator to interpret is very important, especially as they're expert at communicating character and narrative visually. The best PBs allow the text and illustrations to co-create the story, rather than having one simply echo the other.
#6 - June 20, 2018, 08:59 AM
The Ugly Dumpling, 2016
Luis & Tabitha, 2018
The Five Sisters, 2019
Very Lulu, 2019
http://www.stephaniecampisi.com

Global Moderator
Poster Plus
  • ***
  • SCBWI Member
  • SCBWI PAL
  • SCBWI Region longislandny
Hi Debbie, oh yes, absolutely. In that book Lulu is a would-be police dog (who eventually fails out of K-9 school), so the breed and "mood" matter. Perhaps not the best example for me to have used given the lack of context in my post. I'll edit the above to make it clearer!

I think leaving as much as possible open to the illustrator to interpret is very important, especially as they're expert at communicating character and narrative visually. The best PBs allow the text and illustrations to co-create the story, rather than having one simply echo the other.

Exactly.
#7 - June 20, 2018, 06:02 PM
Website: http://www.debbievilardi.com/
Twitter: @dvilardi1

Members:

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.