How do I find an illustrator for my novel series?
by Kendria Perry
Question: Hi, my name is Summer and I'm currently working a novel series of 6 volumes. My books will be aimed at teenagers, so I want an illustrator to draw cover and inside illustrations for all 6 books. Do you know where I can find an illustrator for my books? Thanks in advance!Answer:
I'm guessing you're looking at self-publishing? I ask because a traditional publisher would likely prefer to match you with a book illustrator or designer of their choosing. So if that's the route you are taking, don't worry about finding an illustrator on your own.
If you want to self-publish, you can certainly find many freelance book illustrators advertised at places like guru.com, or through craigslist. Better bets might be www.childrensillustrators.com or the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). (I know, yours is a book for teenagers, but not all illustrators are that specialized. Look at the posted samples of work for a style you like.)
The challenge with these routes is that you would be dealing with someone you don't really know that well. Having a good relationship with a designer you have confidence in and with whom you see eye to eye is very important to avoid misunderstandings and to make sure you get something you're happy with.
If it were me, I would want to meet some illustrators face to face to see who I would like to work with. One possibility might be to go to a comic book convention. Many artists have display booths at these conventions and you can approach those whose work interests you. Or you could try an SCBWI convention or even a local art college.
Whoever you choose, make sure you have a properly drawn up contract that establishes things like who owns copyright over the illustrations and the finished book, how much you will pay, how much time they need (it could be longer than you think), whether you can ask for changes, etc. On heavily illustrated books, copyright is often jointly owned by author and illustrator who are entitled to equal royalties. Both names go on the cover. Or you may purchase illustrations and the right to reproduce them for a flat fee plus crediting the illustrator.
One site with a lot of information on the book design process (helpful background for working with an illustrator) is www.thebookdesigner.com.