Knowing the real value of the illustrations
A picture is worth a thousand words. For young ones who have yet to learn to read, the colorful illustrations in their children's books bring the words of the story to life.
One important factor that affects the quality of a children’s book is the illustration. Many authors nowadays seem to neglect its value because of many reasons; perhaps many of them are new writers and they are not yet fully aware of the standard rates and services quality. Or let’s say, they might have prior big time credits deducted by their publishers and they don’t want to put further investment. So to say, these are just few reasons why oftentimes artists are not getting paid based on their standard rates.
It is normal to ask for discounts and to demand for lower prices for any kind of products and services, especially when the selling is being done under an individual contract or a person to person deal. But if we are going to consider that most of these people are only earning a living through their talents we will surely see that it may be possible that they won’t get enough money to support their family because of budget cuts for family expenses due to low income. My point is we need to look at not just our side if we are doing something that involves the effort of others. To be honest, illustrating a book is not particularly easy; it takes too much effort, time and ideas to come up with unique concepts and drawings. An average or a not so experienced illustrator could finish a single page in two days and if you’re just paying him $50 per page, it looks like the artist will only earn possibly $750 a month which includes weekends, that’s the maximum earning, which is an average price for a single painting done by a professional painter that is mostly advertised in EBay and amazon.com.
If it’s really hard for you to imagine how important illustration is to complete your book, I’m challenging you to publish your children’s story without any illustrations at all. And I assure you that even your friends won’t buy it. If you are looking for a book illustrator, you should not settle into two or three options, look for at least a dozen illustrators and compare their rates and choose among them. If you are not prepared with your budget yet, don’t rush things, I’m sure it can wait. It’s very sad to know that there are many authors who are willing to jeopardize the value of the illustrator’s work but not their budget and their books, it is so unfair. If you think that your book about Santa should be published before December and the budget is not enough, you can just reduce the number of pages of the illustration or start the project two months before the deadline. Do not put pressure to your illustrator if your budget is only $500 for twenty illustrations. Before you do that, study and learn more about this industry. If you can’t accept the fact that spending money is part of this, then I suggest that you change course and stop writing or you can just double your effort and push more of your luck in marketing your manuscript for traditional publishing. Let us all be reasonable!