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DustySpider
11-08-2015, 10:40 PM
My YA contemporary manuscript,The Picasso Project, is now complete at 65,500 words.

There are sixteen journal entries, with accompanying illustrations, found throughout the novel.

I am getting ready to pitch it and wondering if I might be setting myself up for a hard slog. Is this kind of thing a tough sell? The drawings don't have to be colour (although that would be awesome) - they could work as black and white image as well.

Thank you in advance.

Carol Anne

Toothpaste
11-08-2015, 11:31 PM
I think it depends. (yay what a non-answer :P)

Are the pictures integral to the telling of the story? Can you read and understand the book without them? Are you a professional artist with a portfolio?

If the answer to the first two questions are no, then I would highly recommend you sub without the pictures. This doesn't mean that pictures can't come later, but most publishers like finding the artist who will augment the work and don't tend to love authors coming to the table with such decisions already made. They might decide to end up using you, but still, they make the decision. Not the author.

With that in mind if the answer to all three questions is yes, then I suppose you could sub with the illustrations and you should make sure to include your qualifications and maybe a link to your portfolio in your query letter.

Ultimately here's the thing: a lot of authors like also drawing things for their books. Some authors are good at it, some are not. Some books need the artwork, some do not. You are up against publishers who have run into far too many precious authors who thought their art was so amazing and so well done and so integral to the book when it was none of that and so they are wary. Further, the publisher cares most of all about the quality of the writing. Cool pictures might be a plus, but cool pictures and meh writing isn't going to get a book published.

In conclusion, unless you truly feel you are an exception, if you are an artist of some merit who does it professionally, and if your book cannot exist without the art, sub it with the art.

But if you can get away without subbing the pictures, I say that's probably the best bet. You can talk about illustrations after you have the deal, but ultimately it's the writing that sells your work. And have faith that what you've written is good enough :) .

DustySpider
11-08-2015, 11:54 PM
Thanks so much. That is a great answer!

Yes, I am a visual artist, as well as a writer. I have my work in a few galleries in the area, and taught high school art for ten years.
That being said, my manuscript *could* work without the drawings, so I think your advice to sub the ms w/o artwork is best. At least initially. The conversations about artwork, if they are/were to happen at all, could come later.

Thanks again for your feedback. Very much appreciated.

C.A.

Toothpaste
11-09-2015, 02:48 AM
My pleasure! And yes that really does sound like a most excellent plan :) . And very cool about you being an artist too, I've always loved visual art but could never really do it myself. It's why I wound up studying art history in university, my way of connecting with it I guess. I am most envious you have the ability.

(also yay teachers!)

moonwatch178
11-09-2015, 07:51 AM
There was some great discussion of a very similar at the Shark's blog (including a comment by Shaun Hutchinson—the author of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley). You should check it out! :)

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/search?q=illustrated

DustySpider
11-09-2015, 08:04 AM
There was some great discussion of a very similar at the Shark's blog (including a comment by Shaun Hutchinson—the author of The Five Stages of Andrew Brawley). You should check it out! :)

http://jetreidliterary.blogspot.com/search?q=illustrated

Oh! Thanks for the link. I will check it out. :)

DustySpider
11-09-2015, 08:07 AM
[QUOTE= I am most envious you have the ability.

(also yay teachers!)[/QUOTE]

Well, art is such a subjective thing, but thank you for your kind words. Yes, the teaching was fun, except when it came to marking. I HATED having to assign a letter grade. Some kids were technically amazing, with not a lot of creative ability, and others had the most imaginative brilliant minds, but lacked technical skill. A challenge to mark.