06 December 2012

In Search of: An Illustrator


I have written a poem that I plan to turn into a children's book, and I'm seeking an illustrator to collaborate with me on a project to make this into a new classic in both eBook and print formats.  The poem has been through a few drafts, but I'm still open to edits, additions, or other changes as my collaborator would think best.  It's for this editorial reason and because I think the theme of this poem/book could be expanded into a series of children's book that I am seeking a collaborator and not simply a for-hire illustrator.  It's also because I don't imagine I'd have the cash up-front to acquire the rights for said artwork, but I plan to share the profits with my partner.  If you're still interested, please read on for my thoughts on this project. If not, thanks for reading this far.

First, my thought on the layout of the book is to have the poem illustrated at one or two stanzas per page, but again, I'll trust my partner's judgment on the ratio of text to image/page.  The use-case I have in mind is that of a teacher reading it in front of his/her class and showing the kids the artwork. For the style of the art work itself, I'm excited to see what a talented artist can come up with from the words in the poem, but the concepts I come back to are classic yet distinct, watercolors and line art.  I have tried to not have any preconceived notions on the style of the art, but it's best that you know what I thought of before beginning.  I am not married to that concept, but I do know that anime-styled artwork is not what I'm thinking of.  On that I will not budge.

From a business angle, I want to split all gross income from the book 50/50 with my partner.  I imagine we will both have expenses in getting things put together, but as partners it's something we should discuss.  Like I said above, this is with the intention of expanding beyond this one project to a potential series if this goes well.

As for distributing the book, the quickest path to availability is to publish as an eBook in the iBooks / Kindle / Nook / Lulu.com stores - I have accounts set up with Amazon & Lulu, where I already have my currently finished projects (novel, poetry book, short story collection) listed.  I also already have a block of ISBNs from which I will assign one to this title.  I also have an account set up with CreateSpace, which prints paperback books.  If we chose to go this route it would be nice to identify some local book / toy stores (like The Dancing Bear in downtown Frederick) to whom we could offer some copies of the book.

While that is the easiest path, it is not the best.  It is likely time well spent shopping this to agents, with whom we could work to strike a deal wit ha publisher and see our creation in glorious hardback form with nice thick glossy pages.

Finding an agent and/or publisher makes the job of marketing the book that much easier.  I've been doing research and working at marketing my present library of titles, and DIY is not easy, but it can be done if we have to do it.  If you've read this far and you are still interested in working with me, please send me an email (lefthandrob at gmail) and I will share a few stanzas of the poem with you.  If I get multiple responses I will let everyone know and I will have to figure out how to decide.  I'll take responses for a week after the date stamp on this post on my site, and we'll go from there.  Finally, I'm hoping to work with someone who is relatively local (within an hour / 90 minute drive of Hagerstown, MD) so that we can meet in person to discuss the project every so often. Thank you for reading!

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