So you want to write a children's book! Or you've written one and you'd like to get it illustrated and published! Firstly congratulations, I wish I could write pictures books!
Secondly thank you for considering me to be the illustrator for your picture book. I get asked a lot to illustrate people's picture books, so I've put together these frequently asked questions and information about my process to make it easier for all involved. Each illustrator you come across will have a different perspective, different experiences and a different understanding of the process of creating a picture book, so I am in no way saying this is the only way to do it, this is just from my experience the way I operate when it comes to picture books.
This information is hard to find, and not many people know about the process of producing a picture book - so I'm more than happy to explain it (from my experience) here.
The first thing you need to work out is how you are going to publish your story. Are you going to submit it to a publisher or self publish or self publish through a publishing service?
Publishing House or Self Publish through a Partnership Publisher: The first thing I would recommend you do is find out what publisher's you like, go to their websites, find out when and how they accept manuscripts and submit your manuscripts to these publishers. I do not illustrate books before you submit them to a publisher. Publishers have processes, they want to see your manuscript the way they specify, if they accept your manuscript they'll get in touch, they have hundreds of illustrators on file which they will sort through to find the right one for your book - can you suggest me as an illustrator? Sure you can and I would love you to! But at the end of the day the publisher knows what will sell, has a name and reputation of quality to uphold and they will choose your illustrator (again there are exceptions to the rule but this is what I would say to anyone who asks me about illustrating their story).
If either publishing options chooses me as the illustrator they will work out the contract, the timeframe, I'll submit storyboards to them and they will pass them along to you. A publishing house will pay me directly and through a partnership publisher you will pay me out of your own pocket.
Self Publish: I would recommend getting your manuscript professionally edited, get as much advice as you can about publishing a book, doing a HUGE amount of research so you are fully aware of the costs associated, how are you going to distribute your book, whats the price you need to sell it at - is that competitive, etc. etc. etc. If you approach me to illustrate your book please include the manuscript so I can read it and see whether I think it suits my style and reflects the values of my work.
If you decide to self publish through a service such as Little Steps Publishing, they'll handle the process and we can get started on your picture book! The initial steps are exciting and I've put this information out there to hopefully give you some starting points.
Please don't get in touch with me asking me to illustrate your book until you know have a solid plan on how you will be publishing it.
Below are some partnership publishers that you could submit your manuscript to:
http://www.littlesteps.com.au/faqs/ - I have illustrated 2 books with Little Steps Publishing
http://captainhoney.com.au - I am in the process of illustrating a book with Captain Honey