I've been inundated with many questions regarding writing and marketing and I plan on answering all of your questions here on this blog. Here is one question from a follower that I would like to address:
Should I illustrate my own books, or would it be better to hire an illustrator?
There are plenty of children's books illustrated by authors. The most notable being Dr. Seuss. I know, I know. I just set the bar fairly high right there.
If you're self-publishing this book then your options are open to you because you can most definitely paint those pictures to your heart's content and arrange the book in any way you want. If you would rather pay someone to illustrate the book for you and then publish it you can always do that so long as you have the budget for it.
Things to consider:
- How many illustrations will I need?
- Do I have time to paint them myself?
- Do I feel that my level of experience as a painter will allow me to create the illustrations I've envisioned?
- Will anyone else be able to understand my own vision of how these illustrations should turn out?
- Can I afford to pay someone else to do it? (You'll need to research costs associated with this, but I've found some stellar illustrators on Fiverr: The marketplace for creative & professional services. You can get great illustrators here for very reasonable prices. Just make sure you look at their portfolios and track records on fiverr so you know that you're getting a good product and working with a reliable individual. I would also consider a trial run with just one illustration to see if they "get" it or if their style of art meshes well with your take on things.
If you're going the traditional way of publishing, the publisher is the one who decides whether or not your illustrations will be used, and many times the publisher goes with illustrators they have already worked with and know they can rely on. In this situation, you must stress the importance of your own illustrations being used and have them all ready to go so your publisher gets a feel for your level of competence and has something he/she can work with. Even then, they may go with another illustrator.
For some stellar help in this department check out the Society of Children's Book Writer's and Illustrators.
I hope you are able to find the answers you are looking for.