The Birth of a Picture Book III

Third in a series called, The Birth of a Picturebook: About the picture book The Cow Cocoon, written by Rachel Nolen and Maria Price. In Birth of a Picture Book I talked about writing the creative brief, the contract, then the character studies, the dummy, and the flat storyboard.

Inside pages from The Cow Cocoon.
Inside spread, The Cow Cocoon.

After the contract is signed, the characters and page breaks are approved, everything starts to come together. Birth of a Picture Book II talked about planning and drawing the rough sketches and coloring the illustrations. In The Birth of a Picture Book III, I will talk about designing the text and putting everything together in a digital form that complies with your POD or printer’s exact specifications and other elements needed to promote a book.

6. The next step is to design the text part of the book. The line work and painting part of the illustrations take a lot of time. During this time I also format the book’s text to make sure it fits perfectly on each page. If you are hiring an illustrator only, they may not want to do this part. I am both an illustrator and a graphic designer. I like to control the design of the pages and make sure the formatting conforms with exactly what the printer needs to print your book to the best of their ability.

7. At this point you can see exactly what each page will look like when printed. Now is the time for serious nick-picking. It’s too late to make major changes at this time, but small adjustments can be made before the book goes to print. You want to find any issues before you get your final proofs from your printer. The longer you wait to make corrections the harder and more expensive things are to change.

8. When everything has been carefully checked and approved by the authors, I will upload the digital files to the printer of choice. I work with each printer to make sure the files are perfect for their purposes. Each printer has an exact set of specifications to follow. The last 1/3 payment is due upon approval of all the illustrations and digital files. When the proofs arrive, I carefully check all the artwork to make sure the printing will run smoothly.

9. Included with each picture book I illustrate I include: A digital image of the cover suitable for marketing and promotion, an isolated image of the main character taken from the cover to use for promotion, and the title image isolated. Written publication copyright is also included for all images when used to promote the book illustrated.

10. Extras: Sometimes authors want extra illustrations to help with their promotions. I have designed and illustrated posters, bookmarks, brochures, banners for websites, author websites, package designs, and stuffed animals or character dolls. I also design and create logo designs for the new publishing company you are creating. These are separate jobs and are charged by the hour.

11. Become friends with each author I work for. It takes about 6 months to finish illustrating a picture book from a written contract to finished proofs. During that time I hope to form a lasting friendship and partnership with each author. I like to follow their publishing journeys and successes.

I hope you learned something from this series of blogs: The Birth of a Picture Book I, The Birth of a Picture Book II, and The Birth of a Picture Book III. You can contact me through my website: DayneSislen.com

Cover for The Cow Cocoon picture book

The Cow Cocoon can be purchased after February 1, 2021 at: www.cowcocoon.com

If you have a picture book manuscript that needs illustration, design, and formatting contact me through my website: www.DayneSislen.com

6 comments on “The Birth of a Picture Book III

  1. Pingback: The Birth of a Picture Book II | Dayne Sislen Children's Book Illustration

  2. Pingback: The Birth of a Picture Book I | Dayne Sislen Children's Book Illustration

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