Saturday, September 17, 2011

Author Illustrators

At our recent SCBWI critique meeting, aspiring picture book author, Dorothy Price mentioned she had read on Rebecca Sherman's Writer House profile and on Teresa Kietlinski's profile for Prospect Agency that each were looking for individuals who could both write and draw. 
I wondered if this was a new trend,  so I asked Harold Underdown and Tracey Adams, of Adams Literary to weigh in on the subject. Although they responded separately, their answers were in agreement.

Harold responded first. "I don't think this is new, though this isn't the first time I've heard this recently. Agents like to work with illustrators who can write--that way they don't have to split the royalties with an author. To say this is a new trend is like saying it's a new trend that agents are looking for potential bestsellers."

Tracey explained further. "It's not a new trend. One large factor is that an author/artist brings the same commission as a novel writer who earns a 10% royalty, whereas a picture book author and the artist share that 10%, so the commission is based on 5% instead of 10% - a huge difference. Another author/artist bonus is that we often wait YEARS for the publisher to find the perfect artist for our author's text. But at Adams Literary we know that it is a VERY rare gift indeed to be able to write AND illustrate! Most of our clients are one or the other. If someone we love can do both, it's like getting the cherry on top!"
When I commented that it's hard to stay on top of all the industry trends, Harold responded, "Then don't keep up with them! Writing your best work is what you ALWAYS have to do."

With that advice ringing in my ears, I turn back to my manuscript. 

How about you? Are you writing your best work?


Elena said...

Good article. I'm an illustrator, working on my writing skills.

Young Authors Program said...

I'd like to think I am writing my best work, but as we all know, writing is very subjective.

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks, ELena and Dorothy. It is a lot of work for all of us...but we hope that it will pay off! This morning I've been "butt in chair" working on one and one-half pages!

wordwranglernc said...

I write my best on Monday. Then on Tuesday, do my best revision of Monday's work. Then Wednesday gets my best rewriting...and the circle continues! :)

I appreciate this blog, my friend!

Carol Baldwin said...

I assume you're familiar with my Writing-Revising Cycle? It'll arrive in your in-box shortly!

Jean said...

As always, "Great writing is great writing."

Now to get from "good" to "great."


CL said...

Thanks, Carol. I am mostly writing, though I majored in Illustration back in many, many years ago. I find it a difficult balance- but interesting!

Joy said...

Thank you for this post! Mr. Underdown's comment is a great encouragement and one that I imagine I will repeat to myself often.

Carol Baldwin said...

I'm glad that this post was helpful to so many people! Thanks everyone for leaving your comments. We are all learners as we strive to write our "best work."

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

I hope I am writing my best work. I keep trying. I am writing what I am passionate about and that stands for something!

And it for sure isn't trendy!

Carol Baldwin said...

I think passion is a key ingredient in helping us bring forth our finest work!