How to Hire a Book Illustrator in 10 Simple Steps

How to Hire an Illustrator in 10 Simple Steps

Visual elements can be significant in particular types of books, boosting the reading experience and expressing information in an original and gripping way. Be it works of fiction, graphic novels or comics, visuals can often speak louder than words, and when deployed effectively, can enhance the impact of your publication. An expertly-crafted illustration brings an extra charm to the book, making it more visually engaging and appealing to a bigger audience.

Kids may appreciate adorable pictures, yet teenagers and young adults are frequently captivated by meaningful and creative drawings. This indicates the importance of hiring book illustration services for your promising best-seller.

In a digital gallery of art, with each illustrator having their own distinctive style and narrative to tell, we are here to help you take into account the key factors before contracting an illustrator and to guide you through the appropriate steps in the hiring process. 

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Who Is A Book Illustrator?

A book illustrator is a professional artist who creates visual artwork, typically in the form of illustrations or images, to accompany and enhance the content of a book. Book illustrators play a crucial role in adding visual elements to stories, textbooks, children’s books, graphic novels, and various other types of literature.

Book illustrators work closely with authors and publishers to bring the written words to life through visuals. Their illustrations complement and enrich the storytelling, helping readers to better understand the text and immerse themselves in the narrative.

These professionals employ various artistic styles and techniques, depending on the genre and target audience of the book. For example, a children’s book illustrator might use vibrant colors and whimsical characters, while an illustrator for a scientific textbook may create detailed and informative diagrams.

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The Importance Of Illustration In Books

The significance of illustrations within the world of literature is intimately tied to the specific audience a book aims to engage. For example, if you are adding illustrations to a children’s book, it will help you in grabbing the child’s attention. A child’s attention span is extremely short, but they get attracted to imagery, which is why every children’s book has images in it.

If you read a book with a kid, you will see that they are more interactive with the pictures. The illustrations also help the child develop a sense of understanding when they hear a word and see what it looks like.

On the other hand, illustrations play a bit of a mature role when included in adult books. The most common examples of illustration in adult books include technical manuals, medical diagrams, and educational texts. They are also incorporated in adult books when the narrative is extremely difficult, and the author feels imagery can make it easier for the reader.

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10 Steps To Follow When Hiring A Book Illustrator

We have met authors who firmly believe in the importance of good illustrations. However, they do the exact opposite when they make their hiring decisions: choosing price over portfolio.

Yes, this is the worst you can do as a self-publishing author: investing in an illustrator but neglecting expertise for the cost. 

If you too are a self-publishing author and wondering how to hire a book illustrator, we recommend striking the right balance between price, quality, expertise in style and portfolio.

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So, if you are seeking professional book illustration services to transform your written work into a visually captivating masterpiece, follow these steps to bring your words to life:

Want to know how much does book illustration costs in 2023? Head over to our book illustration cost blog.

1. Look into their portfolio

A person’s previous work says a lot about how skilled they are. So, giving it a look is exactly what you will do. If you want to make sure that your books are in good hands, then we suggest that you ask the illustrator to share their past work with you. 

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Such as the books they have worked on and the illustrations they have created, and then run a comparison to see how well those books have performed in the market.

It will tell you how good the individual is at their work and whether they will be able to carry out the type of illustration you plan for your book. You can also look into their social media and websites to see how consistent they are, and double check their work.

2. Expertise

Each illustrator has a specific niche that fits their expertise. Some like to do children’s books, whereas some like working on character designing, then there are people who like to work on concept design and educational diagrams. So, it is very important that you look into the individual’s expertise before you hire them. 

You would not want to hire a professional illustrator who is an expert in medical diagrams to work on your children’s book. Otherwise, the illustrations might not turn out as you expect them to, which will be a waste of resources, money, and time.

3. Consistency

“If you want to achieve something in life, you need to be consistent.” 

It is exactly what you should be looking for when hiring a professional illustrator. Art is a trial and error process, but if the person gives up on something after they fail twice or thrice, then that person does not possess the passion to fulfill their or anyone else’s needs.

Being consistent allows an artist to explore new skills and styles, which later on helps them expand their expertise from one specific art style to mastering more. 

If the individual is consistent and has the required experience, then you must look at whether their work style matches your requirements.

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4. Communication

Effective communication is extremely important when hiring a resource like an illustrator. You must make sure that the person you are hiring is open to feedback, knows how to communicate any sort of difficulty, and is responsive in case of an emergency.

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They also must be able to understand your vision, and if they can’t, then the illustrator must be confident enough to say it out loud and ask for the brief again.

strong communication between the author and the illustrator will lower the chance of any sort of errors during the project. It will also ensure that the final outcome is an exact fit for your vision.

5. Price

Making a book with illustrations can be very expensive because you have to hire a separate service for which you have to pay a handsome amount. Hence, we suggest that you do budget planning in the beginning and decide how much you are willing to spend on the illustration services. Because the spending will not end with paying the illustrator. 

The printing company will also ask for an extra amount as they will be using colored ink for the illustrations. Good for you. Every illustrator works for a different fee, so we suggest that you look for the one that falls under your budget and whose cost is justified by their skills.

For example, Hancock Ghostwriters offers customized illustration services to each customer so they can decide what to spend on.

6. Contracts and Legal Consideration

Whether you are hiring the illustration artist for a project or for a permanent position, we suggest that you get them to sign a written contract and other legal documents, such as an NDA, which outlines the project timeline, payment method, details about work, and other terms and conditions. 

So, both parties are on the same page, and there is no room for any sort of miscommunication in the future.

If the illustrator agrees to sign the contract, it will not only be easy to work with them, but it will also show they do not have any sort of shady agenda and that they respect the work and would like to be a part of it. 

We also suggest that before signing any documentation and contract, you run them by a legal professional to make sure that there is no clause that can harm the deal in the future.

7. Professionalism

Professionalism is something that you cannot take any chances with. If the person does not meet their deadlines on time, does not know how to communicate, and keeps avoiding work, then they are not suitable for the job, so before you hire an illustrator to design illustrations or a book cover for your book.

8. Check with their References

We suggest you run a background check from their previous employers and learn more about their process. How was their experience working with the illustrator, and how would they describe the illustrator’s work ethic? These things are extremely important for a smooth and successful collaboration.

9. Rights and Royalty Claim

We also suggest that you discuss these things at the beginning of the project, as many illustrators like to keep ownership of their artwork so that they can use it for other clients as well. But if you do not wish to do such a thing, and want to keep the design exclusive to your book, then you have to communicate this beforehand.

You must clarify the usage of each illustration, be it for printing, publication, or marketing. You can also include a clause within the contract to clarify the illustrations’ royalty to avoid any future inconvenience.

10. Collaboration with the Team

The illustrator must be a team player as well. Considering that the book writing process involves a number of people, such as a writer, publisher, and marketing team. Making it vital that each member of your team is open to suggestions and feedback about their work and is trained to take it positively.

11. Should be a Team Player

It also includes that the illustrator must have proper work ethics, should submit their work on time, and stay in touch with other departments to update them of any inconvenience. The illustrator must also understand what the book means to you and try their best to make the process as smooth as possible.

Now that we have discussed the things one must look for in a professional illustrator, let us get down to the importance of illustration in books.

Wrapping It Up…

Hiring an illustrator is an important decision that you must make while keeping everything under consideration. You cannot just pick any illustrator who comes your way. You must make sure the individual is adding value to your book and has your best interest at heart.

You must also never compromise on the quality of your illustrations due to pricing. Look out for the best ones that fit right into your budget and bring to the table exactly what you need. Match the portfolio to your vision, talk your way through your objectives, and you must be good to go with your desired professional illustrator. 

For extremely reliable and convenient illustration services, we suggest that you look into Hancock Ghostwriters. Our work speaks for us and our dedicated team understands their clients well and has equipped themselves with requisite book illustration trends, industry FADs, and consumer market. 

Start your journey with Hancock Ghostwriters to make art feel lively in your book, and add a contributing factor to its success.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is illustration?

An illustration is a visual interpretation of any text, concept, or digital medium. They are designed for the integration of artistic visuals into published media, such as magazines, books, teaching materials, animations, video games and films.

What does an illustrator do?

An illustrator is responsible for creating the visual aspects of any print media such as children’s books, graphic novels, and comics. They are the vessel between an author and their audience, and with their rightly crafted illustrations, can attract the audience into reading.

How much does it cost to hire an illustrator?

The cost to hire an illustrator can vary widely depending on several factors, including the illustrator’s experience, the complexity of the project, the type of illustrations needed, and the intended usage of the illustrations. 

How long is the duration of a book illustration service?

Again, depending upon the nature of the book, the time duration for the project may vary. For instance, a simple book with fewer pages takes up to 4-8 weeks while a more complex or elaborate novel or comic can take up to 4-6 months. 

What techniques do book illustrators use?

Book illustrators use a wide range of techniques, including drawing, painting, digital art, collage, and mixed media. The choice of technique often depends on the illustrator’s style and the book’s content.

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