Networking is the Key to Landing a Book Illustrator Job

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While much of the world has been automated, and computer generated this and that have replaced many a craft and trade, one area that has resisted the march of the machine is original art. While computers can help in the production and reproduction of high quality illustrations, it still takes the human creative spark to take an idea and mold it into a piece of art.



If you like to draw or paint and you want to make artwork your steady career, one of the paths open to you is that of a book illustrator. Any book, even those produced and distributed electronically, can benefit from illustrations and cover art. Just look at the classics. “Alice and Wonderland”, “Tom Sawyer”, “Oliver Twist”, “Ivanhoe” are just a few of the books who were released with illustrations highlighting the text.


Since then, while book illustrations are less common, cover art has exploded, and is often responsible for tipping the scales when a customer is making a choice at the local book store. Or online, where the catchy cover of a new mystery or adventure book displayed on the screen can close the sale.

But how do you land a job illustrating or doing cover art? As with many professions, networking is the key.

Start with Your School:

Many colleges and universities have programs to help their graduates find their way in the professional world. Many of your professors, teachers and instructors have contacts in the illustration industry which you can use to get a start. You may need to try many before you find one that can help, but perseverance is often rewarded with success.

Join on Line and Real World Communities:

There is strength in numbers. Check out blogs and social networking sites dedicated to artwork in general and book illustration in particular. Engage in the forums. Comment on posts. Share your illustrations with your contemporaries.

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Find some groups that get together and swap stories of successes and failures and come up with strategies to ultimately succeed. Can’t find a local group? Start one.

Find an Art Gallery Site on Line for Your Work:

There are a variety of sites that feature galleries of artist’s work where you can upload images. Keep your collection up to date, and reference it in your Facebook and other social media outlets. The more people who look at your work, the more likely it will be that you will find a customer.

Real world galleries are also a great idea if you can find some in your area. Though the audience is smaller, so is the amount of competing artwork and you have an opportunity to meet face to face with people who like your work.


Speaking of Social Media:

As with many businesses, connecting on line is a crucial marketing skill. Use your followers and those you follow to help spread your work and your progress across the web. Keep a well maintained web page with an up to date picture gallery. Include a blog to improve your search engine ratings and to help connect in a positive way with anyone who may visit your site.

Tips for Making it as a Book Illustrator

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The old complaint still applies. You can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job. And this is even truer when it comes to being a book illustrator. No one is going to trust you with the fruits of sometimes years of labor without some credentials that you can capitalize on.


Traditional employment is usually a dead end. Very few people go to an employment agency and walk out with their first job as an illustrator.


Fortunately, there are a number of ways for unknown and aspiring illustrators to make a name for themselves. Here are a few:


  • Post on online art gallery sites: Sites like allow you to post your work which can be viewed by anyone on line. Not only do you have the opportunity to gain ratings and a reputation among the on line art community, but often authors and publishers check out these sites looking for people whose style matches their vision for a book being published. Just make sure that you mention book illustrations in your profile.
  • Get a table at a local Con: Sci Fi, Fantasy, Comic Book, Anime and other conventions are going strong, and the number of smaller cons popping up around the country is growing.  These events always include a vendor room, where you can set up a table to exhibit and even sell your illustrations. You will also get a chance to interact with other artists, publishers, producers and authors who are attending. If your work matches the theme of a local Con, consider setting up shop.
  • Freelance Job Sites: There are a number of freelance sites on the internet which offer jobs for illustrators to bid on. Authors and publishers, especially those working with eBooks, will often use these sites to find someone to produce illustrations, color art, logos and other graphics for there as yet unpublished work. Acceptance is dependent on your rates, your rating and your portfolio. This can be a problem if you are new to the site. Some sites allow customers to use contests to pick the best submission. These are easier to break into for unrated artists, so you have a greater chance for your work to be seen by interested potential clients.
  • Niche publications: Look for web sites, small newspapers or trade papers who could use some spiffy illustrations to improve their own market penetration. The pay might be low, but the exposure could be extensive.
  • Local Events Advertizing: Establish a relationship with local organizations, performers, or anyone who might need some fliers or web art for an upcoming event. Any time you sell something that you created means potential experience points that can help you bag future clients.
  • Maintain your own web presence: You should have a well designed and maintained web site featuring your work, highlighting those which were sold. Provide plenty of copy with keywords that will attract your target clients.


The bottom line is to keep networking and keep getting your work out there where it can be seen.

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Tips on How to Make a Living While You Write Your Book

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Writing your first book is a long, lonely process, with little chance of remuneration along the way. Unless your book concept has already been accepted by a publisher, and you are working off of an advance, you are doing all of your writing on your own time, for no pay at all. Basically, it is a hobby that you hope to turn into a profession.


Whether you are planning to self publish (a popular but still risky proposition), or will be seeking a literary agent to help smooth the way for your manuscript, you still need to eat and pay the bills. The battery on your notebook won’t last forever. Here are some tips:

  • Keep Your Day Job: Most beginning writers have a full time job in the real world that keeps body and soul together, while they spend their nights and weekends slaving over their story. Scott Adams, author and artist of the famous Dilbert comics depicting corporate life in America, was in fact working at a large corporation during the time he was developing his strip. It took some time for his work to take off, so he was careful to keep his ‘day job’ intact during this growth period. In an interview, Adams revealed that he did not quit his job right away when his Dilbert earning began to equal and exceed his salary from his day job. He liked the two incomes, and found that knowing he could quit at any time made it easier to put up with the stresses of corporate politics.
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  • Trim your lifestyle: Perhaps your day job doesn’t work well with your writing. The hours may be too long or there may be intellectual property clauses in your employee agreement. If you don’t have family responsibility to contend with, you can always downsize your lifestyle to allow you to get a job that is more amenable to your literary aspirations. Some ideas include:
  • Delivery Driver: If you have a decent car and you know your area, you can make some pretty good money as a delivery driver. The job, while not taxing, involves a good bit of walking (or running if you want to hustle for those tips) and gives you time to yourself to think your way out of those plot holes. Also, you get a glimpse into a cross section of the lives of the people of your city, making good fodder for future characters and settings.
  • Write-a-bookRide Share Driver: If your area is served by one of the ride sharing companies, this is an excellent choice as it allows you to literally set your own hours. It has the further advantage that if money runs short at the end of the month, you can temporarily add extra drive time to your schedule.

Freelance Writing: There are a number of web sites that offer jobs for freelance writers, and while most of them are fairly low paid, they do allow you to work from home and give you the opportunity to sharpen your writing skills. Just be careful that you don’t burn out on the articles and have nothing left for your book.

Best Selling Book Writers Of 2015

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The trends are changing, and the days when the future of book authors had become somewhat endangered during the introduction of modern technology, is finally reviving itself. People are now more and more involved in writing best seller novels, and the database of huge successes among authors has increased dramatically. Even the young writers have seized the opportunity to show their talent and in many ways they have been quite successful in showing what they are capable of. Many of them have now gone on to produce one of the bestselling books in the market today. Here are the top authors of 2015 whose books have been regarded as best sellers.


Alfie Deyes

Originally known for producing the best seller novel “pointless”, the best seller writer is now a proud owner of the blog for his novel. He also runs a successful YouTube channel which focuses on his book and its content. Many people around the world have credited his works and have voted for him as the best seller novel writer in 2015.

Paula Hawkins

Born in Zimbabwe, Paula has been involved in many brilliant works since 2000, and has recently produced one of her prized possessions, the girl on the train. Her recent novel has earned huge support from the crowd, making her one of the bestselling authors around.


Santa Montefiore

Born in Britain, the author has been involved in many best seller novels over the years, and in 2015, she has also been around the very best, owing to her novel, the beekeeper’s daughter. This novel has grown so much interest among the people that it has actually experienced a price rise rather than a decline over time, and yet people are still interested in buying the book due to its rich, vivid detailing.

Caitlin Moran

Known for her versatile personality, this elegant woman has been the proud author of the bestselling novel, how to be a woman. Apart from being an author, she is also a broadcaster in England and is also an active TV critic. It is claimed that the book possesses the power to energize and reinvigorate woman empowerment.


Val Mcdermid

Known for producing one of the most thrilling novels, the Scottish born writer has produced a number of crime fighting novels over the period of his long writing career. He has also been nominated as one of the bestselling authors of all time, and has also gained a place in top authors of 2015 by producing his latest masterpiece, the skeleton road, which is rich in thrill, excitement and awesomeness.

David Baldacci

The world famous writer, David Baldacci, has been once known as the best author in America. Over the past many years, he has been producing many world famous books, and has created a huge audience which praise and commend on his works. His latest book, the Escape, has blown through the roof in the market, as the book continues to sell and has been a huge success, hence making him one of the very best selling authors in 2015.

5 Tips on How to Become an Illustrator

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Do you ever think about stopping to work all day in a cubicle in an office, and start living the dream of creating brilliant illustrations? Do you have it in you to create something out of the ordinary, and make something not only catchy to the eye, but also deep in its meaning? Do you have the skill that is required for painting your imagination onto the digital screen? Here are 5 tips that would help you start off as an illustrator.



When starting your new illustrator career, bear in mind that there will be no external motivation to get you started, and you are probably on your own – you are self-employed. And in order to start, you must have self confidence and the knowledge to create great stuff. You need to be sure that illustration is what you want, and you are willing to go into it long-term with this career. If you think that you only have a vague plan, then it’s probably going to fail in the long-term. The first challenge is getting that self-belief within you, and once you accept that, only then can you really start working as an illustrator.


Always change your thinking according to the user’s requirements. You cannot just use one way of thinking about the illustration and use that to create all of your works. Think of it as a balance which keeps the customer happy and also does not ruin the integrity of the illustration, but you have to make a bit of effort to adapt to the customer’s imagination in return. Having to adapt while working as you go allows you to easily interchange between the customer’s requirements in the future, and also builds your experience which is vital for your illustrating career.


Find Friends

When you are working as an illustrator, many times you realize that the type of work you are doing requires a tranquil and solitary environment, and your clients or customers are also usually communicating through digital forms, such as by phone, email or Skype. So every now and then there will be a need to go out and meet a couple of friends for a coffee break. Working all day long makes one stressed enough, and without many people around you, one can easily become very anti-social. Meeting with a few people not only helps reinvigorate you, but also helps one get rid of that anti-social feeling that many illustrators tend to have.

Find a Good Place to Work

At first all illustrators tend to start with their laptops in their hands and a small place in their bedroom or living room, but as time would go on, he/she would realize that there is a need to separate work from life, therefore there will be a need to find good space to work in. Luckily, there are hundreds of places where one can work. If you can afford, you may even rent a small studio apartment with a few friends along who also share the same work field. Otherwise, a trip to the cafe can be of good use while doing your work. Who knows, maybe you will be inspired by something!



This is for any career. There may be times when you feel like nothing’s going your way, and you start to panic. WRONG. Do not panic, that is the key to keeping your head calm. If you cannot find a good idea, just relax, and take a break (contrary to what needs to be done, I know). Just stop thinking about work and relax for a bit, and before you realize some great idea will pop in your head.

5 Tips on how to become a fiction writer

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So you have started to take up fiction writing, well why not make your writing good? But in order to start, you must first know the basics on how to become a good fiction writer. Writing a fiction novel is never that easy. There are many things that need to be kept in mind if one is to even think of producing content that is worthy of reading. Learning how to write good fiction content requires, patience, dedication and practice. Here are 5 tips on how you can become a good fiction writer.


Create Tension

Many people who are new to fiction try to start the story with action, and over the years many of us have also heard from other people that one should try to start with action. This is not the right way to start, unfortunately. The reason being is that starting a fiction story straight through action makes the background about the main character completely blank for the reader. The reader needs to know what the main story is about, who he is, what his background is, his family, any love interests etc.


Think About the Wants

Try to think about what the character wants. For example, in Romeo and Juliet, the two wanted each other as their life partners. In beauty and the beast, the beast wants Belle to live with her. Knowing what the main characters in the story want helps one decide how to set up the plot, making production of the fiction content a much easier task.


The main point of fiction is to keep readers curious about what is to happen next, so leaving a few unanswered questions or at least a few cliffhangers along the story is very important. Try to end a few chapters on a cliff, keeping the readers curious, but not necessarily each chapter. Having to add a few cliffhangers allows one to keep the story going.


Make Obstacles

Creating obstacles allows the author to bring a bit of spice to the story. A story is boring or a dull one if there are no obstacles, no challenges, and the reader loses interest very easily. If the reader loses interest, then it means that the book is no good to sell anymore, thus making the story into a failure. This is probably the most important part of writing fiction.

Who is the Audience

Try to understand who the audience is. Are they a group of children, or a much older group? Do you want to create a fairy tale, or perhaps some erotica, or maybe a crime novel? Decide what you want to write and then make a plot accordingly. Each category will have a different accent. A story of a suspense novel will have a much different story line than a comedy novel for kids. Try to stick to a genre if you can, especially if you are new to fiction writing. Having to mix two genres into one is risky as in many cases it ruins the story.

Categories: How To Write Stories Tags: , ,

Top 5 Tips for Writing the Best Books

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Being able to write a book requires you to have an independent state of mind and a very bright imagination. Even though it is a very pleasurable and enjoyable experience, writing books can be at times overwhelming. The truth is, not everyone has the ability to write books. If you are one of those bright minded people who want to write a terrific book, here are some tips for you to follow.


Determine the type of book you are going to write

The most important step to take is to make up your mind what type of book it is going to be. For example if a specific idea hasn’t crossed your mind yet and you want to create a story but don’t know about what, it’s wise to determine for yourself what kind of book you want to produce ideas of. There is a vast quantity of book types – children’s fairy tales, short stories, love stories, novels, detective stories, true stories, fantasy fictions, series, etc. Once you have decided upon a certain type of book, you can proceed to the next step.

Have the entire idea in your head

One of the reasons that people find it hard to write a book is that they don’t know how to start. Or they don’t know how to continue, or end the book. In order to make your book as interesting as the readers would like, you must have the entire idea in your mind. Not just the idea of the beginning or the end, but the entire idea of what the book must be about. It can be as short an idea as a couple of words. After you make the mental short or long image of the book in your mind, you can consider one of the most important parts achieved.

Brainstorm, brainstorm, brainstorm

Having the whole idea in your mind is not enough to create an amazing book. You have to equip yourself with a pen and a paper, or a computer, if that’s easier for you, and jot down any ideas you come up with. In other words, it’s important to do a little brainstorming. Write down pieces of the most important ideas; evolve around the ideas to make it clearer for yourself, what happens in the book in the beginning, in the middle and in the end. You need not write long stories in your brainstorming session, just elaborate your ideas a little.



Create characters

This is the most important part. Right down names, surnames, ages, looks, and the characters of the people in your book.It can be tricky, as throughout writing the book you must be able to make the characters recognizable, for example, if in the beginning of your book “Nancy Smith” hated spiders, she can’t suddenly start loving them in the middle of the book (of course if there aren’t any specific circumstances making her love them).


It’s time to actually write the book

Finally you can write your book. You must feel the mood of writing in order to actually write. Sit more comfortably in your armchair, grab some snacks, and start. Write a catchy sentence as your first sentence and continue. Once you have the idea jotted down on the paper, and the characters ready to come to action, you will find it easier to write. It’s important to edit and check and re-check whatever you’ve written, in order to make it neater and more accurate.

Here you go. Now you have enough knowledge to start your first book. If the book is going to be long, it can take days or weeks to complete, so take your time, in order to create the most amazing book ever.

Categories: How To Write Book Tags: , ,

The Top 5 Writer/Illustrators of All Time

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As if writing a children’s book isn’t enough work, some authors are talented enough to illustrate their own books – it’s amazing! When an author is able to illustrate his or her own work, they are able to capture the true essence and message of their writing. You should recognize all of the writer/illustrators listed below, they’re famous for a reason!


Dr. Seuss.


Dr. Seuss is the pseudonym for Theodore Seuss Geisel. Seuss wrote and illustrated 44 books for children under this pseudonym.  He also wrote other books for children under the name Theo LeSieg. Dr. Seuss’s best known children’s books include: Green eggs and Ham, One fish, Two Fish, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, The Cat in the Hat,and Horton Hears a Who. Dr. Seuss illustrates in a bright graphic cartoon style that appeals to children and adults alike. And, while at first glance, Seuss’ books appear as simplistic and rhyming, many deal with important adult issues. For example, “The Lorax” address damage to the environment through capitalist greed and abuse of environmental resources.


Shel Silverstein


Shel Silverstein is an American author and cartoonist. He is also a screenwriter and singer-songwriter. Silverstein well-loved book, “The Giving Tree,” shows the relationship between a small boy and a tree. The illustrations are simple yet touching, and the theme of the story is about selfless love, though it could also be interpreted to be about abuse of power and privilege. His other popular children’s book is “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” which is a collection of children’s poetry that addresses common childhood concerns through imaginative stories.


Stan and Jan Berenstain


The Berenstain are the creators and illustrators of the children’s book series “The Berenstain Bears.” Together they wrote and illustrated hundreds of books, dealing with a variety of issues and exciting events children may encounter as they grow up. Some of the most-loved books of the series include: The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Junk Food, The Berenstain Bears and the Messy Room, The Berenstain Bears get the Gimmies, and The Berenstain Bears New Baby. After their deaths, Stan and Jan’s son, Mike, also a children’s author/illustrator, continued the family stories, and new books are still being written and illustrated to this day!


Beatrix Potter


Beatrix Potter was A British author and illustrator who is best known for her children’s books such as The Tale of Peter Rabbit, The Tale of Miss Tiggy-Winkle, The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck, and the Tale of the Flopsy Bunnies. Potters books center around animals, where the animals take on human characteristics. This is calledanthropomorphism, and is a technique commonly used in children’s literature.  Beatrix Potter books are considered classic collector items and have inspired lines of dishware, toys, and clothing.


May Gibbs


May Gibbs is an Australia children’s author who is best known for her book “Snugglepot and Cuddlepie”. This enchanting children’s book follows the adventures of brother and sister ‘gum nut babies’ who travel across land and sea in Australia, encountering all manner of good and mischievous characters.  Gibbs’ books are for older children, and most editions include beautiful full-colour illustrations, drawn with great detail and imagination. Her books are not to be missed, especially for those fond of Australian wildlife and nature.

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