After recently publishing my children’s picture book “The Reading Parrot Named Darwin” with my co pilot Marvin Alonso. I thought I would give you guys insight on the process.
The first step in my process is writing a detailed manuscript for my illustrator. I have attached my manuscript as a guide for yourself. I hope you save time by using my method of creation.
The second step of the process, you must find yourself a superb illustrator. I will always use freelancers, since I find them easier to deal with.
I had the most difficult time finding my illustrator Marvin Alonso. I must say, he is one of the best I could have found. I could not be prouder to have an Filipino illustrator to bring my stories to life.
As long as I live, I will advocate for people hiring freelancers. I went on to query many artists, who rejected my manuscript. I even went as far as emailing a professional children’s book illustrator’s agent. Which was a total waste of time. Agents are nothing but cock blockers. As I have learned the hard way.
The fact remains Marvin fell into my lap. I was freelancing myself, when I found this extraordinary artist. An author by the name of Lora Lye hired me to promote her children’s book. Here is my author interview with her, https://marysagenguyen.wordpress.com/2015/11/27/no-such-things-as-monsters/
Lora Lye’s children’s book “No Such Things As Monsters” was illustrated my Marvin. After going through many artist who kept rejecting my manuscript. I gave Marvin a shot. We chatted through the freelancing site, I frequent. He gave me a quote and my children’s picture book became a reality.
You can also hire a publishing company to illustrate your children’s book. I know www.lulu.com has children’s book illustrators. I still prefer freelancers.
Now if you want to create a children’s picture book. Be prepared to shell out some cash. For my children’s picture book, I paid Marv about $957.50 through a period of 4 months. That is how long it took for him to take my manuscript and create the illustrations for it. Do not expect your artist to be quick. Like everything else creating something from nothing takes time.
Make sure you do your research and check the illustrator’s background. You definitely don’t want a illustrator who is incapable of achieving results.Marvin was hired by a publishing company and started freelancing after. I loved that he worked in the publishing industry. He also frequently blogs paintings, and so forth that are not freelance related. I knew that he loved his job and love drawing. He also stated in his bio, he wants to strengthen his craft. Which was also a giant plus.
If you are an expert publisher, you know you will need a mobi file for Kindle version of your book aka ebook. To save myself cash, I chose to create my own POD hardcopy, and paperback copy. Marvin later asked me for the POD files I created using Adobe Indesign. It is easy for me to use photoshop, and indesign. I trained myself watching youtube videos, and reading. If you do make your own files, send it to the artist so you can be on the same page. You don’t want inconsistencies in the ebook and POD book.
Now, Marvin created my mobi file for me for an extra fee of course. I definitely recommend authors familiarize yourself with adobe photoshop, and indesign. These two programs will become invaluable to you, with your future publishing endeavors.
Here are some illustrations from “The Reading Parrot Named Darwin”
Purchase “The Reading Parrot Named Darwin” at
Thank you for reading,
Mary Sage Nguyen