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Top 10 Tips on how to market your art as book covers

Posted By Tarampa Studios 4 Years Ago
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Tarampa Studios
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Sorry, link didn't work at first, but I just fixed it.  *facepalm*
Hands up who can tell I suck at forums? 


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I visited that community btw,  really awesome talented and friendly community.  I think this is why i love being a noob so much,  I want to go back to the time that it was all about doing something great for the sake of doing something great.    Somehow when it becomes a career,  that special spark gets dimmed down and Loses the magic of just wanting to do something great.   It was truly an honor to just see that still exists. BigGrin  



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Wow cool! Small World... I haven't yet, but I'm lucky to have a friend who has. 

Smile 


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This is a great thread.  Thanks!

I got involved in a "book trailer" several months ago.  It all started with a request (by the author) in the general section where she described her book.  Just for fun, I embellished the description and wrote my version a trailer in a pseudo script format.  She liked it, and it became the script for the trailer.  A very talented iCloner did the hard work of animating it, and my son did the narration using his version of "trailer voice".  It was really fun to see my script come to life through someone else's hands.  There were places that were exactly as I imagined, and others that were different from what I imagined, but still true to the script.

Book covers would be a great use for Indigo, not because it's necessary (in most cases), but it gives a different artistic appearance that could be used by the artist.

Thanks again for starting the topic.





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justaviking (6/17/2015)
... I got involved in a "book trailer" several months ago.  It all started with a request (by the author)... 


Hey, cool! Yes, I remember that post. It was the first time since joining Reallusion that I didn't feel like a total alien.... so hugs and thanks back-at-ya!! Smile 






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Tip Two... through the tulips...  lala-la-laaaa


Okay, so it's obvious I'm not a singer.
But I'm using a 2D pic as a reminder that everything here applies to CTA2 artists too. 
So here it is: 

Tip 2: The First Official Way to Seek a Publisher (if you don't have an agent):
Join a guild or society for illustrators - specifically you need one where the major publishers all use the catalogues as a weekly reference to find new talent. So it can't be just any organisation. You're looking for one that has:

* membership open internationally to many countries and languages
* fair fees for membership
* a showcase website for members only (even if they're not yet published)
* features illustrators with career news in their monthly newsletters
* provides all publishers in every country free access to see the illustrator catalogues 
* does not charge a commission or fee if publishers hook up with illustrators through them

Every country has their own guild and/or society, so you get to google those for yourself. Don't forget the guilds/societies in your nearest neighbouring countries...  

Plus here's an intriguing list of alternatives that may help to kickstart your web-searches:
i)  Guild of Illustrators for Natural Sciences -  if you love animating animals, dinosaurs, megafauna, megaflora, landscapes or underwater scenes, then these are the dudes for you.

ii) Religious illustrators - seek out the guild for your own faith, if you have one. I don't have much experience with this category, but the largest internationally that I'm aware of is the Catholic Illustrators' Guild - where you don't need to be catholic to work for them, but I've heard it helps. And if you do happen to join, please, oh please, let them know how much their Australian branch has a website url that looks scary too much like a deadly disease. 

iii) SCBWI - Society of Childrens' Book Writers & Illustrators - affectionately pronounced Skwibby - and yes, I know, the W comes after the B. I've already mentioned that to them at one of their fledgling regional conference meetings nearly 2 decades ago, while I was still writing for the K-8s and 8-12's... and then we all just laughed. But there was wine involved so... hiccup... Anyway... SCBWI have a catalogue where the "Big Six" keep a weekly watch for fresh talent - as do many major and medium publishers for the educational market. It may take a year to get your first work through a monitored website akin to this, but that's mainly because the books they're working on today, were contracted 1 to 3 years ago, and won't be launched for another 3 to 12 months.... (Interestingly, the SCWBI annual membership fee is about half what it used to be 20 years ago... and yes, it's based in the US, despite having chapters all over the world, so membership is all paid to the US branch to help keep down their overall costs.)

Sub-Tip 2A) Traditionally, Illustrators are considered to be the slowest stage of publication. For illustrated childrens' books the job can often take a year - and that's where iCloners have a distinct advantage - because the "sets" can be still-shotted from any angle and tweaked, set up faster and... well, you know how great it is.  (Hey, and why is it that spell-check for this forum doesn't know that iCloners is a real word, when it should be the first word on page one, haha) 

Sub-Tip 2B) FANTASY, Comedy and Historical True Stories are the three top selling genres for ages K-YA so establishing 3 sub-catalogues of work for them will give you the best chance at being noticed.... (Peterblood, I'm winking sideways at you, because this is where your gorgeous old tallships could fit in... as well as the natural science guild, which often also includes publications for the history genre.)  

Sub-Tip 2C... and this is a biggie) It's possible to earn a strong income from guest-speaking at primary and high schools if you offer a catalogue of art for ages 8 to 18. Many illustrators make a living just by touring schools all year. The two most lucrative age groups (and most fun, if you ask me) are:

* K-8 years (where K= kindy, and schools all over the world have major festivals to celebrate under-8's day with sports and literature... which means they are starving for fresh faces as their guest-speaker and guest-tutor authors and illustrators each year)... and if you also do animation, then you're treated as a god... or godess, depnding on whichever applies Tongue  

* Ages 8-12... same reason, same deal... 

* And then YA (young adult) is ages 12 to 19.... and yes, 19 not just 18, because they can also cater for the first year out of highschool (or college/tafe... whichever applies)... school festivals provide authors and illustrators for this group too - or try to - but due to the much heavier exam schedules for those students (and their much lower interest in books by then) their interest levels fall off for authors but greatly increase for storytellers based in other mediums - such as film, animation and yes... computer games.   

Sub-Tip 2D) If you keep catalogues of work samples for each age group, then you become more valuable as a guest speaker, because they can put you in front of all three age groups, while only paying for one author's hotel, meals, travel and other expenses. And yes, most major literature festivals at schools and libraries are all-expenses paid. (Or most)... It's mainly only the Cons where the A-List authors and A-list illustrators get paid... (A-list = famous) 

Sub-Tip 2E - To be (or not to be) a member of any guild where a word ends in the letter "s", also means that you'd better know which side of it the apostrophe belongs - if applicable... remember, you may just be an illustrator, but in the publishing industry, spelling is queen, and grammar is king. So If it's a Childrens' Guild, or an Illustrators' Guild, then the apostrophe comes *after* the word, because the ownership of the guild/group belongs to all of them... but if you mistype it as illustrator's guild... then you're saying that it only has one member. 

TIP 2F: F for the Fun Part... To give an example of payrates; a week at a school in most western countries earns roughly $2000 to $6000US, depending on how many sessions you do each day, and with how many students - and that doesn't count your travelling/hotel/meals, which are usually supplied for you (e.g. lunch and 2 breaks, or whatever is timetabled at that particular school), breakfast is usually part of your room, and then you only need to forage in the wild for your evening meal - if you're not already stuffed full from the day - and unless you also have a guestspeaking event for parents etc in the evening.) 

And thus concludes our Tip Two through the Two Tips... haha

Stay tuned for Tip 3: which provides yet another way to approach publishers officially, and still without an agent.
(which is supposed to be impossible, btw)





Anita, aka "Bleetz" the Toon Wrangler @ Tarampa Studios
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Edited
4 Years Ago by Bleetz
justaviking
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Bleetz (6/18/2015)


Tip Two... through the tulips...  lala-la-laaaa



Funny pun.  I am barely old enough to remember Tiny Tim.  Mostly, as a little kid, I remember him being a weird person.  Now as a mature adult, I still think the same thing.  I don't know what he was like in person, but his stage persona sure was, um, unique.




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justaviking (6/18/2015)
[quote]... barely old enough to remember Tiny Tim.... was, um, unique... 



Crikey!!... That's the *first* I'd ever heard of him... and I must say I'm rather relieved and quite happy that I was blissfully ignorant all these years... but that certainly explains the bizarre voice my dad used to use while singing it in his underwear, skipping through the kitchen on cold winter mornings, while using our broom as a ukulele... so thanks for that. Mystery solved! 

....
ahhh childhood. Is it any wonder that we need such creative artistic pursuits as therapy for so long after...?






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Tor just opened their doors to unsolicited submissions!!!!

So, okay, translations are required so all newbies can understand exactly how hot that is:  

Tor = the biggest commercial publisher of science fiction & fantasy on the planet in any language.
They also boast of being one of the highest payers - but that's mainly because the royalty system is based on copies sold, and they sell kazilagosquillions... which is like squillions of billions, but raised to the power of killer-godzilla

They are a subdivision of PanMacmillian, which is one of the "Big Six" (see previous post) 

Short stories and long - they publish it all. And many also get adapted to big-budget movies. 
For every story, they need artwork. Often they need several styles of artwork for each story, because books and stories in different countries often have different artwork to suit the various cultural sensitivities in each "Territory"

Territory = area where books/movies/computer games etc can be licenced for sale. You probably know that already from those annoying "regions" on DVDS... But - as an example for newbies - if you think you live in Tasmania, you're wrong. You live in either Australian Territorial Rights Region, or ANZ (Australia-New_Zealand) Territorial RR, or maybe it's Australasian, Commonwealth or Territory of the World... and it all depends on the contract you sign with a publisher/studio on where they are permitted (by you) to sell your work.  More on that later if you need it, or just ask about your options if you're about to sign a contract. 

But here's the really cool word of the day: 
Unsolicited = not solicited = they didn't specifically ask for that particular work that you're about to send = anyone can submit, even if you don't have an agent... and if you follow their submission guidelines *strictly* as described in a previous post... then you might even get a reply, which turns your sample work into everybody's goal:

Solicited = they specifically asked to see more of *your* work.  

Bonus Tips: 
1) Improve your chances of getting paid for your art by reading this page of their submission guidelines which explains the specific styles of stories they're currently looking for from writers, and therefore also the subject matter for artwork they will also be needing. 

2) Do not submit your art to Tor's editor - that's just for writers.

3) Do not submit your art to Tor by email at all - that's just for writers too.

4) Submit your best art samples to Irene Gallo, the Tor Art Director,
and post it to her, the old fashioned way - as priority mail through your local post office. 
Specifically she prefers PostCard size, so she can keep you in her filing system and close to her fingertips for future reference.  
her address is: 

Irene Gallo
Tor Books
175 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10010

5) Post-card sized samples are actually quite cheap - or even free - if you take advantage of regular promotional offers from stationery companies... Every country has them, but the only one I can recommend to an international community like this is Vistaprint.com
Postage can be a bit expensive if you live outside the USA. And their website is quite fast and easy for uploading your stillshots. They've always done great work for me, but I also know friends who've had less enjoyable experiences.

So if anybody can recommend cheap/easy & reputable alternative stationery producers who can also service customers in any country, then please share them with us here too...? 

Which brings me to the Three Biggest Tips of the Day:

Super Tip 1: Never tell them you're a newbie. You brand yourself with that name - not a good thing in the publishing industry - when you behave like one by failing to follow their submission guidelines *precisely*... yeah, I know, I'm harping... but newbies get paid lower advances than professionals - roughly half but it can be as low as a teeny fraction. So behave like a professional, and that's how you'll be treated (and paid) from Day 1. 

Super Tip 2: Irene is also the Art director for all their online sales. So when she politely recommends Here, that you should join their site and newsletter. Do it. And make sure you use the same name that you use on the submission you post, so she can recognise you as a member as your samples arrive

Super Tip 3: Any artwork that makes it onto a book/website with Tor, only succeeds because Irene *loves* it.... which makes it easy to see the styles she loves. And that makes it easier for you to choose which samples to send... which also explains how iCloners could be a great fit - because the atmosphere's etc can produce some great moody, emotional and powerful imagery.... Oh, and it also gives you something fast and easy to say in your covering letter - which also needs to be brief; e.g:

Dear Ms Gallo,
As a member at Tor.com I noticed the recent call for submissions from writers. So as an artist who also loves and appreciates the cover art for Blah blah and Revenge of the Blah Blah (insert titles of one or two books that were featured a long time ago on her blog - which shows that you've gone through her archives and really know what she likes - and which also prepares her nicely with fond memories by putting her in a positive mood for the style she's about to see when she flips over your postcard samples...)... and I was wondering if you might be interested in considering my portfolio, the link for which is blah-d-blah.com, 
yours faithfully,
I.C Loner. 

Change the wording slightly so it doesn't look as if you've all just read the same article. Don't forget to swap the joke name for your own, haha. 
But keep it short. Your art is the thing for sale, so don't distract her with mere words. 

Thus endeth the Supertips - and they don't even count in the official Top 10, haha.  
Smile 





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4 Years Ago by Bleetz
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