Nov 07 2008

Writing Tip of the Day: Please Don’t Include Art with Your Query

Published by at 2:14 pm under The Publishing Industry,Writing Articles

Some authors make or commission sketches about their novel so they can visualize it better.  That’s fine, but please do not include any in the query package you submit to a publisher.  (If you’re writing a graphic novel, please see this guide to graphic novel queries instead).

Art will probably not make your novel query seem more appealing!

  1. It feels amateurish.
  2. Publishers pick manuscripts based on the author’s ability to spin an interesting story, not on his ability to visualize the characters or make them look interesting.  Consequently, any art you included would distract from your most important qualities.
  3. Even if you’d like to use your illustrations in a novel, publishers are wary about the cost of illustrations.  Author/illustrator Jane Eldershaw says that “it can be surprisingly difficult to talk publishers into using illustrations, even for non-fiction and gift books. I’d suggest (especially if you’ve never been published) that you not mention illustrations until you have a publisher who adores your prose. Then suggest they look at books that have been illustrated in the manner you envisage and wheedle.”
  4. Do you have sample cover-art you’d like your publisher to consider? If so, please show it after your manuscript has been accepted.

One response so far

One Response to “Writing Tip of the Day: Please Don’t Include Art with Your Query”

  1. B. Macon 07 Nov 2008 at 2:20 pm

    Hmm, I have another caveat. If you want to write and illustrate a picturebook, these usual rules probably do not apply. If you’re interested in breaking into that field, please seek specific resources.

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