Custom Illustrations FAQ


ILLUSTRATION PROCESS


Why am I required to complete a Custom Illustration RAD form?


In self-publishing, you the author are the publisher. One of the advantages of self-publishing is that you maintain total control of the content in your book, you are the owner and the director. And as such, it is your responsibility to supply us with the ideas and concepts for your illustrations. No one knows your story and its characters and settings better than you. If you have questions about the RAD form, please contact your Illustration Coordinator for assistance.


Do I get to talk with my illustrator?


Your Illustration Coordinator handles all communication surrounding your illustration project and acts as a liaison between you and your illustrator. We have found that it is a more productive use of time and talent to have the illustrators creating full-time, as it maximizes productivity and helps us maintain a high level of organisation and author satisfaction.


Will my illustrator read my manuscript?


It all depends on the length of the manuscript. A more effective way for the illustrator to reference a manuscript with more than 3,000 words is for the you to highlight or pull excerpts from your manuscript for the illustrator to use as a resource for creating the art.


How do I submit or communicate my illustration revisions?


Company policy dictates that all changes to illustrations must be submitted in writing. We accept written changes through e-mail, attachments via e-mail, by fax, or through traditional mail. These should be addressed and sent directly to your Illustration Coordinator.
Should you have any revisions or changes related to the illustration service that you purchased, please note that you will incur addtional charges/costs.


What happens in the illustration process?


1) Once we receive your completed RAD form, it is reviewed by the Art Director and assigned to the artist who best fits your project parameters.


2) Within 2 to 3 weeks, you will receive copies of your initial sketches for your review. (This is the best time to make revisions to your illustrations.)


3) If you request revisions to sketches, your project is put back into a queue in the order it was received and will take 2 weeks for completion. (You are limited to 2 rounds of complimentary revisions at sketch stage.)
Sketch revisions are limited, depending on the complexity and time required to make such changes. For example, changing the length of a character’s hair or adding or deleting a character or item in a scene constitutes reasonable sketch revisions. Starting over with a completely new concept does not, and is considered a brand new illustration, and you will incur a 1-hour charge to completely create an entirely new sketch. Hourly Illustration fee is £53.27.


4) Once we receive your approval to go to final art, it will then take approximately 4 weeks to complete your final illustrations.


5) You will then receive copies of your completed illustrations for review. You will be required to sign an approval form for us to move you on to book production. (You are limited to 1 round of complimentary colour revisions at final art stage.)
If you want to make revisions to final art beyond colour modifications, you will incur additional charges to make those changes or may be required to purchase a completely new illustration. We reserve the right to make that determination based on your requested changes.


ILLUSTRATION TIMELINES


How long will it take to complete my illustrations?


On average, your illustration project will be completed in 6 to 12 weeks. However, more time may be needed as deemed necessary by the artist, Art Director, and/or you, and will be determined on a case-by-case basis. Creating custom artwork can be a very complex and time-consuming process and we want to ensure that the end product is of the highest quality for our authors.
The illustration process is separate from the production of the galley and cover, and those stages will begin once your illustrations have been completed and approved.
The purchase of Rapid Release services is only relevant to the interior production of your book, and does not apply to illustration timelines.


If I have a series of books I want to publish and they all have illustrations, what is that process and timelines?


Unless you want a different artist and different style of illustrations for each of your books, it is our current policy to work on one book at a time. This minimises confusion for both the author and the illustrator and maximises the quality and consistency of the illustrations from one to book to the next.


DESCRIPTION OF SERVICES


What is the difference between a Custom Cover Design and a Custom Cover Illustration?


  • Custom Cover Design is included in the price of the standard publishing contract and is designed by one of our graphic designers using images and/or photographs either from our stock image site or with author-supplied images. Since stock images are available for purchase by multiple users, there is a chance that a stock image used on your cover will appear in some other print media. (Your Custom Cover can be designed using up to 2 images from our stock image site, free of charge. Additional images may be purchased as needed.) As an alternative to the Custom Cover Design, you are permitted to use any of the illustrations we have created for the interior of your book on your cover.
  • Custom Cover Illustration is an “add on” service that may be purchased in addition to the standard publishing package. It is an original work of art created exclusively for you by one of our in-house illustrators and will never be used by or sold to anyone else for use.

What are the different levels of illustration artistry available for purchase through Author Solutions?


  • Personal Touch -L1 illustrations are drawn by hand and consist of simple, clean line art (similar to colouring book art) and then coloured digitally with one-dimensional solid colours. Contains no shading or highlights.
  • Fine Detail -L2 illustrations are drawn by hand and consist of medium-detail line art and then coloured digitally with some minimal shading and highlighting for a bit more of a three-dimensional look.
  • Intricate Design -L3 art is created by hand with a higher level of detail in the line art and has high levels of shading, highlighting, and blending for a three-dimensional look. This is the only level where the art can be coloured either digitally or with a watercolour or coloured pencil look.
  • Custom Quote –L4 For authors who are looking for highly rendered illustrations above and beyond our level 3 Intricate Design Services. These illustrations include hand-drawn or painted art in any one of these media: Acrylics, highly detailed watercolors and very detailed pastels or charcoal and any type of three-dimensional Disney Pixar level of detail. This is a special product offering that requires a custom quote by our Art Director prior to the sale of these services.

Why doesn’t my Premium Publishing Package include Level 3 Intricate Design illustrations?


”Premium” denotes the amount of services included in the packages. Not all premium packages include illustrations, but the two that do include only level 1 Personal Touch Illustrations. You do have the option to purchase an upgrade to the level 1 illustrations. Your Publishing Consultant can assist you in that transaction.


I’m not sure what style I want my illustrations to be. What are my choices?


  • Juvenile/Whimsical: Very sweet, cute styles.
    Some examples of these styles would include Dora the Explorer, Arthur the Aardvark, Winnie the Pooh and Fancy Nancy. This category and Cartoon/Humour can sometimes overlap. (Examples would be some of the Disney art or Olivia the Pig. This style of art can be cute and whimsical, yet sort of humourous.)
  • Cartoon/Humour: Humourous and funny.
    Some examples of this style would include Looney Toons (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, etc), Hanna Barbera (The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo etc.) or Spongebob Squarepants. Caricatures would fall under this category too.
  • Fantasy Style: This style would be more of a mythical-type style.
    Examples would include superhero/comic books (Superman, Batman, etc.), Manga, Dungeons and Dragons, or even Harry Potter book cover art.
  • Science Fiction: Star Wars, X-Men, and Transformers.
  • Naturalistic: Reproducing a simple likeness or similar characteristics of people, objects or animals or actual historical events, etc. Closer to a more realistic rendition.

Can I have panoramic illustrations that continue across the fold on two facing pages?


A single illustration that spans from one page across the fold to the facing page as a continuous scene is known as a DOUBLE PAGE SPREAD. A double page spread constitutes two (2) illustrations, and must be purchased as such.