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I finally found an illustrator! I guess the real fun begins now, right? The idea of being a little closer to publishing my first book excites me to no end. But I still get butterflies thinking about having something I’ve written out there for all the world to see. I have been seeking an illustrator for a while, as many of you know, and have finally decided who I would like to work with. So what happens next?

Now, we spend the next few months drafting the illustrations, going through reviews and approvals, determining release dates, and printing! So far I’ve learned that illustrating can be quite an expensive investment. I’ve had to make some financial adjustments. Some of those adjustments include coming up with some creative ways to finance this book (more on that later).

Some writers want to profit as much as possible off of their work. And why not? As writers we put our blood, sweat, and tears into our creations. We should get as large a return on our investment as possible. In order to make that happen, some writers choose to illustrate themselves rather than hiring an illustrator. A few of my friends have suggested I illustrate my book myself because I’m a pretty good artist. ?????While I do an okay job doodling cute little creatures on the whiteboard in the classroom, I’m certainly no illustrator. I’m overwhelmed enough with learning the general publishing process. The last thing I need to do is lose my mind trying to learn the separate process of illustrating. Additionally, because of my limited budget, I already have to make some cuts financially to make this book happen. Therefore, I need it to look as professional as possible. I don’t think that would be achieved with me doing the illustrations myself. This doesn’t mean I won’t choose to illustrate some of my future works myself – just not at this time. For now, hiring an illustrator is what (I believe) will work best for me. Of course, this is a personal decision for any writer. So do what makes you feel comfortable.

While I work side-by-side with my illustrator on my first picture book, I will be simultaneously revising my next picture book manuscript, and working desperately to meet my novel deadline. Writing doesn’t stop. I can not put all of my eggs in one basket. As I get my first book to completion, I look forward to celebrating its release, but the writing must go on. My primary focus is to get this book published while learning the process of self-publishing. Once published, the focus shifts to the next book – not basking in the glow of publication. I will continue to write and work to get my next book published, which (in theory) should be a simpler, more familiar process. Wish me luck.

Write on!