Today’s reader question is about author-illustrators, and I’m also including some links to previous posts for both picture book writers and illustrators! Ethan says:


I am a writer, and an oil painter.  I’m in the process of writing, and illustrating, a children’s book.  Do publishers shy away from people who do this?  I’m sure that some publishers would like to use the talents of a known illustrator, but I’ve spent my entire life making art, so that’s not going to happen with my book. Just wondering.

Thanks for any info you can provide.  You have a very helpful website.



Hi Ethan,

Thanks for the question, and your kind words about the website!

Agents and publishers are always looking for author-illustrator projects. If you absolutely cannot picture your book illustrated by somebody else, and you believe your illustration matches the tone of the project, then you should submit your dummy as an author-illustrator.

The caveat I always give (though it sounds like it doesn’t apply here in terms of feeling like you’re primarily an artist), is that if you are primarily an author and submit artwork, a publisher (or agent) will usually reject both if they don’t connect with the project as they assume that you would not want to see your story illustrated by somebody else. So there is a risk, and you have to really look at your work critically to see if your illustration can compete with the sort of work the market is buying.

More posts for author-illustrators can be found here:

And for picture book writers concerned with illustration, you can also check out:

I hope this helps!

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