Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Visual Query Letter

I heard one editor say that she likes to receive postcards from illustrators and that illustrators should definitely send their sample postcards not only to art directors, but also to editors even if the publisher's submission policy doesn't say that. Do you agree? Do editors help chose the illustrator or suggest an illustrator for the picture books they edit? I'm about to send out another postcard mailing to both art directors and editors and wondered how effective it will be.

Editors do help to suggest illustrators. If I like a postcard enough, I'll put it up on my wall to remind myself of the illustrator.

I do throw a heck of a lot of postcards away, though. The most successful ones are often clearly composed for the postcard. We're looking for composition skills, not just rendering skills. Don't do people if you can't do people well. Show me your sense of humor, if that's a strong point. Make sure there are no problems with perspective or proportion. Get your palette right. And if you're doing mass, don't bother sending to trade publishers.

3 comments:

ae said...

This is another thing not clear in the big Children's Writer Bible. Had I known this years ago...

I learned this from another illustrator on SCBWI...smile...I am talking about the submission part. The other part is what you should be learning in art school.

Postcard tip: Your image will shrink significantly once printed as a postcard. Little things can get lost. Choose not to lose.

gail said...

Thanks for the great info EA! I sent a few postcards to editors when I did my last mailing to art directors. I wasn't sure what would happen with them, but figured why not. It's nice to think one might be up on an editors wall.

I quoted you and linked this post on my blog. It's such good information for illustrators to have.

gail

Kidlitjunkie said...

Most illustrator postcards I toss, but when one catches my eye, I pin it up on my wall. I've currently got four different postcards up there in different styles that I like immensely.

Right now they're just wall decorations. But when I start acquiring my own picture books (and/or when my boss is trying to choose an illustrator) they will definitly be a place I'll start to look.