On Thursday, February 11, 2010, In Memoriam, your blog says, "The story suggests some unusually good visuals - animation, in fact - though I have learned I should not bother with illustration before submission for publication." "That is correct."Professional-quality illustrations are acceptable, and including a note that you're willing to be flexible about them is a good idea. The reason I generally caution against pairing a text with art is that the VAST majority of people have no access to professional-quality illustration, and don't know enough about the CHILDREN'S book industry to know what flys. Do you, for instance, know someone who does great animation for Pixar? Their static art may be a bad fit because they're not used to art being static. Do you know a fabulous cartoonist who appears in the New Yorker regularly? Their cartoons may be a bad fit because they're too adult in flavor.
But on Monday, November 23, 2009, In Which the Cockles of My Heart are Reasonably Tepid, your blog states, "They submit illustrated manuscripts, and the editor doesn't look at them and think, "Well, we'll get that illustrated by someone better." She thinks, "This is essentially done! Awesome!"
It appears it's a double edged sword. I'm curious because I'm a profession video producer. I have produced videos for 8 years now and I have a lot of marketing experience too. I have basically learned that you have a finished project and THEN you pitch it. But I have also included in my submissions a letter stating I'm completely open to having different illustrations done. What say ye?
On top of these considerations, it's just unnecessary! Editors acquire unillustrated manuscripts all the time!
There are some children's book agents -- and others who know our industry well -- who are good at matching art and text. To my readers, my advice is: if you just think you can do this well, you're wrong. The people who can do it well know it.