I love working on children’s books, but it requires me to be extremely selective in which clients I accept. So many authors treat it as a “just for fun” or a vanity project and don’t make the proper investment in an illustrator (minimum of $3K) nor in an editor who specializes in children’s books for the age and genre, which makes the task of producing a quality book impossible. All 4 legs (writing, editing, illustrating, book designing) of the table are necessary to support a quality book.
I believe in having fun BUT I also believe in being intentional with our businesses and having a plan in place in order to maximize the return on both our financial and time investments.
After 10 years as a book designer, I can say without a doubt that children’s picture books are absolutely the most time-consuming projects. Even though they are only 32-ish pages, they often require a minimum of 6 months to move from character sketches to storyboarding to a 100% completed project—and longer if you are pursuing offset or short-run digital printing.
As the book designer, you and I will work together to review the initial character sketches, color palette, and approve the storyboards with the illustrator.
Due to the time investment (in both the work and in the waiting for each step to be completed) that it requires from me, my base rate is $2000 and scales beyond that if numerous, intensive video sessions are required or if the project grossly exceeds the expected completion date.
If you would still like to move forward with speaking with me, I’d love to continue this conversation via Zoom.