A: Almost 100% of my clients are individuals from all walks of life that have dreamed for years of seeing their children's stories in book form. A large number of these writers have submitted their stories to the major book publishers and have either been rejected (for any of a variety of reasons) or have never heard a response back regarding their submission, and have decided to take matters into their own hands. Some of my clients are elderly or terminally ill and would like to see their stories in book form as soon as possible.
A: The major book publishers prefer to publish children's books with generic, "feel good" themes that appeal to the very broadest global audience. A large number of writer's stories that I work with target a specific niche of the children's book market. For example, I've helped create books that deal with sensitive issues like building a deformed child's self-esteem, or how a family copes with a death or a life-threatening disease in the family. Also, the major book publishers receive 5,000 (or more) children's book manuscript submissions per month to review, and most of the publishers do not have the staff to review even a small fraction of those manuscripts.
A: With the arrival of Print-On-Demand (POD) publishing the term "publisher" has been altered from its previous meaning. There are a number of different expressions for self-publishing which I have grouped under the label "Print-On-Demand". Here are the differences in general terms:
A major children's book publisher was (and still is) a publisher that pays you to publish your story. They incur all the illustration, print and marketing costs.
A Print-On-Demand publisher requires that you pay them to have your book published. Don't feel flattered that a Print-On-Demand publisher says that they will publish your story, they will publish any story (regardless of quality) as long as you pay for it to be published/printed. With POD publishing you pay for the illustrations, printing and marketing of your book.
A: Printing your books in volume (in the thousands) is a more traditional way of getting your books printed and it results in the lowest cost per printed book. The major drawback to this method is that if your books don't sell you could be stuck with a large printing bill and a lot of unsold books lying around your house. There are pros and cons to every method of publishing.
A: You could, but there is no proof whatsoever that it will give your manuscript any preferential treatment, and those illustrations will probably never be used if your manuscript defies the odds and is chosen for publication. The major publishers prefer to team their favorite illustrators with unpublished authors, in their opinion it gives the book a better chance of success.
A: I can give you my opinion as to which illustration style I think might suit your story. Another option is to have one "sample" illustration from your story created in your most preferred artwork style. These single illustrations must be paid for upfront. If you like the sample illustration it would then become one of the finished illustrations for your book. Fully colored sample illustrations are the same quality as any other illustration that we create.
A: That depends on how many illustrations your story requires and the workload of the illustrator whose illustration style you've chosen for your book. Contact me with an illustration style that you're interested in and I can check with the illustrator as to his/her workload.