from the portfolio of David Michael Friend


Children's Book Commission FAQ



useful links for authors-to-be

SCBWI 10 FAQ

Writing, Illustrating, and Publishing Children's Books: The Purple Crayon


Before contacting me, please consider listing these points
  • Type of project - e.g. - 32 page picture book
  • Subject matter - e.g. - fairy tale, animal story, contemporary kids
  • Age range for story
  • Style - realistic, stylized, painted, graphic
  • Color or Black and White
  • Number and size of the illustrations
  • Book design and layout needed - yes/no
  • Prepress needed - yes/no
  • Deadline

I have a book I wrote and was wondering if you would illustrate it.

Thank you for thinking of me to take your written word and visualize it. It means a lot that you think so much of my illustrations. If you have a publisher lined up, I would be happy to read your story and talk to you and the editor and we can set something up!

If there is no publisher lined up, it makes things more difficult for a number of reasons. In my experience, children's book publishers prefer to pair up the story with the artist, rather then accepting a project where both are lined up (unless both are the same person). Publishers are skilled in the way of marketing and know better how to sell a story. Some day I hope to be as big as a Joyce or a Van Allsburg and bypass this hurdle.

Of course in this day and age, self publishing is becoming more and more of a viable option. I myself have never looked into it and it's success rate.


How long would it take to illustrate a book for me?

A typical 32 page book could take anywhere from 6 - 12 months depending on the detail of the illustrations and project budget (if I have to take on other jobs to pay the bills, the work on the book slows down)


How much would it cost to illustrate my story?

This depends on what kind of illustration style you are thinking of. As you can see from my site, my "style" varies greatly and depending on what you chose, could be anywhere from $200 - $2500 per illustration.


Can you help me find a publisher to send my story to?

I am not the best bridge into the publishing world, sadly. The web is filled with useful hints to get your story into a publisher's hands.


Can you draw illustrate a couple of pages so I can at least send the publisher an idea of what I am thinking?

If you have a budget, sure! But I would advise not spending the money on a couple of illustrations for fear of getting to the publisher and then having them assign a new illustrator to the story. It's just in your best interest to save your money.