2. Collect Your Graphic Assets, Images, Pictures, Charts
Some books just have text; some have all pictures. Just like with the writing you need to start collecting your images and graphics. You are either creating them yourself, purchasing them from perhaps a stock house or you will need to hire a freelance designer, photographer or illustrator to create them.
Keeping in mind the image resolution, black-and-white or color and any requirements that you need to pay attention to. It is often best to involve your freelance help as early in the process as you can, as well as how you are printing and publishing. E-books are 72 or 96dpi and print books are 300 dpi, black-and-white or color.
How do I find an illustrator for my book?
Finding an illustrator is very similar to finding an editor. Looking around your own community for a freelancer, connecting with a local graphic designer, searching on line. Are you part of a writing group, ask there? The local librarian might know because they work with a lot of local authors. You can look through sites like Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, HireAnIllustrator.com and Freelancer.
Illustrators are all over the web and Fiverr.com is one of the more popular sites to look at for freelance illustrators and graphic designers. You can look through a lot of illustrator samples, connect and get an idea of style, ability and price. There are a ton of Facebook Groups on every topic, join several and become involved and ask questions.
When choosing an illustrator, it is a good idea to send out test concepts to several artist and see what you get back. Pick a typical illustration and create a small project. Was the process easy? Did the illustrator understand the project? Did they stay on budget and time? It is well worth testing 5 or more illustrators on Fiverr or whatever site you select to get a feel of who will work out. One of the key questions to ask is who owns the rights to the images. You want full control over your images when you get them so that you can use them for your book and for additional products. Be sure they are familiar with the kind of book you are creating. If you have some cool illustrations, they might make great t-shirts, mugs and calendars.
Another place to look is on some of the stock photo sites like Shutterstock.com. You can search tons of styles and then reach out to the ones you like and see if they will do a freelance project.
Some tips for working with an illustrator or graphic designer
• You need to give your illustrator or designer directions on where to go and what to make. To really help them along, show them samples of what you like and also what you don’t like. You can easily search sites like Fiverr or the stockphoto/illustration sites and find tons of examples. Download them and pass them on to your illustrator. The more they know the better the project will go.
• Be very clear on the goals and tasks. How many illustrations. How many rounds of changes can you do. Who owns the rights to the images? Can you reuse the images; these are all important questions?
• I know it doesn’t always work, but I like having people local so that I can sit with them and go over the project. I know so much is done remotely now but if you can meet face to face or video chat to video chat, then you can clarify a project much faster and clearer. Using services like Facebook Video Chat, Zoom.us, Skype it is really easy to connect with your team and act like it is local.
Common Art Requirements
Print books, CreateSpace, Lulu, Blurb, IngramSparks, art should be 300 dpi, black and white or color. With color images, IngramSparks likes CMYK, CreateSpace and others RGB. JPG for rastor and eps or Adobe Illustrator for vector art.
E-books, Kindle, color or black and white, 72 or 96 dpi, I like artwork that is 900 pixels wide and 1100 pixels on the long side. Generally, an image around 8.5” x 11” at 72 or 96 dpi, gif or jpg is fine. More details below.