To build successful careers, illustrators need cover credits, inclusion in listings and sales reports, mentions in reviews and publicity… Without it they are invisible workers.
By properly crediting illustrators for their work, you are supporting illustration as an industry and everyone wins!
The writer, illustrator, readers, booksellers, publishers, agents, teachers… everyone.
Don't believe us, well here's an example:
An author has an exciting cover reveal for their latest book and credits the illustrator – fans of the writer will be intrigued want to read the book and can also find out about the illustrator, fans of the illustrator get excited and find out more about the book, double the exposure for the same cover reveal, more sales for the publisher and booksellers – win win win win…
How do Pictures Mean Business?
Crediting an illustrator has lots of benefits, but not getting credit really puts the illustrator at a disadvantage. An illustrator needs to be visible to thrive – It can take years, even a decade, to earn enough money in illustration to live on. In the world of selling books the importance of branding, name recognition and publicity are key factors in success.
Illustrators are professionals, we are passionate about our work and understand the value of what we do. In the same way as writers, film directors, musicians and animators do, we use our skills to create. While earning a living as an illustrator can be tricky, there is a misapprehension that we do it just because we love it, and in many ways we do, but we also need to make money.
So what does it mean if you support #PicturesMeanBusiness?
- It means you believe illustration (and cover design) contributes to people’s decisions to buy books.
- It means you respect the profession of illustration as a proper skilled profession and not some cute little hobby.
- It means you think top-quality illustrators should be able to make a living from their work.
- It means you recognise that illustrators are significantly disadvantaged by quirks in the publishing world. EVERYONE in the industry would benefit if this was properly addressed!
- It means you think it’s unfair that illustrators are often ignored and not mentioned in reviews, lists and media, and that it has to stop.
- It means you believe illustrators should be listed on databases with the books they’ve created, just like writers, in ways that their books and sales can be tracked. (If business can’t see illustrators’ contribution to business, they will assume illustration doesn’t contribute.)
It does not mean:
- It doesn’t mean that we are undervaluing the writer, simply that illustrators’ contribution to the final product should be recognised.
- It doesn’t encourage abuse of individuals online. This is a positive campaign: it’s about achieving results that can benefit us all, not about shaming people. If a credit is missing, we recommend you point it out politely, and keep in mind that there may be other reasons that the credit’s missing (if the information is not provided by the book catalogue, for example. Or an illustrator has asked not to be credited.)
- It’s not about every aspect of the illustration business, only credit. By not going into other issues such as pay or copyright, we ensure that what we ask for won’t hurt the earnings of other people in the industry. We want writers and publishers to feel safe in supporting this focused campaign.