How Agents can get involved
Illustrators need you, as agents, to pull together and make it standard that illustrators get written promises in their contracts that their names will be on the front covers of their books, and included in the books’ metadata too.
Why We Need You
We need your help in this because illustrators are afraid; we worry that if we make too much of a fuss, we’ll be branded as ‘trouble’ and the publishers will commission work from illustrators who don’t stand up for themselves.
Representing our rights
Publishers may offer to pay illustrators an extra fee, so they don’t have to put their names on the front covers, but this isn’t good enough. Why are publishers ashamed to admit their books are illustrated? Illustration is a key selling point, and not showing the book is illustrated inside is missing a key marketing angle. Pretending that the writer did the pictures (in the name of single-name branding) is false advertising. Illustrators work freelance just like writers – we don’t get salaries or benefits – and illustrators need to build careers based on our names.
Unless illustrators are credited on front covers, recognised in book data and included in publicity, our careers will suffer setbacks. As our representatives, we need you to urge publishers to take a lead in supporting illustrator careers and making publishing a better place for everyone. We need you to keep eye on publisher practice and speak publicly or speak with your colleagues when you see something that needs fixed.
We Need You to Stand Up For:
Illustrator credits on books – our general rule of thumb:
- Cover artwork alone: legible back cover credit is fine
- Occasional small margin decorations: discretional but definitely title page credit
- At least one 1/3-page illustration per chapter: legible front cover credit
Inclusion of illustrators in bibliographic data
Ensuring illustrator sales data is accurately reported
Inclusion of illustrator names in the Title Information sheets submitted to reviewers and media and general press release