How BookLovers can get involved
As someone who loves books, your support means a lot!
As someone who loves books, your support means a lot! By crediting illustrators properly, you contribute to illustrators being able to establish long-term careers in which they have time to grow and develop their talent. It takes a long time for illustrators to earn enough money to live on, and often they need to rely on family and partners to make ends meet while they’re building a name for themselves in the business. Credit is one thing everyone can give them freely and easily, so they don’t have to struggle for that, along with everything else. The less time it takes illustrators to rise in the profession, the more it opens up career paths to people who may not have outside financial support, and you benefit by getting a wider, more diverse range of books from people with fresh outlooks you may not have seen before.
How you can Help:
If you review a book with an illustrated cover, try to find out the name of the artist who created it, and link to them. It will make your blog post all that much more interesting because people will be able to find out about an artist they may never have heard of. If a book is illustrated, put the illustrator’s name right at the top of the review, along with the writer’s name, don’t bury it deep down in the text. If you’re able to say a few words about the illustrations themselves, that’s terrific. Pride yourself on gradually increasing your vocabulary in discussing visual elements of a story. The pictures may be the deciding factor that makes someone decide they want to read this particular book.
POSTING NEW COVERS
If a cover is brand-new and everyone’s getting excited about how it looks, take a moment to credit the artist who made it look that way. Cover artists get very puzzled by people who congratulate a writer for a cover they didn’t make, and then watch as the writer thanks everyone as though they made it. If a publisher or writer reveals lovely artwork for the first time and doesn’t credit the artist, politely ask them who created it, possibly using the #PicturesMeanBusiness hashtag. (Don’t badger too hard; keep in mind that, on certain rare occasions, an artist may have asked not to be credited because they don’t like the way the cover has turned out after all the editorial compromises, and the publisher probably won’t admit to that.)
If you post a message (say, an inspiration quotation) and include a picture, mention the person who made the picture. You probably wouldn’t pretend you’d written a sentence that Maya Angelou wrote or post it unattributed; think of illustrators in the same way. It’s easy to credit an illustrator for their work and it could make a big difference to that illustrator’s career if your tweet goes viral.
If you’re using an artist’s artwork on your website, find a way to give them a little credit somewhere, possibly even link to their own website.
DO SOME DIGGING
If you see someone getting lots of social media shares for a cartoon or piece of art that’s unattributed, make it a challenge to yourself to try to find that creator. Very often they will have shared the image themself fairly recently, and you can share it from their account, instead of giving the shares to someone who has nothing to do with the image. Don’t take an artist’s image and share it to get all the retweets yourself; do everything you can to give them the publicity; creative people will see this, and respect you more for it. If an artist isn’t on a particular social media platform, consider pasting in a link to their website so people can find out more about their work.
If a publisher posts artwork you admire, mention your admiration using the illustrator’s name. If the publisher keeps hearing that people specifically like that artist’s work, they’ll be more likely to commission more work from them in the future.
INSPIRE ON WORLD BOOK DAY
When kids dress up as characters they’ve seen in books, it’s the illustrator’s work they’re interpreting with their costumes. If you’re posting a photo of it, mention the illustrator as well as the writer. (It’s Axel Scheffler’s Gruffalo, too!) It may inspire the children to find out more about that illustrator’s work, and be further inspired by their books.