Need 30 children's book illustrations -- willing to pay -- or partner

rnollmanrnollman Posts: 310
edited May 2023 in Art Studio

I wrote a children's book years ago for a young adult audience which I had envisioned with illustrations. However, my wife was a librarian and while attending a library conference with her in Chicago, had by chance shared a cab with the marketing director for children's books for Houghton Mifflin. She told me that older kids think pictures are too childish and want to read like adults.

So I did my due diligence, got the Writer's Handbook, and found all the publishers that might consider my book. In the end, I narrowed it down to 32. I sent out query letters in the spring and by the fall of the year had received rejections from 31 publishers. Then, in December of that year, I got a call from a literary agent with a large literary agency in New York. The agent who was interested in my book was a former Simon and Schuster children's book editor. She was excited about my book and was "100% sure" she could sell my book. I was ecstatic. I felt like this was it, fame and fortune were on my doorstep.

However, a year later, she called me and told me that she had given up. I was devastated. So I gave up on getting the book published. Now, I am retired and thinking that I always envisioned the book with illustrations, decided that I would break the book into five volumes so that I can turn it into a picture book for a younger audience.

The book is a fantasy about a set of glasses that when put on, transported the wearer to another world, an alternate world where people took on the characteristics of their own personalities and inanimate objects become animate. At this point, I do not care as much about making money and becoming a famous children's book author as just wanting to see the book become a reality before I die. I.

So, at the suggestion of my nephew, who has a very successful industrial design firm, I sought some help on Upwork. I found a firm that I thought understood what I wanted and could produce detailed and realistic images for the book. I contracted with them to do the first volume of the book. I used DAZ studio characters and rendered images to help them to see what I wanted the characters to look like. I created many reference files to help them understand my vision for the book. They used Maya to produce their illustrations, so I felt it was a good fit. I thought that they would be able to transfer my characters from DAZ to Maya. It would enable us to work together to produce scenes and so on. Well, months went by and they were unable to make the transitions. Finally, they stopped answering my emails and taking my phone calls. Bummer. So I gave up on the project. They took my money (the first third) and did not produce anything useful.

Now, I am again seeking help in creating the illustrations for my book. There are five volumes with approximately 30 to 40 illustrations per volume that I want to be created for the series: Jonathan and the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Glasses. I have been looking at illustrators on various websites and created a Word file with the list and examples of their illustrations that fit the quality and level of realism that I feel is necessary to bring the book to life. I sent emails to these illustrators or their agents and got only one response, a man who was a very talented illustrator whose estimate for the work on the first book (about three months) would be around $10,000, which was way over my budget. If I could afford it, I would love to work with him, but I simply could not afford it. Well, I actually could afford it, but it would be a hard sell to my wife, who also just recently retired.

I love the work I see from DAZ artists and from DAZ vendors who create the images for their product pages and am wondering if I could find someone who is willing to work with me to produce the 30 images for the first volume. DAZ Studio is the perfect vehicle for creating the quality illustrations that I seek for my books. I have advertised in the past (a year or so ago) on Commons and received zero responses. I am not sure why. I also have many other ideas for children's books. I have been a technical writer for over 30 years so I know a lot about publishing large complex books with lots of cad and photo images. I am also currently working on a novel.

So, if there is anyone interested in working with me on this, please contact me. I have a limited budget, but it is not insubstantial. Or, we could work as a team and try to get the first volume into libraries and possibly get a publisher to market the book. My wife is a former librarian and was a former Director of the Board of Library Commissioners in Massachusetts, where we live, and has connections with many librarians. My strategy would be to create the first book and to shop it around to librarians in the New England area to see if I could get some traction. I am an artist, myself, and could print the images on canvas and stretch them on a frame, then use them in readings at libraries to promote the book.

One question that one might ask is why, if you have some knowledge of DAZ, do you not do the illustrations yourself? Well, I started with DAZ at its inception decades ago and every time I try to work with it, I get frustrated and have to give up. I just cannot seem to get the results I want and the amount of effort to learn just never seems to pay off. I do not have the ability or the patience to create the level of illustrations that I see from DAZ vendors and artists. I have decided that it would be best to partner with someone who already has the skills with DAZ to produce the quality of illustrations that I seek. Maybe over time, working with that person, I could develop the skills to do my own illustrations using DAZ Studio.

If you are interested, I can send you the first two volumes of Jonathan and the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Glasses (or all five volumes for that matter so you can really immerse yourself in the world that Jonathan finds himself and become as excited as I am with the prospect of actually bringing the book to life). I can also send you the Word file with the list of illustrators and samples of their work to show you the quality and type of illustrations that I seek for the book.

I believe that working with a DAZ artist might be the best way to go. 

One more thing. When I originally created the young-adult version of the novel, it was only the first novel in a series. Much like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, the first book would simply be the introduction to Jonathan's world. The threat from the world of the glasses would continue after the first book as the two worlds (the two realities) merged. This means that if the first volume for the younger audience gets any traction, there could be many more books in the series beyond the five volumes that I have already written.

Post edited by Richard Haseltine on

Comments

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322

    It is very easy to self publish your own books these days with services like Amazon.  I suggest you publish the book in written form  and see if it generates any traction out in the world,  and if it does,  you can alway develop an illustrated edition at a later date  using the proceeds  from the first edition. 

    What style or art do you envision for your book project?

  • rnollmanrnollman Posts: 310

    I do not believe that the book will sell as simple text. And besides, I am not interested in making money right now. I simply see it as my own personal art project. I simply want to find a way to add illustrations to the book and am hoping to find a talented DAZ artist to be willing to help using a monetary incentive or as a partner in the project (unlikely).

    I am doing it more for myself than for the general public. I do have a strategy to promote it at first through libraries and bookstores in New England where I live. As I said, if I can get librarians interested in the book, then I could schedule readings in their children's rooms. I actually know several librarians, now retired, whose specialty was children's books. That will be fun and interesting. I have an inside track with libraries that I can use to generate interest. If it becomes popular with librarians, then I can go to a publisher at some point and maybe get it published and marketed, but that would be a long way off.

    The easy part of self-publishing is putting it on Amazon. I found that out trying to market my art. During one online webinar for marketing art that wanted to charge $3000 for their program said that it would realistically take 3 to 5 years for most artists to begin generating a decent income. It was a live webinar and I was surprised when the moderator said this on air. Of course, their original ad was promoting the idea with examples of people that they got up and running making thousands of dollars a month in a few months which turned out to be a lie and a scam.I did some research and found that many people warned others about this program because it simply was a bunch of videos and support material, but no real support.

    The hard part is marketing and creating awareness of the book. Using social media is a long and difficult process. It is not as easy as it seems. Just putting the book out there will not provide any guidance as to how popular the book might be unless you are really adept at using social media to promote the book. I am not well versed in social media and do not use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and other platforms.

    For now, I am focusing on finding someone to help me to create the illustrations. DAZ Studio would be the perfect platform to do this if I had some badly needed help. That said, I am skeptical that anyone in the DAZ world will take me up on my offer. Again, as I said in my post, I am not sure why. 

    I have attached the Word document listing the illustrators I have contacted (with only one response) and the sample illustrations from their published books. 

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 37,812

    use an AI art generator enlightened

  • rnollmanrnollman Posts: 310

    I wonder if a Dropbox link will work. This is the PDF with the illustrators I contacted and samples of illustrations that show the level, realism, and type of illustration I am looking for.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/aly7d7mpol8wwes/List of Illustrator.pdf?dl=0

     

     

  • rnollmanrnollman Posts: 310

    How will an AI art generator help to create illustrations for a book? I need to work with a real person.

  • Richard HaseltineRichard Haseltine Posts: 96,849

    Now moved this one to Art studio and removed the other - please don't multi-post, if you need to move a thread edit the first post (but both Daz Studio Discussion and the Commons were the wrong place for this one) and if a post seems not to appear check your profile, then if it still isn't visible contact a mod.

  • rnollmanrnollman Posts: 310

    I just go online with Fiverr and there are people in India who will do the book for $10 per illustration using I believe AI. Not sure how, but thanks for the tip!

  • crosswindcrosswind Posts: 4,751
    edited May 2023

    Interesting and neat idea. I'm thinking... If one wants to use DS and DAZ3D assets to create illustrations by rendering, first he has to buy the 'relevant assets', or design and build the assets himself, or even go for kitbashing. Hmm...all these options might be challenging... In addition, characters, scenes, costumes, and props etc. need to be pre-designed according to the world, storyline... even imagination in your novel, which also requires more lead time.... Then the next step is to work on the scene making, rendering, post-work....etc. really not a piece of cake even for a veteran user.

    No go for AI... unpredictable and uncontrollable, esp. for a series of novels... The most important thing is that Jonathan and his world should be well designed and made other than being 'calculated' and 'fused'... imo

    Post edited by crosswind on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322

    rnollman said:

    How will an AI art generator help to create illustrations for a book? I need to work with a real person.

     It can provide you with art.  it is new technology,  and evolving,  and changing,  and controversial,  and inevitable,  and may or may not be copyrightable,  that is still being debated and legislated.

    both of these started as daz renders,  but then AI enhanced.

     

    1stb-girl-walking-in-field-.jpg
    350 x 233 - 44K
    1stb-style-girl-walking-.jpg
    350 x 233 - 37K
  • csaacsaa Posts: 812

    rnollman,

    I followed your Dropbox link and was able to view the PDF.  My take away from your examples is that all these go beyond the photorealism that I've mostly seen in the Forum. The aesthetic you cite calls for post-editing to impart a painterly or cel shaded look to the image. There are a few artists I've come across who work at that level: Headwax, juvesatriani, Phloki3D, Mollytabby and junk come to mind. By searching the Forum for them you'll find links to their posts with sample images. For certain there are many more; it may be easier to identify and get in touch with them at the Daz Gallery.

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers!

    rnollman said:

    I wonder if a Dropbox link will work. This is the PDF with the illustrators I contacted and samples of illustrations that show the level, realism, and type of illustration I am looking for.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/aly7d7mpol8wwes/List of Illustrator.pdf?dl=0

     

     

  • MilosGulanMilosGulan Posts: 1,950
    edited May 2023

    I am interested in helping with that. I think it might be good and also interesting for me as an artist and a way to improve my skills...

     

    Now first about me is that I am from Montenegro and Serbia, Europe (near Italy and Greece). I am 46 and have Specialist BMA degre (on my way to Master, need to finish Thesis for that after summer), I have my own small touristic business (acommodations by the sea) but it is getting harder for me alone as years are going by as my legs are injured and have 40% disabled status though here where I live that does not means anything (rugby hip injury from younger days). I also used to run a beach and be a lifeguard but that is now hard to continue...

     

    About art I have been here for almost ten years and collected a lot of resources, and fantasy and art used to be my hobby from younger days (playing Ad&d since 14 :))... Anyway I dont have very good computer but I can do something... Also Your project seems like a complicated task, but I can try... I mostly like to work with what I have... meaning that I make scene with 3d resurces I have then try to make the story about it.... Now with AI tools things are even easier as they can be used to make better art with already made randers as a base... and they are workable for free... I am not yet that good to make my own 3d models but I hope I will learn to make at least buildings soon :)

     

    Now I am willing to partner or work for cheap in order to be able to work as artist (my second dream)... My dream (1st) is to publish second version of RPG rulebooks now in english also... I have published 1st version in my own language in 2006 and that is still 1st RPG in my own country (countries, since 2003.)... Just for reference.... in my country minimal pay is 450 euros (avarage I think 500-600, and those who actualy have work are lucky, I think we have 20-30% unemployment)... Beside all that summer for me is a busy period, but I am mostly free during the year...

     

    I hope that I can help angelyes

     

    Post edited by MilosGulan on
  • RafaelRafael Posts: 124

    rnollman I also sent you a private message.

    It is good that there are some people interested in helping you.

  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322

    rnollman said:

    I just go online with Fiverr and there are people in India who will do the book for $10 per illustration using I believe AI. Not sure how, but thanks for the tip!

     The point is you don't even have to pay the guys on Fiverr  $10 bucks an image,  you can generate the illustrated artwork for yourself,  by yourself, and probably get better results. Take a half hour and do some research into it.

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 8,833
    edited May 2023

    Quick test on Stable Diffusion with the prompt:

    illustration of a ((Jonathan and the Animal))

    image

    Jonathan02.jpg
    1200 x 1200 - 548K
    Post edited by Artini on
  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 8,833
    edited May 2023

    ... and 2 more examples to see the potential problems to fix.

    image

    image

    Jonathan03.jpg
    1200 x 1200 - 569K
    Jonathan04.jpg
    1200 x 1200 - 463K
    Post edited by Artini on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322

    After Artini posted the above,  I also tried out mollman's text prompt  "Jonathan and the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Glasses"  and had these outputs in 15-20 mins.

     

    1-jonathan-minerals.jpg
    959 x 657 - 215K
    1-toomanyminerals.jpg
    966 x 776 - 238K
    11toomanyvegetables.jpg
    961 x 655 - 256K
    1-wholebunchofpossibles.jpg
    400 x 1146 - 122K
  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 37,812

    Inpainting, Embeddings and LORAs exist too if you want a character that looks a specific way

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 8,833
    edited May 2023

    With prompt:

    Jonathan and the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Glasses

    I got different images.

    image

    image

    Jonathan21.jpg
    1024 x 1024 - 286K
    Jonathan22.jpg
    1024 x 1024 - 363K
    Post edited by Artini on
  • lilweeplilweep Posts: 2,234

    rnollman said:

    I wrote a children's book years ago for a young adult audience which I had envisioned with illustrations. However, my wife was a librarian and while attending a library conference with her in Chicago, had by chance shared a cab with the marketing director for children's books for Houghton Mifflin. She told me that older kids think pictures are too childish and want to read like adults.

    So I did my due diligence, got the Writer's Handbook, and found all the publishers that might consider my book. In the end, I narrowed it down to 32. I sent out query letters in the spring and by the fall of the year had received rejections from 31 publishers. Then, in December of that year, I got a call from a literary agent with a large literary agency in New York. The agent who was interested in my book was a former Simon and Schuster children's book editor. She was excited about my book and was "100% sure" she could sell my book. I was ecstatic. I felt like this was it, fame and fortune were on my doorstep.

    However, a year later, she called me and told me that she had given up. I was devastated. So I gave up on getting the book published. Now, I am retired and thinking that I always envisioned the book with illustrations, decided that I would break the book into five volumes so that I can turn it into a picture book for a younger audience.

    The book is a fantasy about a set of glasses that when put on, transported the wearer to another world, an alternate world where people took on the characteristics of their own personalities and inanimate objects become animate. At this point, I do not care as much about making money and becoming a famous children's book author as just wanting to see the book become a reality before I die. I.

    So, at the suggestion of my nephew, who has a very successful industrial design firm, I sought some help on Upwork. I found a firm that I thought understood what I wanted and could produce detailed and realistic images for the book. I contracted with them to do the first volume of the book. I used DAZ studio characters and rendered images to help them to see what I wanted the characters to look like. I created many reference files to help them understand my vision for the book. They used Maya to produce their illustrations, so I felt it was a good fit. I thought that they would be able to transfer my characters from DAZ to Maya. It would enable us to work together to produce scenes and so on. Well, months went by and they were unable to make the transitions. Finally, they stopped answering my emails and taking my phone calls. Bummer. So I gave up on the project. They took my money (the first third) and did not produce anything useful.

    Now, I am again seeking help in creating the illustrations for my book. There are five volumes with approximately 30 to 40 illustrations per volume that I want to be created for the series: Jonathan and the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Glasses. I have been looking at illustrators on various websites and created a Word file with the list and examples of their illustrations that fit the quality and level of realism that I feel is necessary to bring the book to life. I sent emails to these illustrators or their agents and got only one response, a man who was a very talented illustrator whose estimate for the work on the first book (about three months) would be around $10,000, which was way over my budget. If I could afford it, I would love to work with him, but I simply could not afford it. Well, I actually could afford it, but it would be a hard sell to my wife, who also just recently retired.

    I love the work I see from DAZ artists and from DAZ vendors who create the images for their product pages and am wondering if I could find someone who is willing to work with me to produce the 30 images for the first volume. DAZ Studio is the perfect vehicle for creating the quality illustrations that I seek for my books. I have advertised in the past (a year or so ago) on Commons and received zero responses. I am not sure why. I also have many other ideas for children's books. I have been a technical writer for over 30 years so I know a lot about publishing large complex books with lots of cad and photo images. I am also currently working on a novel.

    So, if there is anyone interested in working with me on this, please contact me. I have a limited budget, but it is not insubstantial. Or, we could work as a team and try to get the first volume into libraries and possibly get a publisher to market the book. My wife is a former librarian and was a former Director of the Board of Library Commissioners in Massachusetts, where we live, and has connections with many librarians. My strategy would be to create the first book and to shop it around to librarians in the New England area to see if I could get some traction. I am an artist, myself, and could print the images on canvas and stretch them on a frame, then use them in readings at libraries to promote the book.

    One question that one might ask is why, if you have some knowledge of DAZ, do you not do the illustrations yourself? Well, I started with DAZ at its inception decades ago and every time I try to work with it, I get frustrated and have to give up. I just cannot seem to get the results I want and the amount of effort to learn just never seems to pay off. I do not have the ability or the patience to create the level of illustrations that I see from DAZ vendors and artists. I have decided that it would be best to partner with someone who already has the skills with DAZ to produce the quality of illustrations that I seek. Maybe over time, working with that person, I could develop the skills to do my own illustrations using DAZ Studio.

    If you are interested, I can send you the first two volumes of Jonathan and the Animal, Vegetable, and Mineral Glasses (or all five volumes for that matter so you can really immerse yourself in the world that Jonathan finds himself and become as excited as I am with the prospect of actually bringing the book to life). I can also send you the Word file with the list of illustrators and samples of their work to show you the quality and type of illustrations that I seek for the book.

    I believe that working with a DAZ artist might be the best way to go. 

    One more thing. When I originally created the young-adult version of the novel, it was only the first novel in a series. Much like Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, the first book would simply be the introduction to Jonathan's world. The threat from the world of the glasses would continue after the first book as the two worlds (the two realities) merged. This means that if the first volume for the younger audience gets any traction, there could be many more books in the series beyond the five volumes that I have already written.

    you sure it wasnt a novel? 

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 8,833
    edited May 2023

    ...and two more images.

    image

    image

    Jonathan23.jpg
    1024 x 1024 - 263K
    Jonathan24.jpg
    1024 x 1024 - 297K
    Post edited by Artini on
  • FirstBastionFirstBastion Posts: 7,322

    we may have perhaps, scared him away???

  • WendyLuvsCatzWendyLuvsCatz Posts: 37,812

    I think the issue is most people on this forum are using DAZ for their own creations, the idea of doing commisions for others is probably not worth the effort, some do book covers but a whole book is another thing

    most create and sell their own visual novels etc

    if OP was asking for ideas about rendering his own images the replies would have been more helpful

    as they said, going to Fiver one is likely to just get AI art anyway hence my comment just to use it yourself rather than pay somone else

    this applies 10 fold to DAZ content as the effort and assets required to render something for someone else to their specifications would be pricey indeed

    but doing it yourself would be rewarding in ways beyond monetary benefits as is illustrating your own book with pen and ink

    otherwise the text should stand alone

  • ArtiniArtini Posts: 8,833

    Will be interesting to see, if OP has fixed his needs for illustrations to the book.

     

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