Where to find illustrators

Finding the right illustrator can be a very tedious task for multiple reasons.  First, you want to make sure that the illustrator has a developed background which includes a portfolio and a degree in illustration and/or years of experience, all of which show the heights and range of their talent.  Next, you want to work with someone who listens carefully to instructions, but allows their creative genius to take your vision and manifest it into visual form.  Lastly, you want to hire someone who you like.  Most likely, you will work with this person on multiple projects so having a good relationship with them goes along way.

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Prior to the last editing phases of Broccoli Chronicles, I began looking for an illustrator for my book.  My dearest friend, Sharon Lee, recommended that I look at the work of Alvina Kwong; I was immediately blown away at her talent, but I was nervous deciding on an illustrator due to past experiences, so therefore I let a few months go by before I finally offered her a contract for my first book.  I was not only impressed with her ability to capture my main character, but also by her publishing credits, her college background, website, and extensive portfolio.  We started working on the 42 illustrations right away and about 2-3 months later, we were done.


Personalized Books from ISeeMe

In the small time that Broccoli Chronicles has been published, it won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award in Children’s Fiction and has been selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews’ 2014 ‪INDIEFAB‬ Book of the Year Award for Juvenile Fiction!

Alvina and I worked together for at least a year before we had physically met each other.  Prior to that, our conversations were all through text, email, phone calls, and social media.  We finally met at the Jackalope Art and Craft Fair in Pasadena in April 2015 and it was a delight.

Alvina Kwong and Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva

Not everyone experiences a happy ever after ending like I did so please take your time before you decide on the right illustrator for your book.

Check out some of the illustrations that Alvina did for my first 4 books.

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About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.


Tip 6 of 6 Tips for Aspiring Writers

Yay!! You are finally ready to seek the guidance and expertise of a Literary Agent.  So…what’s next?

Well, first you need to purchase the Guide to Literary Agents and research those that are in your specific genre.  If you’ve written a picture book, then you need to locate agents that represent children’s authors.  Make a list or spreadsheet of the agents that accept picture book submissions and be prepared to send them your information, one by one.  It is imperative that you cross-reference the information from the Guide to Literary Agents with specific guidelines from their website especially since information changes daily and you want the current information.  If they take submissions only online then you should not send your submission through the mail.  Read every detail carefully!  It can be the difference between you getting a contract and your manuscript being dumped in the trash.

Remember to address all inquiries specifically to that person and refrain from using greetings such as – To Whom It May Concern.  Make sure that you read their bio and submission guidelines thoroughly.  If they request a query letter, synopsis, and the first ten pages of your manuscript, then it’s important that you send them EVERYTHING that they want!  Keep track of your submissions so that you don’t contact the same agent twice.  Sometimes, it’s okay to contact an agent following a rejection letter if you have significantly revised your manuscript and/or you are submitting materials for another book that you have written.

Not every author receives a contract from the first agent that they’ve queried.  Don’t be alarmed if you do not receive a response from them at all.  Continue to remain positive and if necessary, contact every agent in that field.  If you haven’t received a contract after two years or after you’ve queried 20+ agents then you possibly need to move to your Plan B.  No one knows your Plan B, except for you.  Maybe you need to take a break from writing.  Possibly take a trip somewhere and when you come back, be prepared to revise your manuscript, synopsis or query letter.  Also, you may consider self-publishing, which is becoming a great route for new authors.  Regardless, never give up on your writing and continue to believe in yourself or no one else will.  This is a competitive business and only the strong and persistent survive.

Good luck!


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About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

Welcome to my writer blog, teacher blog, and self-publishing blog

Welcome! I’m Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva, author of the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles. This is where you find writing and educational tools to help kickstart your writing career.

Check out our resources and tools for aspiring writers, self-publishers, educators, and folks who love to read children’s books.


About 

Taneeka Bourgeois-daSilva is an authorpreneur, teacher, blogger, educational consultant, and writing coach. She wrote the award-winning Broccoli Chronicles and is the CEO of Building Voices and TCD Kids Foundation. She tweets at @taneekabdasilva.

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