Step 0: Do your research and polish your manuscript
Before the illustrations process begins, as the author you will need to ensure your manuscript is polished and error-free, and you have a clear vision in mind for where each illustration will be placed relative to the text. Be sure to add your illustration tags in the places where the illustrations will best support the story. Illustrations are a significant investment of time and money, make sure you do your research beforehand to get the most value out of this service! Learn more by watching our illustrations webinar.
OK, now you're ready! Please read on for an overview of the illustrations process.
Step 1: Pick your top three illustrators and fill in the illustrations questionnaire
We work with a team of talented illustrators from Canada and around the world, and the first step is to review samples and make your top three choices for an illustrator.
Then, once your manuscript is edited and you have chosen a trim size for your book, your Project Manager will send you the Illustrations Questionnaire via Octavo, within which you will describe your vision for the illustrations you have purchased, including important details like character and setting descriptions, colour schemes, and reference images.
Together with your manuscript, the questionnaire comprises the creative brief sent to the illustrator, which they will use to create the first sketch, when they have accepted your project.
Initial image phase (steps 2 - 4): After you fill in the questionnaire and an illustrator accepts your project, they will begin work on a single illustration. Below is an outline of the initial image process:
Step 2: Initial illustration sketch - (2–3 weeks)
In this first phase the illustrator works on a single illustration, beginning with a sketch/line drawing in black and white, which your project manager will send you for review upon completion.
Step 3: Initial illustration sketch revision (if needed) - 1–2 weeks
In the next phase you can request the illustrator make changes to the initial sketch as needed, as long as it does not completely differ from the original description, and a revised draft will then be sent to you for approval.
Step 4: Initial illustration colour - 1–2 weeks
Following approval of the initial sketch, the illustrator will finalize the initial illustration with colour, and you will be sent the coloured image for approval.
Please note: colour revisions are not included in our services; therefore, it is important that you define the colours you want to see when you fill out the Illustrations Questionnaire. If you do not, the illustrators will use their judgement to select colour.
You may be able to purchase colour revisions; however some hand drawn/painted illustrations will require purchasing an extra illustration and re-starting the colour phase.
Remaining images phase (steps 5 - 8): Upon approval of the initial image, the illustrator completes the remainder of the illustrations in one batch. Below is an outline of the remaining images process:
Step 5: Remaining illustrations sketches - 2–4 weeks
Upon approval of the initial coloured image, the illustrator will proceed to creating the sketches of all remaining images, which your project manager will then send to you for review.
Step 6: Remaining illustrations sketch revisions - 2–4 weeks
As with Step 3 above, you can request that the illustrator make changes to any, all, or none of the remaining sketches as needed, as long as they do not completely differ from the original descriptions. You will need to submit all revisions at one time; similarly, all revised sketches will be sent to you for approval at one time.
Step 7: Remaining illustrations colour - 2–4 weeks
Following approval of all remaining sketches, the illustrator will colour the illustrations and you will be sent the coloured image for approval. Note again that colour revisions are not included in our services.
Step 8: Author Approval, files finalized for print, design begins - 1-5 business days
Once you approve of all your coloured illustrations, the interior and cover design processes will commence! At this point the illustrator will finalize the images for print, and your project manager will send you interior and cover design questionnaires via Octavo. Then, the cover and interior design services will commence, which will include the layout of your story text relative to the illustrations, and combining your front cover illustration with the title and author text.
How long will it take to complete my illustrations?