For IWSG month, I have another treat for you today. Jemima Pett.
Insecure Writer’s Support Group Website!!!
Illustrations in books (not just picture books) is something I like and as a soon-to-be-self-published author, something I'd like to incorporate in the formatting. I always appreciate it when authors have little chapter graphics and when short stories have an illustration to introduce each story. More work, but worth it. And I have an addiction to castles like Jemima. My Renaissance vampire series has castles all over it!
I've never read a blog post about adding illustrations (not saying that there's been none!) I hope you enjoy the post today and find it helpful if you're like minded.
Over to you, Jemima!
Thank you, Denise.
It’s an honour to be here today. I may get around to answering the IWSG question of the month...it depends…
As an author, the question I often get asked is:
Why do I do chapter illustrations for my books?
Believe me, most times when I finish editing a book, I ask the same question. I have about 24 chapters, and I have to do illustrations for them, simply because I did in the first book. Talk about a rod for your own back! When I was little, all my favourite books had illustrations of some kind. E H Shephard did the Winnie the Pooh and the Wind in the Willows ones. They add something special to a children’s/middle grade readers’ book. And gives the reader a break!
The Princelings of the East
My series, The Princelings of the East, is set in a country very like the UK, but with small communities with castles ruling over them. Inter-castle rivalry is everywhere!
I started to take an interest in the design and structure of castles (there are loads in England!), and unearthed a prize I’d won at school which was a children’s Guide to Castles and Cathedrals! My Geography teacher must have been prescient.
So I wanted to draw these castles as part of the setting for the books. Maybe it helped me not describe them at tedious length.
Wanting to draw something and doing it are two different things. For a start, do you want simple elegance and style like E H Shepherd, or something more draughtsmanlike, for the castles? I ended up somewhere between the two.
Over the course of the books the illustrations got better, they settled into a certain style, and I learned how to put them into ebooks more efficiently.
Images in Ebooks - the old days (c2011-12)
- The key to placing images in your ebook is to paste it into your document as an INLINE IMAGE.
- No fancy cropping and wrapping the words round.
- Place it between two paragraphs using the inline setting.
Modern ebooks (2018 onwards)
My process Then there was iPad
I’m not an artist
I think my readers like the drawings. I hope they do. I enjoy doing them, although sometimes I really think my ambition outweighs my ability. Plucking up the courage to do a new version of the inn was hard, but it really, really needed it!
I’m not an illustrator. I’m a keen amateur painter who has sold a few pictures. I do not want to illustrate someone else’s books. But putting my own mind’s eye onto the page, that has given me great pleasure, both in words and pictures.
So if you fancy illustrating your own books, don’t be put off. If you think they are good enough, it’s part of the charm of your book that the author has also illustrated. Go for it!
There. Another thing for Insecure Writers to worry about!