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Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 3

Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 3

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In Getting Started in Children’s Book Illustration, I’m answering your questions about getting started in this field.  Submit your questions via email or check here to read answers to previous questions. 

In this installment of Getting Started in Children’s Book Illustration, we’re tackling the question:  Do you need an agent?

The short answer: It really depends on your personality and on how much time you plan to devote to marketing and promoting your work. 

If, like me, you don’t prefer the networking aspects of marketing or are not inclined to attend fairs and conferences, you might be better off with an agent.  If you’re not a good negotiator and get cold sweats at the thought of chasing payments, you might be better off with agent. 

Among other things, here’s what an agent can do for you: 

  • get your work in front of their publishing contacts, including those who will only look at agented work

  • get jobs for you that you may not be able to get on your own

  • provide advice on contract terms

  • negotiate the best fee for you

  • make sure you get paid in a timely manner

  • continue to showcase your work while you’re busy working on projects

  • help you hone your portfolio so you can get the type of work you dream of doing

That said, plenty of artists do just fine without an agent.  Those artists are willing to do the leg work, the networking, the conferences, etc.  Again, it comes down to your personality. 

And another factor is whether you’re comfortable with sharing part of your fee with an agent.  Agents take anywhere from 20% to 50% as a commission, depending on the agency and the type of work they focus on.  You must decide whether that commission is worth what they provide for you. 

For me, it’s worth the commission because my agency provides a steady flow of projects that I know I wouldn’t be able to keep up on my own. 

If you think you’re ready for an agent, head on to this post to read up on how to find an agent. 

Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 4

Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 4

Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 2

Getting Started in Children's Book Illustration: Part 2

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