Friday, May 18, 2007

Self-Promotion for Illustrators

No, I'm not dead, I've just been busy. At the moment I'm working on a Middle Eastern Sci-Fi book cover. I'm also working on a couple of my own children's book illustrations, which is kind of an odd combo if I think about it.

Apart from the art, I've been recently thinking a bit more about self-promotion as an illustrator and various promotional strategies. I basically need to come up with a schedule/method of promotion that is effective and, a big one, sustainable (and by that I mean I can afford to do it multiple times a year). I understand that what is sustainable to me as a beginning illustrator may be a fraction of what I can do in a few years, but I've gotta start somewhere. What good is a 500 post card mailing when I can only afford to do it once a year? Exactly.

So chatting with Val (from IotF) via, e-mail has caused me to think about this whole promo thing in a different light, one that I'm rather shocked I didn't see before. See, I'd been thinking about promotional mailings (postcards, to be exact) in terms of quantity, how many publishers, etc, I could find that listed fantasy, science-fiction, or children's books as a genre they handle.

I realize it may be far more effective to think in terms of quality, or who is best suited to using work like mine (and who I most would like to do work for). In line with this, I've been trying to come up with a very short list (half-dozen) of publishers who would be a perfect match. I then want to work hard to get their Art Directors' attentions. At the moment, I'm thinking that a monthly or bi-monthly postcard mailing (a different related image each time) would be a good start. Here, I'm thinking about future submissions of a manuscript + book dummy, and that it would be much more likely to be looked at if they already "knew my name," so to speak.

I still mean to do some sort of mass promotion. At the moment e-mailings seem to be the most attractive option, as they don't cost anything (above finding or otherwise acquiring the e-mail addresses).

We shall see what comes of it all...