Illustrators Draw a Crowd!

“The only person who can sell a book better than the author is the illustrator.” —Mark Wayne Adams

Authors aren’t the illustrations a key selling point of picture books? So why is getting the illustrator to make public appearances so difficult? Money may be the main factor. Illustrators not making royalties usually don’t promote. Consider offering royalties when hiring and negotiating contracts with illustrators.

Having not only a talented illustrator, but also an entertaining illustrator can boost sales too! An entertaining illustrator’s presence literally “draws a crowd” at events. Why should the illustrator make appearances? They are like magicians transforming words into pictures worth a thousand words.

Illustrators participate in events if royalties are earned. The percentage may be small, however for every book sold around a $1.00 could be earned.  Helping authors and publishers sell 5,000 copies a year, is a $5,000 royalty check that year.  The longer it takes to sell the books, the longer a substantial royalty check takes to arrive. This fact is true for inactive authors too.

Authors and Illustrators can set the selling pace by becoming sales people. Focusing individual and combined energy in selling is rewarding in several areas.

  • Awards:  The benefits are recognition in local and national media, retail sales, speaking engagements, award money, and new contracts.
  • Book Festivals:  The benefits are quick retail sales and new contracts.
  • Book Signings:  The benefits are distributor sales and new contracts.

Most importantly the time spent selling together and individually will Draw a Crowd of readers faster with teamwork. Double one another’s following through association. Working together may also inspire additional books in the series. Making a win win for everyone involved!

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How to Win Friends & Influence People: MWA, Inc. Must Read List

My childhood dream was to become a Walt Disney animator. In November 1995, during the pursuit of my dream, I booked a flight from Florida to California. I’d never been on an airplane much less to California. Was my dream worth moving across the United States?

Being a country boy at heart—California’s mountains, lakes, and oceans were more appealing than Florida’s flatlands. Runs along massive beaches, visits to major tourist sites, and Yosemite National Park made this a monumental trip. So what event caused me stay in Florida?

A lady with an ora of wealth sat next to me during my return flight to Florida. Okay, maybe it wasn’t her ora as much as her gem-covered hands reflecting wealth. Who was she? Are those costume rings? How did she earn her wealth? I awkwardly asked, “You appear successful. May I ask how it happened?”

She smiled back. I anticipated a fantastic story! Her answer wasn’t fantastic, but an interview of my life. She asked questions about my family, occupation, recreation, and monetary goals. Her questions were genuine, as she listened to each of my answers. Twenty minutes into the conversation, she asked, “Do you still want to know how I became successful?”

“Yes! Of course I do.” I said.

She said, “The secret is three books. Practice everything in each book. Don’t read the next book until you’ve completed last. The first book is How to Win Friends & Influence People.”

“My college friends and I joke about this book.” I chuckled.

“You shouldn’t laugh. We’ve talked for nearly thirty minutes, and you haven’t asked my name. Read this book first!” she said.

In so many ways, she was right. My listening improves each time I read this book. That’s why I’m reading How to Win Friends & Influence People this month. Her second book was even more impactful. I’ll share it next month.