Pros & Cons of Adding Pictures to a Children’s Book

One of the decisions that you are going to have to make is whether or not to add pictures to your children’s book. This will depend upon several factors such as whether you have access to the artwork in the first place and what age group you are targeting. Some age groups are almost required to have pictures if you want them to sell while others can do without them. Let’s take a look at some of those factors now.

Traditional versus Self-Publishing

One of the things that may make a difference is whether you are publishing through traditional means or self-publishing. If you are asking how to publish a children’s book through traditional means, then you’re going to have very little control over whether or not your books have pictures. If they are in those age groups where pictures are required, then your publisher will hire out for an artist to create the pictures. For chapter books and easy readers, your publisher may still contract out for some sketches to add your book. If you are self-publishing, then you have to make those decisions yourself. Of course, you also have to do all of the acquisition work to get those pictures.

Are You the Artist?

If you are an artist, then you definitely have an advantage over authors that have written a book but have no artistic talent. If you can paint or draw pictures yourself that will go with your book, then you won’t have to worry about hiring someone to create them, paying them money to commission the work or what rights you get for doing so. Many children’s book authors are also artists and they create their own artwork to go with their books. If you are publishing traditionally, then it will still be up to the publisher whether or not your own drawings will be included with the book or whether they want to contract out to someone else.

What Age Group is Your Book Targeted Towards?

You also need to consider which age group your book is targeted towards. For example, board books and picture books are required to have pictures. That is, after all, the definition of that type of book. Even easy readers and chapter books should have some pictures in them because children are transitioning from those picture books to books with a lot more words and having books with no pictures can be rather intimidating. For older children, pictures are not strictly necessary.

Print Book or eBook Format

You also need to consider whether you are publishing your book in print or e-book format. If you are publishing in print, you are going to have a lot easier time formatting your book, but it is also going to cost you more with a traditional service like print on demand. Color pictures can add several dollars your cost whenever someone orders one of your books. This is not the case with e-books, but it can be tricky to do the formatting to your pictures display properly.