So earlier this year I did a job for Reader's Digest Children's Publishing. It was a Transformer's Rescue Bots Lift-the-Flap book. The Rescue Bots are the "kiddified" version of the Transformers of whose existence I was, up until that point, completely unaware of. Once I got up to speed on who and what exactly they were, I jumped into the project with both feet. I had finished illustrating the book back in early June and I just got my artist samples in the mail yesterday. It was one of those jobs that took a bit longer than the publisher, or I, anticipated but it was fairly involved and I wanted to make sure I did the best job I could on it. Books are always involved affairs where the artwork is subject to a bunch of parameters that have to be followed for proper press printing. With this book the location of the lifting flaps were spelled out at the get go. The art had to be drawn to work with that in mind which made for some interesting compositional challenges. When I look at the artwork now I, of course, see things I would adjust or tweak but overall I'm pretty pleased with the work. I tried to keep the colors fun and the compositions dynamic and snappy. The cover image on the book isn't mine, it's a collage of existing artwork. But the interior is all my work.
As an illustrator you don't take on a job like this expecting a big payday. Margins on these kinds of books are small and the budgets are consequently slim and to be fair I don't think the publisher expected me to expend the amount of effort that I did. I just found myself having a good deal of fun on this one.
When it comes to compensation, most publishers notoriously take ages to pay artists. It's not meant to be a slam (much), it's just been my experience both with a book agent and without. Typically I don't expect payment until 2-3 months after my work is done. The record for me has been 9 months of wait. Reader's Digest, a company that was in the midst of Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings while I was working on this book, paid my invoices within 1 month. To say I was shocked was an understatement! Their staff was also a pleasure to work with and a model of patience. I hope they recover financially and that things continue to improve for them.
If you are so inclined, the book can be per-ordered on Amazon US: Rescue Bots Roll to the Rescue,
or Amazon Canada: Rescue Bots Roll to the Rescue CA