How to Find an Illustrator for a Self-Published Book

Working with an illustrator who understands your book's vision and wants to help you bring your book to life is critical when self-publishing your children's book. Choosing the right illustrator is one of the most important decisions you'll make during the publishing process. You'll want to partner with someone who can bring the images in your head to life in colorful and print-ready ways. Here’s what you should consider when finding an illustrator for your self-published book.

When Do You Need an Illustrator?

Children’s books are the most common and popular books that need illustrations. Besides children's books, genres such as Grade Books, and Young Adult and Fantasy can also benefit from illustrations throughout the book. From small, clip-art-sized images (called glyphs) to full-page maps of fantastical lands, illustrations provide context and break up lengthy narrative sections.

Where Do You Find an Illustrator for a Self-Published Book?

Freelance illustrators can be found through simple Google searches or gig websites such as Upwork and Fiverr (however, quality tends to be low when utilizing these gig-style platforms). You should also use the power of your personal network and ask for illustrator recommendations.

Most traditional book publishing houses don't allow authors to choose the illustrator they work with. You can't provide any input into the actual illustrations. EABooks Publishing is one of the few self-publishing partners that allows you to choose an illustrator. We work with several amazing illustrators who will partner with you to bring the vision for your book to life.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire an Illustrator for a Book?

If you’re self-publishing your book, you’ll partner directly with an illustrator who will set their own rates. Illustrators usually price their services per illustration or by page. Rates can vary significantly based on their experience and the time involved with completing the project. However, you should budget a few thousand dollars to ensure quality illustrations throughout your book. Our team at EABooks Publishing offers several illustration packages with rates starting at $175 per page.

How the Illustration Process Works

The illustration process for self-published books is different from traditional publishing. Here are the steps for getting your book illustrated when you go the self-publishing route:


The first step in finding an illustrator for your book is to get an idea of the styles you like. Visit bookstores or your local library to gather some ideas of illustrations you gravitate toward. Write down the name and illustrator of those books, along with your thoughts about the illustrations and how you believe that style would complement your book.

Select Publishing Partner

All the aspects of self-publishing your book can be daunting. However, you don't have to do it alone. Choose a publishing partner like EABooks Publishing to help you navigate the self-publishing process, from choosing distribution methods to marketing. We have several illustrators on staff who will partner with you every step of the way. Learn more about our self-publishing services.

Story Outline

We’ll have you break down your story into the text you want to appear on each page. We’ll ask you to provide a short description of the picture you would like to see on that page in brackets. This will provide the inspiration your illustrator needs to get started.

Sample Illustration

After learning more about what you envision, our illustrator will create a sample image based on one element from your book. If you like the design, we’ll create a publishing package quote for both illustrations and publishing. Then, you’ll select one of our publishing packages and complete onboarding documents.

Initial Meeting and Sketches

After you sign on with EABooks Publishing, you’ll have an initial meeting with your selected illustrator. Your illustrator will then complete some sketches and start outlining the book. You’ll have a chance to provide feedback and approve the sketches before moving forward.

Approval and Delivery

Once the sketches are approved, your illustrator will work their magic and complete full illustrations for your book! You’ll receive the final illustrations within a month or two. Once the illustrations are officially approved, your book can move into the next step in the self-publishing process, which is printing and distribution.

How Long Does the Illustrating Process Take?

Illustrating your book will take a few months from start to finish. Once initial designs are approved, your illustrator will work behind the scenes to complete the pictures for your book. We’ll keep you updated to ensure everything is delivered as scheduled to help get your book self-published quickly and easily.

Questions You Should Ask Your Illustrator Before Hiring Them

It’s critical that you work with an illustrator you’re comfortable with and will trust with your book. You’ll want to ask some questions during your initial meeting to ensure the illustrator is a good fit. Here are some questions you should consider asking your illustrator:

● What's your preferred medium?

● What genre do you specialize in?

● Can I view a portfolio of your past work?

● What are your rates per illustration or page?

● How would you describe your illustration style?

● How does your process for developing illustrations work?

● How do you like to communicate during the illustration process?

● How long do the illustrations take to complete from start to finish?

● Do you expect to receive royalties or is this a work-for-hire arrangement?

Illustrate Your Self-Published Book with EABooks Publishing

Don’t leave finding an illustrator for your self-published book to chance. Work with an experienced illustrator who understands the story you wish to tell. EABooks Illustrators are Christians who believe in your ministry and vision. We offer free estimates, sample illustrations, and affordable prices so you can get your book self-published and achieve your dream of being a published author. View our illustration packages. Read more about our self-publishing resources on our blog. Ready to partner together? Contact us to get started.

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