Children’s Book Author FAQs

To decide if I am the right fit as your children’s book illustrator, please read through these FAQs. If you would like to schedule a consultation or if you still have questions regarding my services, please contact me directly.

How much do Tami Boyce Design children’s book services cost?

There are many variables contributing to cost. Some of these variables include the number of spreads, the number of characters, color style (mono- or full color), and if last minute edits are required. A payment plan is worked into our contract from the beginning (see design process), and additional breakdown may be negotiated. Once you have your manuscript split into page separations, with the characters and overall story line established, you can contact me for a personalized quote.

What is a “spread”?

When you open a book, the two pages that you are viewing is considered one spread. The front and back cover together are also considered one spread. On the interior of a children’s book for a younger audience, my recommendation is for you to have text on only one page of the spread. Children’s books for older audiences, that are more like short stories, may be set up differently.

What do I need to have before we can begin?

Before I can begin the layout and design process, you will need to have the “near final” version of your children’s book story. This means that the characters must be established and the overall action of the story laid out. Text edits and tweaking can be made throughout the design process but as long as the story and actions are set, it shouldn’t disrupt the illustration process. For a project quote, ideally you will have your story broken down into the number of spreads that you will need with basic story idea for each spread. If you need me to divide your story into spreads for you, there will be an additional cost.

What privacy and other protections do you provide?

Before we begin the process, I will provide a nondisclosure agreement. You can be assured that I will not share or otherwise publish your work without your permission. I will not display your book as an example of my design without your permission. I will do no design or illustration work and you will pay no fees until we have a contract of work in place.

What is your design process? How will this work?

Initial Consult
During this phase, you will describe your needs and the parameters of your book. I will give you a quote and we will sign a contract of work. If you need your story divided into the necessary spreads, that fee can be incorporated into a consulting fee paid at this point.

Children’s Book Illustration and Design Phase 1
To begin phase 1, you will pay 1/3 of the quoted price as a down payment. I will begin with character development for each of your book’s characters. This will consist of illustrations of each character based upon your vision for them and drawn from different angles. After the character development is approved, I will complete all of the rough sketches for each spread of the whole book. You will receive one round of edits per spread, if needed.

Children’s Book Illustration and Design Phase 2
After you have approved the rough sketches from Phase 1, you will make the second payment of 1/3 of the quoted price for your project. For phase 2, I will create final color versions of the artwork for each spread of the book. You will receive one edit per spread for this phase, as needed, for color changes only.

Children’s Book Illustration and Design Phase 3
After final approval from Phase 2, the cover and interior layout design process begins. This is when your illustrations are combined with your manuscript. At this point you will need to provide all cover text – including title, subtitle, and back cover summary/text.
For this phase, I also require the final version of your manuscript and all text for the book’s interior layout. If you wish to include an author bio, please have that written and a high resolution author photo ready to be provided. The inclusion of a bio is optional and can be placed either on the back cover or in the interior of the book.
For the initial interior layout, I will do a mock-up design of the first four spreads. You will get two rounds of edits for font and font size changes only (illustrations are finalized in Phase 2). When the mock-up is approved, I will complete the layout for the entire interior. After the full interior layout is complete, you will get one additional round of edits for any text changes.
When the cover and interior layouts are approved, I will finalize the file formatting for the book to be sent to a publisher. At this point, you will make your final payment of the last third of the quote (plus any additional fees incurred due to extra edits). Upon receipt of payment, you will receive all of the final files required to send your book to be self-published. If desired, I can upload these files for you to a publisher such as CreateSpace (Amazon’s self publishing arm) or IngramSpark for an additional fee.

How do I get a barcode for my book?

You can get a barcode at no additional cost from some book publishers, but this may create obligations to that publisher. If you purchase your barcode, you will be free to publish your book from whomever you choose in the future. This is up to you, but I highly recommend against the free barcode offered. Buying a personalized barcode is around $99 and it helps you retain all of the rights to your book.

Do I need to pay to have my book listed on Amazon?

Once you have received the digital copies of your book file, you can upload them to CreateSpace and can list them on Amazon at no cost.

What if I want to send my book to a traditional publishing house rather than self-publish?

My services are geared to help you self-publish. I do not have the means to get you in contact with a traditional publisher. My advice would be to self-publish and then you will have a hard copy of your book to shop around to publishers if that is the route you would like to take. I am happy to discuss my experience with the self-publishing route during any consultation.

How do I copyright my book?

It is very important to protect your work throughout the publishing process. I recommend registering your books with the U.S. Copyright Office. You can register your text to start off the process, but they require the most up-to-date version of your book as it develops. You must send them a hard copy of the book upon completion to finish the process. You will retain copyright of the images I create for your book, which will also be noted in any contract before the work begins.