In Need of Book Illustrations?

Whether it’s a children’s book, a young-adult novel, or even a series for adults that you’d like to add some visual interest to, illustrations are a great way to bring a story to life. The images can be included throughout the pages of the text, and of course, on the front and back cover. Illustrations aren’t only fanciful; they can also include maps, charts, graphs, and more. Artwork adds magic to fairytales, helps to depict and better explain key concepts, allow you to get your point across more clearly, and of course, they can help to attract prospective readers and encourage more engagement with a text. 

In other words, book illustrations can make your writing stand out from the crowd. They can mean the difference between readers selecting your writing over other texts. Because they offer so much value, you want to be sure that your illustrations are as striking and attention-grabbing as possible. They should also help to increase the understanding of your words and your message, as well as establish a deeper connection with your writing. Since illustrations are so important, it goes without saying that you want to make sure that they are as visually appealing as possible, that they really relate to your writing, and that they truly do foster greater understanding of the message, information, or story you are trying to tell. 

While you might be a wordsmith, however, artwork may not be your forte. If that’s the case and you have a great story that you’d like to add interest to within the pages, you’d like your cover to pop so to make your book more appealing to readers, or both, to ensure your illustrations serve their purpose, you’re going to want to hire a professional who has a deft hand and a great imagination; someone who can bring your vision to life and truly enhance your message. But how do you go about finding a reputable, credible, and reliable book illustrator? Here are some tips that can help to point you in the right direction. 

Know the Details of Your Book

It might sound silly to say, but it’s absolutely worth saying it: before you seek the services of a professional illustrator, you’re going to want to make sure that you know the particulars of your book. By knowing this information, you’ll be able to convey it to prospective illustrators and increase your chances of finding someone who will suit your needs. Examples of the key details that you’ll want to know include: 

  • The size of your printed book: 6×9, 8.5×8.5, or 8×10, for example
  • The number of illustrations you’re going to need, including within the pages, the cover, the back, the title page, the dedication page, or anywhere else
  • Where you’d like to publish your writing
  • The format you’d like to publish your writing in, such as paper back, hard cover, eBook, etc. 
  • The timeframe that you would like to have the illustrations completed, as this will have a direct impact on the date it will be published
  • The maximum amount that you want to spend 

Your Style Preference

You’ll also want to know what your style preference is before you start looking for a book designer for your writing. There are so many different styles of artwork that can be used for illustrations, and there’s no right or wrong option. Do some research; look at the illustrations in some of your favorite books, or browse online to get an idea for the different styles of artwork. What kind of color palette to you: black and white, pastel, bold, etc.? Do you prefer more cartoon-like images or realistic pictures? Does a live medium, such as pen and ink or watercolor, speak to your taste, or are you more drawn to digital art? 

Summing It Up

By taking the above factors into consideration, you’ll have an easier time finding the right professional illustrator that will really make your book one-of-a-kind. 

Best Ways to Stay Organized Working From Home

While working in a regular office, you sat under fluorescent lighting in a grey sterile, bland cubicle. However, with working from home, you are the one to design and maintain your office in any way that you would like — provided it’s well organized. 

Your functional home office holds everything — textbooks, computers, keys, and even your pets. Within a short period, it may look more like a frat house than a home office. Here’s how to stay organized while working from home. 

Start fresh 

Maybe, you’ve never seen the top of your desk for a couple of months. It’s time for a clean sweep. First, collect every piece of paper and pen off the desk. Then, clear your desk, leaving only your computer. Although it seems overwhelming to clear off documents on your desk, it gives you a fresh start. Organize your items accordingly by creating three piles (scan, save and shred). With that, they won’t scatter or pile again to your working space. 

Also, remember to clear off your desk after every workday. Don’t leave any item lying unorganized on your desk. Instead, place your files in separate folders corresponding to different clients or projects. In this way, you’ll quickly locate them (your files). This is an excellent strategy to organize your place of work, especially if you are working with different clients.  

Thinking vertically is another idea. Storage is vital in any office. Regardless of how many papers you shift to the cloud, there shall always be some papers scattering around. And of course, to make your office functional, you’ll need a pen, stamps, and many other items. 

The problem is that many functional home offices are small, making storing difficult. So, taking your storage vertical is a perfect way to utilize the available space. 

Create more organizational space for your work using the walls. Furthermore, consider highly functional storage solutions like hanging clipboards. This will allow you to change what is featured on the wall quickly. 

Develop your daily schedule 

Bookkeeping and freelancing can give you a lot of freedom over time. However, this can lead to procrastination. Since no one commands you and you are responsible for yourself, you may forget meetings and important events. 

To be more organized, you need to learn how to manage your time. Before starting your day, make sure you have a daily schedule set up. 

If you are just starting out, it can be pretty challenging to determine deadlines and time allocations. Also, as a starter, you don’t know how long it takes to complete a particular task or project. 

However, you shouldn’t be worried much about it since you’ll be familiar with everything as time goes. Just try and figure out how much time you’ll need to do a task. Then check the activities you can finish in a day with other events you scheduled for that day. 

List down tasks you can accomplish for a day

Jobs such as freelancing are always associated with flexibility and freedom. However, with much space, you may end up not knowing whether you were productive on that day or not. 

For easy monitoring of activities, put down all the tasks you need to finish each day. You can do this manually or use online lessons management to track your daily activities. 

Maintain tidiness 

Clearing your desk and your workspace alone isn’t enough. 

Although it seems tempting to work in your pajamas, it’s good to refrain from doing it for several reasons:

● It might not be easy to get into the work mindset. Can your subconscious associate pajamas with bedtime? Of course not. Therefore it might be challenging to focus at work. 

● Looking good can help you feel good.     

Set and enforce working hours 

Working from home and controlling yourself doesn’t mean getting shorter workdays. In your functional home office, you need to know how to separate work from home. Therefore, it is essential to set your working hours. 

Apart from helping you know when to start your task, setting working hours lets your clients know when you’ll be available for contact. 

Avoid multitasking 

Multitasking doesn’t work. It instead lowers your productivity since you are not focused on the scheduled tasks. Instead, focus on one task before handling another one.

Be flexible 

You don’t need to be too rigid to focus and stay organized. Some circumstances are unavoidable. For example, you are doing everything to ensure a distraction-free day, and then suddenly, your kid becomes ill. Since you are the manager of your home, you’ll have to handle it all. 

After the destruction, it might not be easy to focus on your scheduled activity. And that’s the weakness you need to eliminate. You need to be flexible and be able to focus back on your task after the distraction. 

The good thing about having a flexible schedule is that you will and must be adaptable. 

Use customer relation management

Working from home means you are self-employed. Therefore, you need to ensure you have the right tools for you to be at your best. One of such tools you shouldn’t is) writing software.

Take a break 

Working continuously can be overwhelming. So you need breaks after every significant task. With that, you’ll get to reset and adjust your focus. 

The bottom line 

Organizing your functional home office is the first step in creating a better workflow. It can help you stay focused and on top of your workload. Additionally, it can help you track the job applications you are sending. A clean home office is easier to maintain and can motivate you to keep it tidy. 

Although it seems challenging to work from home, you can overcome destruction and focus on your daily tasks with the right strategies. In the end, staying organized while working from home should not be challenging.     Rose Rosie is a writer for the personal finance website, Joy Wallet, which provides readers with useful information, resources, and tools to help maximize their financial fitness.