Saturday, January 8, 2011

Would you include images with pages?

So, my main character keeps this journal where she sketches the insects she collects. It's also a necessary part of the story, in that she starts keeping notes about the mystery she's solving.

My question to you, blog world, would you mention this in a query letter? If yes, how?

Would you wait to find out if an agent was interested, and then mention it?

I think including the images in any requested pages would produce an overly large file... not good. And I'm wary of anything that might send agents running for cover.

Including my images in the book is not a dealbreaker for me at all. I could honestly go either way. I see myself as a writer, not necessarily an illustrator.

I guess my question is, does it add to the total package, or distract from it?

Again, you can't hurt my feelings. Well, you probably could if you tried real hard. What I mean is, don't hesitate to be honest, I can take it.


  1. I wouldn't include it in the pages you submit. If you get requests for fulls, then you *might* want to mention it. But, with the sample pages or a partial request, I wouldn't bring it up.

    Images like that are things that could very likely be changed by a publisher -- they might hire their own illustrator, for example. So, at the querying stage, it's not something to worry about. Once you have an agent interested, then you can bring it up! :)

    Good luck -- the images look wicked cool!!

  2. Excellent advice Susan, thanks! Exactly what I was looking for.

  3. Great question--and one I've wondered about, too. I think Susan's answer is spot on.

    But those images are seriously impressive, so if my opinion counts for anything, I think your eventual publisher should use them. :)

  4. Great images! However, I wouldn't include them in your query or sample pages. Of course, if they're crucial to the story, it's definitely worth mentioning in the query. :)

  5. Hey, Katharine, I just put two and two together! Duh. I remember reading your query on query shark before I ever saw your blog. Yay for you! Janet Reid rarely offers such high praise for a query!

    Your novel sounds great. And I love your character's journal, but agree with the other commenters that you shouldn't send the images. But definitely mention in your query that Beatrice keeps a journal and sketches in it. An editor who's interested will probably ask what you had in mind.

  6. Thanks Jess and Pam for the input, it's so great to get some insight!

    Joanne, I'm a big fan of the Shark. I love that she takes the time to educate people. I do like the idea of mentioning it once some sort of relationship is established.

  7. I agree with Joanne. I think you should mention briefly in your query that the main character keeps a journal with images. Agents and editors are always looking for unique concepts and interesting ways of conveying a story, and since the journal sounds central to the mystery plot, I think it's definitely worth putting out there. Good luck with your decision and with querying. :)

  8. I have no idea about what's appropriate for a query, but I can tell you that as a reader a book with beautiful illustrations will always catch my eye. I like to collect books, so books with amazing art work (inside and out) are something I love to have. I can't imagine that an agent wouldn't be interested in something unique like this?

  9. great advice Katy- a mention makes sense, and it can progress from there.

    I hear you Mummazappa, I know I would want to read a book with a journal/images... I would hope others would too. I remember reading about the book Hugo Cabret that it was very expensive to produce. So I guess you have to weigh the pros and cons.

  10. It might be something good, too, to include in the synopsis--so that the agent could see the story unfolding more clearly. But no, I wouldn't include it in the query (though artfully mentioning it could be a definite selling point), and I might ask when the full requests come (and they will :) ) if the agent would like to see this element of the book in addition to the text.

  11. Thanks, Rowenna, for the shot of confidence and the advice!


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