Tuesday, March 20, 2018

From Postcard to Picture Book!

This post is about how my promo postcard help to land me a picture book illustration job.

Promo postcards are postcards that illustrators use to promote their work. They are mailed to art directors and editors or passed out at a conference.

I usually aim to send out 3-4 postcard batches a year. For the longest time, I was wondering if the time and money were really worth it, but I know from personal experience that promo postcards really work. The following is my example.

I had the below postcard at the New England SCBWI conference a few years ago.

An art director from Sterling Children's Books picked it up. And a while later because of this postcard and my Lorenzo, the Pizza-Loving Lobster Book, I was offered to illustrate a picture book!

Images on postcards can help art directors see your strengths and your interests. My postcard has a cute construction scene, so when my current art director had a construction book that she needed an illustrator for she thought of me.

My new book that I illustrated is titled "Over at the Construction Site". The words are by Bill Wise. I can't wait to show you all the cute construction vehicles I illustrated. (They're so cute!)
The book rolls on to shelves April 17th, 2018!

You can pre-order the book here:
Indiebound • Barnes & Noble • Amazon

Here are my top postcard tips:

  • On one side of the postcard, you want to put one art image. On the other side, you want to put your contact info and address of the recipient. Some people also like putting a smaller piece of art (usually a spot image) on this side of the postcard as well.
  • Try to find a place to put your name and contact info on the art/main side of the postcard. Art directors and editors like putting postcards on bulletin boards. If they don't have to turn over the postcard for your contact info you save them one step.
  • Ask friends or critique partners to review your postcard before printing. 
  • I prefer matte paper over glossy paper because it's easier to write on this surface. You can always request a paper sample from your printer.
  • Always double check to make sure everything is spelled correctly.
  • Hand address the cards instead of printing them or using stickers for a personal touch.
  • Try to mail a new postcard to your mailing list 2-4 times per year
  • Create an address list for editors and art directors. The Children's Writers and Illustrators Market books have addresses of editors and art directors. Conferences are also a great place to get addresses.
  • Put a reminder in your calendar to make and send postcards
  • Some of my favorite printers are Moo and GotPrint. Your local print shop can be a great place to get postcards too!

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