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The Submission Process, Part II: Tips on Submitting Samples for Illustrators

By The editors of LEE & LOW BOOKS

As each and every illustration sample is opened at Lee & Low, we can only imagine the questions illustrators are asking: What happens to my samples once they reach a publisher? Will the Editor, Art Director or Designer even see them? Will they sit in a pile gathering dust under a desk? What do they think of my work? What can I do to be sure I stand out?

LEE & LOW BOOKS is an independent publisher with a list of approximately twelve titles a year. We acquire manuscripts throughout the year, therefore we also look for illustrators at all times. The first place we look is in our artists' file, which is where your samples will be if what you sent is an appropriate style for LEE & LOW.

The Process
1. Research, research, research before submitting! Go to a library or bookstore and look up our books–see the styles and subjects of our books, see how we differ from other publishers. We receive hundreds of samples every month, and only keep on file those that suit our needs.

We are always happy to send out guidelines and a copy of our catalog, simply send us an SASE (9" x 12"). You may also download our catalog. **Read our ILLUSTRATOR GUIDELINES.

  1. Decide to either:
    a) Send in samples
    Illustrators should send a resume and/or cover letter as well as color copies, tear sheets, or other non-returnable illustration samples. We are especially interested in samples that feature children/people of color and that show an ability to illustrate the same character consistently over many scenes. If you have a Web site with additional samples of your work, please include the Web address. Please do not send original artwork, portfolios, slides, or electronic samples (on CD or by email). Our policy is to keep only artwork of interest on file.

b) Drop-off your portfolio
–We accept drop-offs during all business hours, though we ask that you call first (212-779-4400 x. 31) and give us notice as to when you will be dropping off. Please leave your portfolio at the front desk of the building with the doorman, where we will return it within 24 hours. If you need it turned around sooner, simply include a note with the time you will be picking it up.

What to expect
1. If you include a postcard for response, and have an option for "no interest" expect that it may be checked. This is not a reflection of your artwork, rather one of our list.

  1. Do not expect a critique of your work. We simply don't have time to offer detailed responses.

  2. If you researched LEE & LOW well, and sent us appropriate materials, expect that we absolutely will hold your samples in our file.

Common Mistakes
1. Sending samples that do not suit our needs.

  1. Fancy, elaborate packaging. We look at the samples themselves not the envelope they come in.

  2. Duplicate packages–please do not send them. We have one central file for all art samples.

LEE & LOW makes a special effort to work with illustrators at all levels of experience and are especially excited to have opportunities to publish new emerging talent. We look forward to seeing your work!

Part I of article

Contact Us

Telephone: (212) 779-4400 x 28

Email: customer.support[at]leeandlow[dot]com

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