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Art based on work in progress before publishing


Hope this is the right forum to post this in:

Let's say you have a work in progress, and have not even contacted a publisher before about this work. What if you, for whatever reason, decide to do artwork yourself, or hire an artist to do art for your book? Maybe not cover, or interior illustrations, but just pieces of art on the side of characters or scenes. And then you get this book published. What happens to those pictures? Does the publisher ignore them, are you not allowed to show or use them, or will they actually hinder the publishing process, even if you never bring them up or intend to ever use them at all?

I ask because, even though my books are not completed, there are some characters and scenes I would love to see drawn out, and I cannot draw to save my life. I figure doing this would be the best way, as once published, all characters and everything are property of the publisher, and you cannot make artwork, even totally non profit, that relates to a published work. But in this way, if the publisher never wants any pictures other than the cover, you can get your own, even if they are never used.

Am I making sense here?


Felis amatus
The characters and everything don't become "property" of the publisher when you publish. If a publisher presents that kind of contract to you, run the other way (exception is if you're hired to write in a shared world, like Star Wars, D&D or something). The publisher isn't going to be interested in your artwork, as a rule. If they're interested in having art with the book, they'll find someone to produce it in the style their marketing department wants. I doubt in most cases they'd have a problem with the author having his own art on a web site, but if they thought it was interfering with marketing the book somehow I could see them asking for it to be taken down.