Author-illustrated Children’s submissions have a huge advantage, as I see it. During the past 10 years, I’ve had supposed insiders tell me that a Children’s publisher does not want an already-illustrated book, preferring to do it in-house. Yet I’ve had other folks, including authors of published Children’s material, advise me just the opposite. My opinion is that if the illustrations are of a high quality, any publisher would be thrilled at not having to bring in an illustrator. There’s always the high probability of creative differences occurring between the author and the illustrator, and who wouldn’t want to avoid this? Since the overwhelming majority of writers aren’t necessarily skilled illustrators–and vice versa–the issue regarding author-illustrated Children’s material doesn’t seem that complex.
Subscribers may have noticed the retail pricing grid for Children’s bestsellers at almost a straight-line $17; then it drops, in a case or two all the way to $10 for Middle Grade, and then back up to $17 for YA. Children’s genre is higher because of illustrations and personal issues with placing a book that’s not already illustrated. I’ve worked with a few people over the years who have written lovely Children’s material that’s not been illustrated, and it’s really hard to get traction, especially if the work is light on words. In this instance, illustrations are key, and I noticed recently that a book sold that consisting of drawings only.