Prices for Childrens' Book Illustrations

This price list is for the benefit of self-publishing authors who want to get an idea of the cost of illustrating a picture book. Prices are based on being hired to illustrate an entire book; say, 10 - 30 illustrations.  (Think of it as bulk pricing: if I were only doing one illustration, I’d charge more.)

The price includes storyboard, dummy, 1 rough sketch, and 1 final illustration. Pretty good deal, when you break it down! Again, that price is based on being assigned about 10 - 30 illustrations. Prices below are per illustration. Example: 10 Full page color illustrations = $4390.

Spread      Full     Half    Qu./Spot
 Cover  (Color)

  wrap   front

$608.   $439.     $276.    $135.
 $1,013.  $900.

Black & White  
$450.  $388.   $259.    $101.

Here are the definitions of the different sizes:

Spread - an illustration that spreads across two facing pages, filling up both pages with a single illustration. It may or may not have text superimposed on it.
Full - an illustration that takes up one whole page. It may or may not have text superimposed on it.
Half - an illustration that takes up one half of a page.
Quarter - an illustration that takes up one quarter of a page.
Spot - a simple illustration that takes up one eighth of a page, or less.

10 illustrations might be enough for a short 12 page book. 16 - 20 is more typical of the average 32-page book.

When the book starts making a profit, I would also get royalty payments. All of this is negotiated in a mutually agreed-upon contract. A win-win situation is desired!

Let me know if you have more questions, by leaving a note in the guestbook, or on the contact page.

Thanks for your interest!


8 comments | Read all | Post comment

Hello When you say the price includes x1 rough illustration, do you mean for each page?
-- Helen, 11/5/18

Stacye LeanzaTo answer Ali's question: - If you truly want 31 illustrations for your book, the price would depend on how many of each size you would want. It would range from about $5860. to $10,760. - However, most picture books do not have illustrations on every page. As an example, the picture book I illustrated a couple years ago (I Built my House on a Volcano*) was 32 pages, but had only about 15 illustrations + the cover. It came to about $3600.
-- Stacye Leanza, 1/4/17

Hi, how much would you charge for a book that needs 31 illustrations and a cover?
-- Ali, 8/17/16

Hi Stacye, Thanks for this page about illustrations. Could you please provide definitions of the different types of illustrations you're referring to: spread, full, half and spots. Thanks in advance! Katherine
-- Katherine, 7/29/16

Stacye LeanzaIngerlene, I would charge separately for page layout & type setting (aka: book design). I'd probably charge by the hour - about $20/hr. But I think a graphic designer might be more efficient at it, tho they may charge a higher hourly rate. It might be a good idea to ask a book designer or graphic designer for an estimate, as well. Hope this helps.
-- Stacye Leanza, 4/13/16

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