My illustrators are 7 kinds of awesome!
In the process of my website redesign, I reached out to all of my illustrators to let them know that spot art (that means individual images from the book's illustrations) would be used on each book page, and in the case of the home page, we pulled two images from two different books. I wanted to make sure no one took issue with that.
Many who are not in the children's book industry may not realize that authors often have very little contact with the artists who illustrate their books. Nor does the author get to choose (well, at least not this author) Seems weird, but it's true. For three of my books, the illustrator and I had never even so much as exchanged emails. This isn't because we don't like each other! There's just a process: the manuscript gets accepted, and then the editor and art director go on the search for the illustrator. Once the illustrator is found, they give the text to them and they begin their process. The author may not see any drawings until the art is near final -- usually, though, we see sketches, or samples, or character samples. Anyway, my point is, there's not a lot of back and forth between author and illustrator because the publisher doesn't want the author's ideas of the book to cramp an illustrator's vision for the book. And trust me--all of the art in my head when I'm writing is nothing compared to what the illustrators have produced. The illustrations come out so much better than what's in my head!
So reaching out to all of my illustrators was awesome, simply because I had never connected with some of them. And their responses were joyful (it's always nice when someone is happy to hear from you, right?) I wasn't fishing, but I got compliments on my writing, my book trailers, all I've done for the books, or comments on how fun it was to illustrate my text, and how they'd love to work on another book of mine. One even called me a poet!
In a business with tons of rejection, it's amazing how even the most minor pleasantries can go a long, long way.
(spot art above from WE'RE GETTING A PET!, illustrated by Jana Christy)