Friday, January 11, 2013

Guest Post: The Challenges of Writing and Illustrating A Book with JD Holiday

The Challenges of Writing and Illustrating A Book
The BRIEF Challenges of Writing and Illustrating A Book
By: J.D. Holiday
I found the challenges of being both the author and illustrator was only in the beginning. I self published after many years of trying to get published the traditional way. Though doing my own artwork was not something I found easy. I wrote for twenty-five years without doing the illustrations for two reasons. 

The first was traditional publishers told authors in those days, and still tell them if authors do their own illustrations, they, the publishers, might not want the book. Publishers reasoned they might like the stories but not the pictures which would make them reject the book entirely. 

Secondly, I didn’t feel confident enough to do my own art work because to that date, I had painted for fun and enjoyment.

It did take me some time to get to the point in a painting I was doing where I felt the painting was heading in the right direction and it took me a while working with digital art programs to do whole painting that way. I use to just use my paint programs for touch ups on my drawings and paintings. 

Now, my being the author and the illustrator is actually helpful in putting the story together. Doing both allows me to easily move back and forth between the story and the pictures. I can easily revise the storyline and the paintings to match. Once I let myself go and commit to doing the artwork myself, being both the author and illustrator became an asset.

Since I am the artist, too, I don‘t have to worry who will do the drawings and paintings for my books. Nor will I have to split the money made on the sales of my books with someone else. And I also have the satisfaction that comes from doing it all and having a good product.

About the Author: 
J.D. Holiday is the author and illustrator of four children's books. Picture books: JANOOSE THE GOOSE, THE SPY GAME, and Matt Shelley's Halloween Misadventure with Award-winning author, Christy Condoleo, and the chapter book for 6 to 8 year olds, THE GREAT SNOWBALL ESCAPADE. J.D. Holiday is a co-host on It's Story Time, Gather 'Round with Christy Condoleo on Blog Talk Radio's World Of Ink Network:

You can find out more about J.D. Holiday, her books and World of Ink Author/Book Tour at

Follow J.D. Holiday at
Twitter: @JDHoliday

Publisher Website:
What happens when you end up with a dog you don’t want and only stares?

About the Book:
Eddie would love to have a puppy to play with. A puppy would pull on a rope. Catch a ball and lick your face. But his Uncle brings Eddie an older dog named after a famous spy. What can you do with an old dog? It probably couldn't learn new tricks and the only thing this dog did was stare. It's what they find to do together that makes them the best of

Publisher: Book Garden Publisher, LLC
ISBN: 978-0-98186-144-9
Publication Date: August 2012

Places available for sale: Amazon, B&N


JD Holiday said...

Thank you Virginia and Writers on The Move for having me on today. I enjoy it!

JD Holiday

Magdalena Ball said...

I enjoyed reading about your experiences (and the changes in publishing over the years), JD. I don't draw but I like the idea of storyboarding with images.

Margaret Fieland said...

JD, I enjoyed your post and love the cover of your book. My mother was an artist, and she had two mock-ups of books she'd written and illustrated. This was many years ago - she died in 1976. She submitted the books to a couple of publishers and was rejected. When she died, I lost track of them manuscripts, alas.

Karen Cioffi said...

Great information JD. When I started out, I did my own illustration on a children's pb, but soon realized that's a no-no. If you're self-publishing there are talented freelance artists who are reasonable enough - if at all possible try to budget for one. If you're submitting to traditional publishers, they usually use their own illustrators.

Sherry Ellis said...

It's nice to have the talent to be able to do your own illustrations!

JD Holiday said...

Hi Magdalena,

I do think that is a good tool. It can keep you focused.


JD Holiday said...

Hi Margaret,


I have heard that from others. So sorry about your mother. I understand both, her struggle and how you feel about it now.
My father wrote all of me childhood and when he died in 1970, he had only one short story published.
Through a miracle, I do happen to have a couple of his manuscripts! I hope to work on getting his work into print in the future.

Thanks, Margaret for stopping by.


JD Holiday said...

Thank you, Magdalena!

JD Holiday said...

Hi Karen!

Thank you for coming by.

Yes, I agree, there are many talented illustrators who authors can work with out there for those who self-published.
Authors can find many at linked In, by searching 'illustrators.' And another place that come to mind where I know there are wonderful artists is at:


JD Holiday said...

Hi Sherry!

Thank you! I enjoy painting. Funny, I never thought I would be an illustrator. :D


Jack said...

Hello JD: I'm running a little behind, but am making the stops on your tour. Your note about publishers and authors and illustrations is another aspect of why the Old Style was such a pain. Congratulations on the Spy Game. It's a neat book.

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