I had planned to write something long today, but yesterday I had quite a surprise when I proudly informed my publisher that I had completed the rough draft of Legends of the Pyramids a month early and they replied that they expected me to have all of the artwork for the book (the book I was not supposed to have finished writing until December) submitted to them this Friday, along with the captions and the page numbers (again, for the book I was not supposed to have yet finished) on which they should appear. So, today I am illustrating an entire book in 48 hours and scrambling to meet an arbitrary deadline for a book I apparently was supposed to have written backward to match the pictures, since I can see no other way to start with the pictures and end with a manuscript.
I have never found photographs to be terribly helpful in a book, but in my book they cannot be more than decorative since the entire story is about texts and written legends. I feel like I am wasting my time producing a list of pictures no one will ever really look at just so some marketer somewhere can add a line about illustrations to the book description.
Oh, and of course they expect me to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars buying stock photos and commissioning original illustrations, if their permission guidelines, sample image suggestions, and receipt/proof of purchase forms are to be followed. Fat chance of that. I am the king of the public domain, and in my entire life, across all of my books, I have only ever spent a total of $50.
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Esquire, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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