For business inquiries by phone, please call us at (616) 227-0227
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Would you be willing to look at my manuscript?
A: Sometimes writers want to show me their work to get approval. Other times they think I might love it so much I can help them get it published. Other times, I get sent things with no warning at all. I’d love to help everyone with a gift of my time and what knowledge I have – but I can’t. It is also a conflict of interests for me to read other writers’ unsolicited ideas when I am potentially working on similar ideas. Because of the frequency of the requests and how valuable my time is – for any official advice or review of your work, I offer paid publishing consultation services. If professional services are outside your budget, I recommend joining a local, impartial writers critique group to get help with your writing.
Q: I am working on a picture book manuscript and I need an illustrator. Are you available?
A: For requests to work on books by private individuals, there are so many reasons that the answer to this question is most always, “no”. Making books is a time-intensive job; and I have to give my attention to my own projects. Lastly, most requests of this nature come from very enthusiastic individuals who are excited about the idea of making a book, but not as knowledgeable about the business of kid lit publishing. If you are serious and passionate about your work, then the best thing you can do is learn about the protocol of professional publishing, and just focus on your writing.
Q: Can I hire you as an illustrator?
A: If you are a literary agent wanting to represent me, or book publisher who wants to work with me — absolutely. Other freelance projects are case-by-case — feel free to Contact me. For private, independent book project requests, I currently do not work outside the parameters of professional publishing protocols – I am not accepting any private party requests of this nature, (see above).
Q: Do you ever come to schools to give presentations?
A: Absolutely! A big part of my career is actually spent doing the presentations I give at schools & libraries, book stores, and conferences. For a detailed list of the programs I offer, please take a peek at the Author Presentations section.
Q: We want to have you come to our school, but our budget is very tight. Suggestions?
A: I love working with schools that genuinely try everything they can. Ask me about piggybacking with other schools. What’s the next best thing to a school visit? Ask me about my new live video Classroom Webcasts! Perfect for small classrooms or schools with tighter budgets!
Q: We would love to have you at our event. We can’t pay you, but you could sell your books and music and would be good exposure.
A: It never hurts to ask, but I am extremely selective of the frequency of charitable donated presentations I do per year. There are times where I do this, (festivals, parent nights) – however, unless your situation is an extremely unique scenario, most times it would not be fair to other schools or libraries. The best I can offer is “very affordable”.
If you are a school or library seeking an assembly, my best advice is to plan an author event into your budget ahead of time, so that part of the process is secured. Apply for grants, or work with a P.T.O. to plan ahead rather than asking a presenter to compromise his or her livelihood. Its the best way to ensure a quality event for everyone. Personally, I would not be able to survive as an author-illustrator if my presentations were done for free or great discount, (similarly, most people wouldn’t be able to go to work at their jobs if they didn’t get a paycheck at the end of the week). A big part of my career income is from giving presentations. Being able to sell my books at events is an added bonus, but it is the combination that helps me continue working in this career.
Q: Can you tell me how to get published?
A: I wish there was a simple answer. Making books is like any other skilled career – it requires a serious dedication to learn how to do your job. And because my time is so valuable, the only way that I can provide help is through hourly consultation services that I offer. I wish I had met someone that knows what I know now when I first started. I can save you months of time going in the wrong direction and get you on the right path – sometimes with just a one hour meeting. Please inquire about rates. If professional services are outside your budget, there are wonderful books out there ranging from everything from writing a great query letter to why you should get an agent. There are also organizations dedicated to educating those interested in pursuing this as a career.
Q: What do you mean when you use the word “whimsical”?
A: “Whimsical” is the category / format / subject of the illustrations I do – my “drawing style”. Its almost too hard to put it into words. The word means “fanciful, cute, and endearing”, but that can describe a lot of things that I wouldn’t always call “whimsical”. The word also sometimes means “unpredictable”. To me, “whimsical” really means that my drawing style is a simple & obtainable look for younger audiences; and the subjects I prefer to draw are typically things more innocent and charming.
Q: When will your next book be out?
A: Soon? I am not sure really. I don’t have a shortage of ideas. The truth is, the timetable of making books — from idea-to-shelf — is a longggg process. I do have a few new books in the works, but they take time. Also, a huge part of the waiting game is selling the book, then the long creation process, and even after it is finished, publishers may delay the timing of the release. Every new book goes through the same slow process.
Q: I have a question I didn’t see answered here. Can I contact you?
A: Sure! Please keep in mind, business inquiries will get top priority, all general questions do get answered in time, but sometimes my response is brief. I am also on Twitter for your best chance at a fast response.
PUBLISHING CONSULTATION SERVICES
Due to a high volume of requests, Ryan Hipp now provides paid publishing consultation services to aspiring writers and artists. With 8 years of insider-knowledge about the publishing industry, Ryan can potentially save you from fumbling through uncommon territory and get you on the right track to getting a book published. Services offered:
A2. One-Hour consultation (with 30 minute follow-up phone call)
B1. Manuscript/portfolio critique (includes 30 minute one-to-one meeting and written critique with full notes)
B2. Manuscript/portfolio critique (written only)
Send me an email if interested and put “Publishing Consultation” in the subject line