When you're working with an illustrator, one of the things you can ask for in your contract is a storyboard.
A storyboard is used to organize the text & illustrations in your book. The illustrator does this to show you a sneak peek of what the final illustrations will look like.
This way you can each see the author's concept of the book in advance and iron out any problems.
You can see below one of the storyboards that my marvellous illustrator, Eva Morales, provided before getting to work on the full illustrations for The Big, Bad Bully.
I highly recommend including this in your contract with an illustrator. This way, you can plan out your vision for the book and ensure that you're communicating your ideas clearly.
Sometimes the illustrator will misunderstand a small detail, and that will have a major effect on what the book looks like. For example, it may not be clear that your main character is in a particular location.
That sort of thing isn’t always apparent in your text - especially if you are really good at staying away from narration and move the action along using dialogue.
A storyboard lets you review it all before anything gets finalized - saving you money in the long run. Getting a storyboard is much more cost efficient than requesting re-dos of fully done illustrations.
In February 2021, I decided to redo my first children's book. Below you can see some of the storyboards that Eva sent me for I CAN Believe in Myself. My co-author, Jack Canfield, has also added some positive mindset exercises to the book.
This is one of the biggest perks of self-publishing. You get to choose who illustrates your story, AND have input on how the illustrations turn out.
I’ve been truly blessed to be able to work directly with Eva for the books that are being traditionally published. Normally, that's not the case.
If you're able to land a traditional publishing deal, you typically have very little say on who illustrates your book, never-mind the storyboard and character concepts.