It seems that most illustrators have heard from an aspiring author who thinks they need some artwork for their manuscript to interest publishers. For art students such as myself, it's tempting to take up that offer, either for the promise of a bit of money or the hope of being published.
Lately I've been reading an amusing and very informative blog called Editorial Anonymous. It's written by a children's book editor who sort of seems like the Simon Cowell of publishing. In this succinct blog post she writes:
"Publishers do not want to receive manuscripts that are already illustrated. You are either ignorant of this fact (and possibly doing this work on spec, in which case: get yourself out of that situation ASAP!), or you're taking advantage of ignorant authors when you take their money for doing something that will not help their manuscript get published and more likely will hurt its chances."
It's kind of amazing how many aspiring authors think they need to acquire their own illustrators, when really just a small amount of research into the publishing industry will correct that misconception.