Furry Writers' Guild Forum

Are illustrations essential?

Hi guys,

I’ve just arranged my cover design for my debut novel - due out this year.

It’s a detective story in a ‘furry world’ - I suppose you could call it ‘animal noir’, and somewhere inbetween zootopia and blacksad in tone. Its gritty but not particularly violent, and theres plenty of humor.

Within this community do you tend to prefer literature with illustrations? I know a lot of the work showcased on here are wonderful graphic novels etc riddled with pictures.

I do have a friend who has offered to illustrate but I’m keen to release my novel asap. I just wonder whether a story of this nature would have more punch if accompanied by piccies.

Its probably an upper middle grade story - but I think it will still appeal to adults too.

Any thoughts would be most welcome

JT Bird

Illustrations are a nice bonus, but a story should be strong enough to not require them. It has never been the case for me that an illustration swayed my opinion on a work of literature.

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Cheers Dwale - thanks for your response.
I agree - and hope it’s the general consensus :smiley:

Much appreciated!!


They are a nice touch when they are there, but not needed. It all depends on what kind of experience you are looking for. Personally I have both loved and hated pictures in furry fiction. It depends on the artist and if they are doing something for the story. Take Windfall for example of a good use of them. I found that they really enhanced the story.
Meanwhile, the illustrations in the first Will of the Alpha anthology took away from the fiction in it and I found were detrimental to the stories.
All in all, it’s up to you if you want them or not. Generally if you are going to include them, make sure they are good quality and attractive. Cause nothing will sink your book faster than poor interior art. (much like a crappy cover will also kill your book)

Thank you Voice- appreciate the reply and that is very helpful.

And yes i suppose my biggest concern should be the quality of these images!! If they are naff, I’m in trouble

That sounds exactly the sort of thing I enjoy reading!

Illustrations are a nice bonus but not essential, and I’d say that goes for middle grade readers as well as furry ones. (In fact, some kids might be wary of books with pictures, thinking that those are for ‘babies’.)

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Hey Husky :smiley:

Happy to send you a free ebook copy if you like!!

It’s due out 1st August, but keen to share with the furry community beforehand- to get their feedback and maybe reviews.




So like most people here, I’d say as well the answer is that they’re a nice bonus but not essential. As decent illustrations can be expensive and take time to create, it depends on what you’re looking to get from them as well.

You mentioned cover design and I’d say it’s certainly a good thing to take the time on and get right. As much as we may like to think otherwise, we do judge a book initially by its cover, so we’ve got to make sure it makes us want to pick it up and look into it further.

Best of luck with this and I hope it goes well!

Thank you Televassi, much appreciated !!

Here is my cover FYI-

And not sure if this will load, but a draft illustration…