I found whilst researching a very useful section of the Frequently asked questions page from the Society of children’s book writers and illustrators, and it explains in very clear terms how to get yourself started in this area. Provided i understand that hard work is the main factor in this area, and knowing your market, but i find these tips helpful especially the one about how to research your market by looking for children’s books you admire and recommended reading for the budding children’s book illustrator
How do I get started as a children’s book illustrator?
Like breaking into writing, becoming a children’s book illustrator will take both work on your craft and research into the field. No matter how polished your art is, you will need to build a portfolio of work that is specifically suited for the children’s book market.
Know the children’s market
Spend time looking at children’s books that catch your eye. Notice what makes the characters appealing. Read over the Illustrators’ Guide and Putting together a Prize Winning Portfolio in The Book. Look through back issues of The Bulletin for the regular columns: Illustrator’s Perspective, Art Spot and Art Tips. Read the interview each issue with the cover artist to find out how they got started. Get feed back on your portfolio from a critique group and a SCBWI portfolio review events.
Get your artwork seen
You should set up a blog as well as a website where you can frequently and easily put up new pieces. If you are an SCBWI member submit art to the SCBWI Bulletin, set up your free portfolio in the Illustrator Gallery, and enter your work in the illustration awards.
Submit your work to publishing houses
Research publishing houses and imprints to find the right home for your work. Notice the publishing houses of your favorite books and use the market surveys and directories in The Book for to figure out where you want to send your work. Look at the specific guidelines for the publishing houses you are interested in. You will typically send postcards to the publishing houses you are interested in and then they will contact you if they want to see more work.
POSTCARDS ARE IMPORTANT HERE, THEREFORE BUSINESS CARDS MAY HAVE BECOME LESS USEFUL IN THE WORLD OF CHILDREN’S BOOK ILLUSTRATION AND POSTCARDS MAY BE THE WAY FORWARD.
here you can download a copy of “The Book” which according to this website is the essential guide for publishing for children so a very useful link!
EXAMPLES OF POSTCARDS SENT TO PUBLISHING HOUSES: