How do you feel about illustrations in your books? Graphs? Photos? Sketches?
It depends on the genre and tone of the book, as well as the presentation. I love the sparse sprinkling of gorgeous Alan Lee illustrations in my library copy of The Two Towers, since they serve to underscore a particular scene and certainly doesn’t try to illustrate everything. Leviathan had more illustrations, but it was similarly executed–spaced out throughout the book in an attempt to mimic older children’s literature.
I wish nonfiction books would do the same thing. Vested Interests, like a lot of nonfiction, had a glossy section in the middle of the book devoted to the illustrations, photos, and other visual aids the author referred to in the text. However, it would have been much more powerful if they were placed in the book where they’re referenced. I realize this is a publishing choice, since it’s apparently more efficient, but I think it may be dying out. Hope in a Jar, whose review should be up tomorrow, put the photos and illustrations where they were referenced, and it really made them pop in a way they didn’t in Vested Interests.