Dear Miss Snark,
First of all, thank you for your great blog. I've learned a lot from reading the posts. I'm in the process of writing my proposal. I will need to get three permissions; two from music publishing companies and one from the publisher of a book that's quoted. I thought that I might wait until I had an offer from a publisher before securing permissions. I don't want to pay for permissions unless I get an offer for my book. What are your thoughts?
I would also like to have simple line illustrations in my book. Should I go look for an illustrator or just let the publisher choose one? Also, what are the customary financial arrangements with illustrators? Please let me know.
No one is going to sign off on permissions until you have a publisher lined up, unless it's just a normal everyday person you're asking. They'll want to know all sorts of details that only your publication contract and editor can provide. You're going to foot the bill most likely, not your publisher. There's a standard clause in contracts about side material that says bascially "you get it, you pay for it".
Unless the illustrations are graphs, or photos, you don't want to even start on this till your editor talks to you. If they want illustrations, they'll make those arrangements. And they'll pay. Lots of publishers aren't too keen on illustrations in trade books cause it raises production costs.