I have a musuem-quality picture book published in Russian and English and available only in Russia. Am looking to sell the rights to US, UK, AU, etc. The problem is that everyone says it's gorgeous, well written, but publishers don't want a package...they want their own illustrator. This seems strange, since I own the artwork, etc. and it will take far less to simply reprint and sell than to do it from scratch. What's your advice?
These publishers don't want to use your artwork, either because they don't like it or they don't think it suits their market (and styles of picture book illustration do differ from one country to the next). And that's the bottom line: these publishers don't want to use your artwork. There's no getting around that. So if you want to get the book published, it seems as though you'll have to agree to let them find their own illustrator. If you really, truly want to keep the package as it is, though, you should keep sending out submissions until you find a publisher who does want it just the way you intended.