Saturday, October 8, 2011

Creating Picture Books/ Adventures In Self Publishing In The Digital Age

I love telling stories. When my oldest son was 5 years old I started creating picture books for him about these cartoon dinosaur characters I made up. I would put the books together using the copiers on my job and give them to him. I was very happy to see that he liked them enough to take them to school with him. I made two more stories about the same characters, though I never got to finish all the illustrations for the last story.

I got lots of compliments from people who saw the books so I printed out a few more, even sold some.

When my son grew older I wrote another story that matched his age. He loved that one too and I went all out on the illustrations on that one. I liked the idea, it was about a kid who tried to imagine what it would be like to have a dinosaur as a pet. I thought the story had a sense of humor and I worked hard on the illustrations, working and reworking them till I got what I thought was the very best I could do.

The printed book was done on quality paper. The first version was in black and white pen and ink drawings with some gray tones. Later I colored the drawings in photoshop. Friends who are illustrators and writers encouraged me to take the book around to publishers but I never found a publisher for the book, ( although  I probably just gave up to easy). I tried self publishing but the final price of the book was to high to expect for anyone to purchase it. After a time I pretty much gave up on the idea of publishing.  I had a few other ideas that I wanted to also publish but those were dashed as well.

 Recently I decided to try and create an e book out of the pet dinosaur idea. At first I did it for myself but then I considered how much has changed in the publishing world. Electronic editions of books are selling very well and cost nothing to make. If you have the right software, you cut out the printer and the distributor so that the creator only split’s the cost with the bookstore. How wonderful. It makes it hard to understand why some e books are priced so high, although at $1.99 I think I priced my first book to low but what’s done is done.

The e picture book can be purchased at the Barnes and Noble website, (I have plans for putting it on i Tunes and Amazon as well).

I also decided to rework the first ideas I had and sell them as e books as well. The illustration bellow is the first one for the next story, "Catch the Moon".

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