Sunday, February 15, 2015

Novel vs. Illustrated Children's book - a world apart

When I set out on this new publishing adventure, I didn't realize it was going to be such a different adventure.  Putting together and publishing an illustrated children's story is a very different experience than publishing a coming-of-age novel.  In fact, one has very little to do with the other.  Let me count the ways:

  1. With a novel, you paint a picture with words.  Lots of words.  With an illustrated children's book, you paint a picture with words, but it also needs real pictures.  And because I am by no means an artist, I can only hope that the illustrator sees what I see (or sees better than I see).  Finding the right artist is of the utmost importance.  And because the story is under 600 words instead of 90,000 words, every word is heavily weighted.  Add to this the fact that the text in this case rhymes… and that some words have no rhyming friends, this is HARD!  And a great challenge.  
  2. There are lots of options for self-publishing a novel.  Createspace. Lulu.  Ingram Sparks.  The list goes on.  When it comes to self-publishing a full-cover book, the list is significantly shorter: Ingram Sparks.  That's one company.  One option, at least in the POD (print-on-demand) market.  Because I live in Germany, it's really my only option.  I can't order 5,000 copies of the book from an offset printer and store them in my garage and offer people autographed copies and send them out when they're ordered and go around to bookstores begging them to carry my book.  No, I will have to rely on the worldwide distribution and shipping options offered by Ingram Sparks.  Captive customer I am.
  3. Ingram Sparks is significantly less user-friendly than Createspace, and it's significantly more complicated to get an illustrated book print ready.  The IS manual for preparing the PDFs is overwhelming.  Welcome, Elance.  It is there that I hope to find someone who has done this before and who will do this for me for a reasonable price.  If they manage the first version (English) correctly, they will get the job for all the other versions.  Incentive for them to do a great job, I hope!  But I'm really nervous about this part.  
  4. Ingram Sparks is slower than Createspace.  I will actually have to wait a few weeks for the print version once they have everything.  Which is still significantly less time than I would have to wait if this were being published by a traditional publisher.
  5. It costs a heck of a lot more to self-publish a full-color book.  Thus the Kickstarter campaign.
  6. If this book is going to be available for tablets, I'll also need someone to convert it to ePub.  Some things are really beyond my capabilities. 
  7. I'm used to doing things myself.  Instead of being a one-woman show, from the writing to the cover art to the formatting and technical details, I now need a whole team:
    1. Me, writer and project manager
    2. Solongo Drini, illustrator
    3. Translators (who knows how many there will be?)
    4. Layout person from Elance
    5. And let's not forget my editor-support team-inspiration, my husband :)  He was there for me with the novel, too, so I guess I was actually not a one-woman show, but a one-couple show.  Because yeah, I quilled the cover, but he took the pictures, fixed the lighting, moved things around… basically made it all look good. Because people do judge a book by its cover.

No comments:

Post a Comment