Tuesday, March 1, 2011

“Hey! I have a great idea for a children’s book!” Part 9: A Book is Born!

This is Part 9 and the LAST post in my blog series on publishing a children's book.  If you missed the first articles, read
“Hey! I have a great idea for a children’s book!”: Part 1!
Part 2: Know your Publishers!
Part 3: Two Ways to Self-Publish
Part 4: Self-publishing Author’s First Step

Part 5: Choosing Your Self-publishing Company
Part 6: Meet Your Illustrator!
Part 7: Hiring Your Illustrator
Part 8: The Illustrator’s Contract

Now your illustrations have been finished, your manuscript is edited, you have contacted a local book printer or on-line self-publishing company to finalize your book project order, and you are almost done!

At this point in the book process, you will submit all materials to your designer/printer or self-publisher. This will include your manuscript, the illustration scans or originals, a bio, and synopsis. You will leave all of these in another's hands now.

Except for a few follow-up questions from the publishing company or designer/printer (text style/size, spine wording, end page info...), you will have what will seem like a long wait before seeing proofs. A proof is the sample you use to do a final check for errors. It typically takes the online publishers 3 to 4 months to produce your proofs, minimum 2 months if you want to pay more to speed that up. Local printers/book designers may be able turn that work out more quickly depending on the number of clients they have.  It will take another 3-4 weeks for a self-publishing company to set up all of the on-line sales, web sites, etc. If you have ordered promo materials, expect that to take even longer. So start working on something else and don’t drive yourself crazy!

When your proofs are sent to you for approval, CHECK THEM and if you can, have someone else look them over, too. Often if there are any changes that need to be made (not publisher/printer error) you will have to pay extra for those changes and edits. Once the proofs are approved by you, the book printing will be ready to begin.

Finally, in a couple of weeks, your actual shiny new book will arrive, which will hopefully meet all of your expectations. Now, you must market and sell it, but that is a whole other blog topic for another time...

So here’s what that long-awaited day is like:
The mail carrier leaves the parcel at your door. You run to pick it up. It has the post mark from the publisher! It’s here! You tear open the edge of the padded envelope, and inside you see... your book! With your title, your name, your cover! It smells like new paper and ink. It’s shiny and colorful and just what you’d hoped. You hug it and then flip through the pages. Yes, yes, they are all there! No more nightmares that you forgot something. You hug your book again. The book you imagined has become a reality. Enjoy the moment!

I hope this blog series has been helpful to those of you who have thought, “Hey, I have a great idea for a children’s book!...”  Whether you go through a traditional publisher or self-publish, do it because you love it. Believe in yourself and your project. Good luck, future authors!

By the way, YES, I do accept project inquiries from authors who are looking for an illustrator! I offer quotes depending on the scope and content of the project. Check out my web page, Kristine Daniels Studio, for a look at my portfolio and contact me if you are ready for the adventure!

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