Thursday, May 25, 2017

Achievement v. Inspiration, part 2

A few days after I made my last post, I realized that I'd forgotten to include my status update at the bottom.  See what I mean about it being hard to balance both achievement and inspiration, especially simultaneously?  Anyway, here it is below for those of you who are curious about the stats of how things are progressing.

And another quick update on a few accomplishments recently.  I selected the size of my book cover, which was actually much more difficult than you may think.  It involved researching printing options, including available standard and custom sizes, publication costs, and profit margin per book - as well as estimating how things like type and size of paper affects each of those.

It also required me to estimate the total number of pages in my unfinished book.  I should note that I think I am doing things in a slightly different order than most authors, since I chose to hire an illustrator before I finished writing my book.  I did this for two reasons.  First, I wasn't sure how far out I needed to book an illustrator, or how hard it would be to find one.  (I was lucky and found one easily who was available right away).  And second, I didn't know how long it would take the illustrator to finish the cover art, so I figured it would get my book to print faster if the final writing and cover illustration were happening at the same time.  Even though it makes it harder to estimate printing costs without a finished product, the process works fine for me.  I did, however, wait until the story and characters were developed enough that I knew the idea for the cover wouldn't change.

After the research, I also got out the tape measure and physically measured a bunch of comparable books for the same age group and style.  None of them were exactly the same as the standard sizes offered.  After trying to estimate the sizes in the air with my hands multiple times and failing, I finally went ahead and cut out two pieces of paper, one for each of the closest sizes to my comparable books, and held them up.  Having a physical copy to actually hold in my hands was invaluable.  Holding my cutout next to my comparable books, I decided to go with 5.25" x 8".  It will be almost exactly the same width, and just a little taller than most of the comparables.  And I'll have the option of printing on either white or cream paper.

(c) Amber Byers

My illustrator has been so patient with me throughout this process.  She is quick as lightening in her responses, but thankfully calm and patient with my slower response time.  It is a relief to work with her without unnecessary pressure.  And, speaking of her quick response time, here is the first round of color illustrations that she sent me already.  We are making progress!  As before, I'd love to hear your thoughts either in the comments below or sent to me directly.

Sophie and Spot

I've also had a great time writing lately.  I got inspired in my story all over again after reading some of it out loud to my target audience.  I got such great feedback that really rejuvenated my entire writing process!

As I near the end of my book, I am filled with such a mix of emotions.  Excitement, pride, and anticipation, of course.  But also sadness and a sense of loss, knowing how much I love the characters I've created, and wishing they were friends I could stop by to share a cup of tea with.  Thank goodness for sequels!

Status:  33,249 words.  Cover size selected.  First round of color illustrations in.

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