Book Proof

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My proof arrived in the mail just two business days after I purchased it. I quickly opened the envelope to find my treasure, I thought, wrapped in bubble wrap. My first impression was, Wow! How professional this book looks! Then I looked inside the book and found the spacing was not right. So I quickly closed the cover and examined every inch. I took a photo of it and sent it to one of my friends who agreed the old cover was more appealing to children. However, I wanted the cover to look more professional than the first edition’s cover. I could easily fix these two items, I thought. Well, one day’s work quickly turned into 3-4 days of work.

About four days later after editing my spacing and reinserting new illustrations into the text, I searched for a photo that would bring my book cover to a new level. Ironically, I already had it in my photo files. So I uploaded the picture, changed the layout and Voila: I had the perfect professional looking cover I dreamed of. Next, I uploaded all the files I edited and previewed everything in the previewers before saving them. So I was ready to publish my book again. 

Days later, I created my author’s page and saw the icons for paperback and eBook on Amazon. I was so excited. Then I looked for a way to make an audible book. After much research I decided I’d rehearse and try narrating the book myself. After my first rehearsal, I flipped over my book and found a letter missing from a word in the book summary on the back of the book. So I went back to the book cover online and added the letter to the word. While doing this, I found I needed to edit my author’s photo. I quickly edited it and uploaded the edited photo to complete the cover. Now, the book is ready for the world to see. I sure hope it’s ready! Writing is hard work!

Eagerly Awaiting!

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I ordered the proof of the second edition of my first children’s book on Friday. Later, I received an email stating it will arrive on Monday, which is tomorrow. I can’t wait to hold it in my hands and leaf through its pages. There are great feelings of enjoyment and empowerment when holding your own book in your hands. When you create something, you feel more deeply for it. I’m just hoping I won’t have to redo the illustrations, but I’ve been working on sharpening my sketching skills just in case I need to.

Illustrating a children’s book can be difficult work, because you need to study the anatomy of the animal or people you intend to draw. You also need to capture each character’s expressions based on their emotions at a particular point in a story. Then you must decide how many illustrations to include in your book. You don’t want to make the book too long depending on the age range of your audience, so you are constantly counting and limiting everything in the book.

Finally, you must decide between using color illustrations or black and white illustrations. Color illustrations cost more to print, so your book price may be higher. The younger the reading audience is, the more they rely on pictures to comprehend the story, so illustrations become very important when doing this kind of book. So do I revamp all the illustrations, add more illustrations, or just leave the illustrations as they were? Seeing the proof will help me answer that question.

Below are some YouTube videos about illustrating children’s books:

This guy shows how difficult it is to illustrate a children’s book. He is quite talented!
Some people hire illustrators like this one, however, it can be very costly to hire a professional illustrator.

Editing

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For the last two days I’ve been working on revising and editing my book. It’s been difficult work, but I’m passionate about getting my new edition out soon. The editing process can be tedious and time consuming. If you’d like to have a little help with speeding up your editing process, you can use free tools like Grammarly or ProWritingAid. You can also hire an editor to do the job for you. By now you know I like to do things on my own, so I’ve finally finished editing my book. Now I have to format it.

I hope you find those links to be helpful. Oh. I just finished formating my book. I’m ordering a proof right now. I’ll publish after I’ve read the proof. So wish me luck!

Revisions and Character Development

You might have noticed I took a day off from blogging yesterday. I wanted to work on my manuscript for a few hours instead of blogging. So I located my file on an old USB and opened it. Then I proceeded to read through my story more than ever before. My eyes were like lasers doing a detailed surgery on my text. The main thing I noticed was the text needed better character development.

So I zoomed in closely on my main character’s traits. I wanted the audience to feel like they might know him or at least understand his point of view. I needed to use more adjectives, only I didn’t want to overdo it. I am not writing this book for adults, so I have to control the level of the vocabulary I’m using. I also need to control the length of the text in terms of the number of pages it will be when I’m done enhancing the characters.

Here some YouTube videos that you might find helpful if you’re developing the characters in your book:

This YouTuber shows how to create characters for childrens books.
This YouTuber shows you how to brainstorm character traits to build a strong character for your book.

So You Want to Self-Publish a Book!

My first book was self-published on Createspace years ago. As of 2019, Createspace has merged with Kindle Direct Publishing. So I’ll revisit my first manuscript today and make a decision about whether or not I want to pay for editing, formatting, and a new privately owned ISBN number. I want to take my book to the next level this time. So it’s time to take the book out of the attic so to speak, dust it off, and make it ready for resale.

For those of you out there who are considering following suit, that is you are trying to publish a book through a free source you can watch the video below for a few tips.

Here’s to happy writing! I’ll be back with updates on how far I’ve gone in the process soon. Until then keep writing!

What’s Next?

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I was on a natural high after my mother’s event, but what was I going to do next? Well, I’d self-published a book a few month’s after my father passed away, however, I’d kept the release of the book pretty secretive and low key. I was a bit afraid of the criticism I might get from people who knew me directly. So I only disclosed this venture to a few of my closest friends and family members. My mom wanted to take a truckload of the books no matter what their condition to sell at a family reunion she was attending that May. You know how mothers are. Anything that their children create is considered a masterpiece no matter what other people think of it. Well, I was able to convince her not to take the books with her. I said I don’t think my book is ready to be released to a large audience yet. I just want to do a trial run on Amazon for now.” As you can imagine my book didn’t sell well. However, I didn’t take it personally. I was just beginning to focus on an old passion I’d had since my childhood. In addition, after losing my dad I just felt like giving birth to something. I knew I wasn’t going to have another child at that age, so why not give birth to a book. I digress.

So one of the things I intend to do now is really working on my writing. I want to rerelease my first book and also publish my second children’s book this year. Writing this blog will also help me to improve my writing by actually writing almost every day. I’m also planning to build a bigger network, audience, and readership so my coming publishing endeavors will be more impactful. I want to encourage people who are beginning new chapters in their lives like me to pursue their passions. Pun intended for the use of the word chapters.