I have written a story for a children's book, what do I do next?

padIt's actually very straight forward! I can do most things for you, from help and advice with the initial idea, to creating the book itself, and of course - the illustrations! I also can advise and support you when you are dealing with the printers! 🙂 

I have outlined my easy 7 step process to give you an idea of how we can bring your book to life!

  • Step #1: Develop your story
  • Step #2: Storyboard/layout
  • Step #3: Sketches
  • Step #4: Illustrations
  • Step #5: Digital proof and review
  • Step #6: Choose printing options
  • Step #7: Receive your book

For more information on my process and examples of my work, please visit my Children's book illustration page.

What exactly happens when you work with me?

  1. Let’s Talk. Firstly, it all begins with a chat about your story. Creating your book, or books, is such a fun adventure, and to ensure that it reaches its maximum potential, it’s vital that I have a good understanding of the story, its characters, its focus; in fact, anything that you think is important. During this conversation, we will also discuss and decide on the style of illustration you would prefer for your project. To help choose this, please visit my “Children’s Book Illustration” page, and check out the five styles I offer. While all of this is achievable via emails, I would much prefer a chat over the phone to help me get a better feel for the project.
  2.  Deposit. Once we have agreed the details of the project, I will send you a formal contract for you to read and sign. This contract will contain our standard terms and conditions, as well as detail the processes that will take place. A week before the start date, the deposit will be due (usually 50% of the agreed fee), and I will issue an invoice for this amount at this time. To help the process begin smoothly, please would you ensure that this amount is paid, by return. Work will commence on the scheduled date providing payment has been received.
  3. Let’s Get Started. Before I begin working on your project, please ensure that I am in receipt of ALL the details regarding your book. To include:- a. A copy of your typed & proof-read story (we will also employ the services of a proof-reader to double-check and carry out any final proofing). b. A descriptive paragraph for the back cover. c. Any dedications for the book (if you wish to have any). This is also the stage to inform me if you have any specific requests regarding your characters. What would also be helpful is a short character bio to help me understand more about them. I also need to know if I have any illustrative restraints, or anything you definitely don’t want. All of this will save us a lot of time in the editing stage! 
  4. Storyboard/Sketch Building. This is the stage where you can check the sketches/rough book template and make any suggestions. Firstly, I will build a text-based layout to ensure that you are happy with the flow of your story and once agreed, I will start to draw. When completed, I will send you a fully sketched draft. It is vital to ensure that the sketches are correct at this point, as illustration changes are unable to be made after this stage free of charge. Please make sure that, at this stage, you are honest with me, and let me know in clear terms what you want to change, if anything, about the sketches.
  5. Illustration Development. The stage that can take the longest time to complete, and also when I get to colour everything! Please bear in mind that this stage usually requires approx.3-4 weeks of work, dependent on the complexity of the illustrations. I will do my best to advise you at the earliest opportunity if your illustrations require longer than this to complete.
  6. Book Generation. The book comes to life as this stage involves importing the images, and begin editing. This will take approx. 1-2 weeks.
  7. Payment/Final Files. Once I have completed the illustrations and compiled the book, before the release of many months of work, the second payment (usually 50% of the agreed fee) will be due. Upon receipt of that payment, I will send you the complete, finished proof. Please understand that this payment is to be received first, as the files I send you will be the completed book, ready for final editing. 
  8. Editing. Once you have received the book and have examined it thoroughly, I will then work with you to edit out any little errors; typos/imperfections etc. These edits are crucial to the finishing of the book, and I always advise you to take your time. Please remember that there are three rounds of edits included in the package pricing, and that any further edits or alterations will be chargeable. 
  9. And to Finish. After completion of the final editing stage, please sign off the project, and upon receipt of which, I will provide you with all the final files. You will then have everything you need: illustrations as separate files, cover images, and the book PDF for print, or printed book if you purchased the Gift Book package. If you need any assistance dealing with your printer, I’m always happy to provide advice as best I can.

I'm Self-Publishing. How many copies of my book can I have?

book-deliveryAs many as you like!

Whether its 10, 1000, or 10,000 copies, you can arrange for any number of books you require. 

Top tip! When printing books, the more copies you have printed at one time, the less the price is per book, but please remember that you have to find enough room to store them! Also, I ALWAYS recommend having a small print run to start with, maybe just 20 or so, in order to CHECK that they are 100% correct. It's very wise to do this before spending thousands of pounds on having loads printed only to then find an error, as, even with the very best of checking, double checking and triple checking, errors seem have a funny way of creeping in!

 

How long will my book take to make?

Depends on a few factors, including:
  • The length of your story
  • The style/complexity of the illustrations
  • The amount of pictures required

As a rough idea, the average book (28 - 36 pages) takes around 2-3 months to complete from start to finish.

More complex books (i.e. More pages, detailed illustrations, etc.) can take up to 4-5 months to complete.

What do you need from me to produce my book?

To make things as quick and smooth as possible, I need the following items from you to get the ball rolling:

  • A completed and preferably proofread copy of your story
  • Descriptions of your characters
  • An idea of the illustration style required (if you have a preference)
  • A descriptive paragraph for the back cover
  • A dedication for inside the book (if you wish to have one)
  • A price for the book, and would you like this added to the back cover?
  • Do you have the ISBN? If so, I can add that in and also generate the barcode to add to the design for you. 

 

Can I keep asking for more edits and changes?

I work very hard with customers on a very small budget compared to most other illustrators. I offer 3 rounds of edits at both the sketch stage AND the final text editing stage. However... if you keep sending through more and more edits during the process, this will result in me having to invoice for extra time, as I only allocate a certain amount of time in the package price.

Do you have Terms and conditions?

I have a detailed Terms and conditions page which you can access here

What is an ISBN and where can I get one?

books

ISBN stands for: The International Standard Book Number. This is your books unique product identity. It's essential if you want to sell your books, as it aids the listing, discovery and distribution of your books.

You don't HAVE TO have one, nor is it a legal requirement. Publishers mainly use them, as do booksellers and libraries for ordering, listing and stock control. 

IF you do want to add an ISBN to your book its simple. The process is easy and you can buy an ISBN online. 

The ISBN agency in the UK used to be Whitakers, but they were bought and combined with Book data to create Neilesen Book data. They manage the process of allocating ISBNs as well as several things that you will need to know about, and use, as we get further into your project.

The URL for the ISBN Store is: https://www.nielsenisbnstore.com 

The email address to contact us is: isbn.agency@nielsen.com

Can you put a barcode on the back for me?

YEP! 🙂 computer-wt

I sure can. All I need is for you to send me the ISBN and I can generate the barcode for you and apply it to your books before it heads off to the printer. 🙂

Are there any other options for self-publishers when it comes to getting the book 'out there'?

Other options... pad

If you do not want to sort the online side, you could always check out: Lulu, Amazon, Kindle publishing, Ingram Sparks. These can be complicated to deal with if you are not familiar with the terminology. I recommend that, if you're not confident at figuring out the online side by yourself, and once we have the book finished, you discuss your requirements with KA BOOKS They are an independent publishing company who work with self-publishers to promote works.

What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is created to:

  • Break up the story into pages
  • Visualise each page (With illustration and text)
  • Plan out the sequence of the story
  • Ensure the story flows correctly

As the creator of your book, producing a storyboard in the early stages allows me to plan out your story visually, ensuring the illustrations and text sit well together, and we have a clear direction of the story from beginning to end.

 

How much will it cost to print my book?

Print prices vary depending on the amount of pages/material/size of the book. If budget is an issue, I can suggest cost-effective printing options, or if you are aiming to produce a top quality, high-end book, I can help you achieve that too. Please note however, that I do not do the printing myself, and you will be dealing with independent printers.

What printing options do I have for my book?

printer1

There are lots of different print options available to you, and yes, that bit can be bamboozling when you start! But never fear, I can assist you decide on the best printing options to suit the style, story and budget of your book.

Printing: If you are self-publishing and require printing, please have a look at these guys for large quantities quotes: www.pureprint.com. Its always worth asking around and finding which suites you 🙂 But these guys produce GOOD, SOLID books 🙂 

Sizes: Some standard sizes of picture books include A4 (Portrait or Landscape) and 21cm x 21cm square, but other sizes are available depending on budget.

How many pages do you recommend for a Childrens book?

book2

In between 28 and 36 is the most common number of pages for an average children's picture book.

However, your book can have any number of pages. As long as the total number of pages is a multiple of 4 (because of the printing process).

Can you recommend a proof reader?

Yes I sure can!!! happydesigner-inking

Happydesigner can provide a full proofreading service. I have two proofreaders who will both work with me on your book 🙂 

I'd like to produce a series of books, how do I go about this?

books

Producing a series of books is a fantastic journey. While it can be an exciting process, it requires some planning too. Key factors to consider when planning your series are:

  • Number of books/stories
  • Are they going to be released in smaller sets?
  • The cost to produce a series

I also offer a promotional package. These include: Colouring sheets, online promo images, book promotion images, launch leaflet design, activity sheet designs, promo stickers, A4 or A3 poster design, etc. 

 

childrens book illustrator

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