Making a book versus writing a book
Exciting news! I’ve made a book.
Dottie and the Wombat is now in print and I’m very excited, not to mention proud! I have had a few copies printed for my grandchildren and most importantly, Dottie has her very own copy.
You may have noticed that I titled this post with the words ‘making a book‘ – why? Because I don’t consider it a ‘real’ book maybe???
Do you think there’s a difference between ‘writing a book’ and getting published or just ‘making a book’ on your own? I’m not selling my book when all is said and done. I did approach some publishing houses about the prospect of getting it out there, only to get my first ever rejection letter 😦
Am I instead a self-published author? I really don’t understand all the terminology and that is probably one reason why I haven’t been snatched up yet as an up and coming children’s author 🙂 Isn’t it amazing how many celebrities are also turning to writing children’s books these days?
To make the book, like our travel photo books we’ve made in the past, I used Blurb – a program where I do all the setting out to suit and then upload it, pay for it and have it printed and sent to me. It works quite well, I even have an ISBN number on it!
The back story
When my granddaughter Dottie was born very early at 25 weeks in England, (and remember I live in Australia), I managed to get myself over there just as she turned a week old. Not a bad effort and I was on my own too, as the Mathematician couldn’t make it. We already had our plans set for a trip from mid-November when Dottie was originally due.
Before she was born Dottie was called Wombat, a nod to my daughter’s Aussie roots, and on my long flight over I started writing some notes about her story. These eventually became part of the book. It helped pass the time!
Illustrating the book
I wanted the book to be a ‘proper’ children’s book with illustrations and, as I can’t draw to save my life, I looked around for someone who could. Using Etsy, I found Sandra, an illustrator in Brisbane and started communicating with her about my ideas and her prices.
We came to an agreement on the number of images and she asked a few questions about styles I liked, sending me some early sketches to choose from, as shown below. I was so excited about how it was all turning out.
These sketches were then developed into drawings with continual communication between us as to colours and backgrounds. As Dottie has two fur brothers, Ozzy the Black Labrador and Bruce the Rabbit, they were incorporated into the illustrations too. I loved that the bunny drawing is with some strawberries, as Cheddar is well known for growing strawberries – this was just one of those magical moments that happened along the way!
I love the way the drawings have turned out – what do you think of them?
Making the book
Once I had the finished drawings for my book, I started with Blurb, inputting the text and arranging the illustrations. I was able to flip some of them around so that it looked like an extra image rather than just using the same ones over and over again. Sandra sent me different quality electronic versions of the drawings so they could be used in various ways.
I uploaded the book to Blurb and had it sent to my daughter in England as we knew we would be over there visiting.
I was so exited to see it in print when it arrived and I immediately took it with me to visit Dottie in NICU.
Once she came home from NICU I was finally able to sit and read my special book to her – I had to wait 14 weeks for my first cuddle with Dottie due to her being in NICU, so I had lots of cuddles to catch up on!
I love this photo of Dottie looking at me intently as I read to her.
So that’s my writing a book story! This post has been a long time coming but I was determined to write down my process and to mark my book production by sharing it with you all. Thanks for all your good wishes on Dottie’s progress and my original post about my story.
My post last week about Melanie and her friendship story for Bliss reminded me that I still hadn’t pressed publish on this one. Do you forget about posts that you’ve started too?
Do you have any thoughts on making a book this way? Can I call myself an author?
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