THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE DIFFICULT.
30 May, 2016 | By Goldie Alexander
When I first learnt to read, this was my favorite book.
It seems to me that every second person I meet ‘has a book in them’. Unfortunately, far too many want my help, which I always politely reject explaining that I am far too busy writing stuff others might reject. Many of these emerging authors believe that picture story books must be easiest because they are so short. I mean, only five hundred words. Surely that must be easy. So it is salutary to remind these would be authors that these texts have been described as writing ‘haiku for kids’.
Thus here are a few tips about how complicated this process is, even once a publisher has been found. Given this process also works for self-publishing, and picture story books are VERY expensive to produce, it is worth considering this lengthy process mentioned below. All this is discussed in the how-to text I co-authored with Hazel Edwards and is now up on line as ‘The Business of Writing for Young People’ Our collective words of wisdom can be bought as an ebook on her website. www.hazeledwards.com
THE PROCESS OF CREATING A STORY PICTURE BOOK.
All in all, as it is basically a costing exercise, the writer must decide on:
- Content. Kind of book. Number of pages. Any special finishes.
- Illustrator chosen
- Taken to publishing meeting
- Page up story to convince marketing where concept is pitched
- Taken to designer
- Take designer and illustrator to meet sales/marketing
- Submissions offer a pitch. What is the story really about?
- Illustrator introduced
- Pitch. Where does it sit in the curriculum (Both Victorian and Australian)
- Rough drafts sent in by illustrator
- Spreads rejigged
- Cover taken to a meeting
- Final decision on cover. Sales may want to change it if it is too similar to another publication. Also shown to reps.
- Marketing includes –bookfair catalogues and sales catalogues
- ISBN and printer contacted. Cover checked
- Anything from 3 months to 12 months later, reps start selling book
- 6 weeks later copies come into the warehouse
But if you are still determined to put out that story your child, grandchild, niece or nephew just loved, please accept my best wishes.
Ps Before you go ahead, first dive into a library or bookshop and do some serious browsing.
I have now discovered to my delight that at least half a dozen people read this blog. Please put up your hands and tell me who you are. Sometimes I think I might be writing into a wilderness.