Is it all pigtails, glitter and rainbows? Rainbows yes in my case, but there is also blood, sweat, tears and copious amounts of wine involved.
I’m going to take you on a behind the scenes pictorial journey of making my second children’s book, It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do’, and show you what really goes on when you write and publish a kid’s book. I’ll even show you the initial sketches for the illustrations that no-one normally gets to see mainly because they look like a dog’s breakfast!
The initial idea of It’s OK to Feel The Way You Do stemmed from a conversation I had with my partner and he suggested doing a follow up book to Being You is Enough about feelings and emotions. I spent about a month brainstorming the book concept before putting pen to paper and writing the draft script on a word.doc. I consulted with friends, school teachers and parents to get their input as well . Below is where that first fateful conversation took place and the wine that may have been involved. (Bakkheia Wines)
I pitched the book concept to my publisher, Big Sky Publishing and thankfully they accepted it. The contract was quickly signed and I got on with fleshing out the inside.
The initial sketches are always rough, but the fun thing is, you can do them almost anywhere; at cafés, in the front yard or in the office.
I then used a Wacom Intous Sketch Pad to recreate the sketches on the computer. (more wine)
Some of the finished Illustrations.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
I then married the text with the images to get an idea of what the finished manuscript will look like. It’s at this point it starts to feel like a real book.
Then it’s time to edit the manuscript and drink more coffee or wine depending on time of day. The manuscript can go back and forth between you and the publisher / editor about 20 or more times. It’s also at this stage I have other people cast their eyes over it to get their input. No matter how organised you are, there’s always a mad dash to get the manuscript finished by the deadline. More wine is usually involved at this point as well.
OFF TO THE PRINTERS
Once you and the publisher are happy with everything about the book, it goes off to the printers by the above mentioned deadline and you then have an excruciating 2 month wait before you get to see the real thing. But it’s well worth it when you do. It’s now when you switch from wine to champagne.
ON THE SHELVES
And it’s even more exciting when you see it in a bookshop for the first time!
THE BOOK LAUNCH
Book launches aren’t necessary, but they’re fun to do and I really love meeting my readers.
PUBLICITY AND PROMOTION
It’s then time to hit the publicity trail and get some exposure for the book. This also includes interviews on radio, newspapers, blogs, websites etc and book reviews from various sources.
And the best part of the whole process? Readers start to send you photos of their kids with the book.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
It may take a village to raise a child, but it also takes a village to create a book for that child to read. I’m ever so grateful to the people who have being a crucial part in bringing this book to life. The message of ‘making friends with your feelings’ is so important for kids (and adults) and I feel very privileged to be able to do my little bit to help. Big thanks Andy Macleod, Debbie Cann, Kathy Day, Chelle Taylor, Diane Evans, Sharon Evans, Jodee Bennett, Nicky Delaney, Big Sky Publishing and Woodslane Distribution.
In May 2018, Josh’s second children’s book, It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do, won the Australian Book Industry Awards, Small Publisher’s Children’s Book of the year. (Josh is still celebrating)
It’s Ok to Feel the Way You Do is available at all good bookstores throughout Australia.
As well as online.