Friday Conversations With A Self-Publishing Writer 11/08/13

Now that I’m actually working on my children’s book series I’m looking forward to developing the writer/illustrator partnership. My self-publishing family relationship has continued to flourish and they’ve been very supportive in giving me the information that is necessary to select “the” illustrator for my project. Now I continue my search.

What I’m discovering is that, like writers, there are many illustrators out there. I really thought I could have narrowed my list of potential collaborators to a much shorter list by now. That is not my reality at the moment. Actually, my list seems to be growing! Our world is, indeed, blessed by many extremely gifted artists/illustrators. However, through this search process, I’ve realized that I need to define my expectations and my vision in as specific detail as possible. I’ll share what I’ve come up with so far—for my personal project—hoping that some of these concepts will be useful to others.

1. The first series of stories will focus on toddlers whose minds are ready to absorb a great amount of information. However, this being a fact, my vision is to communicate one storyline from start to finish.
2. I do not want busy illustrations—ones that have a lot of characters on a page or a lot of background clutter.
3. My main character is discovering the world around him one thing at a time—so the focal point on each page will help the toddler do the same.
4. Although my main characters are not “human,” they will personify many human qualities and attitudes—so their “expressions” are important to me.
5. It is essential that my critter characters be illustrated as close to their natural appearance as possible.
6. A natural/nature environment will also be illustrated but must be kept simple.
7. There will also be the occasional human interaction. These people will look more like real people than cartoon characters.
8. LAST THOUGHT: I’m leaning more toward pencil-drawings with very minimal color shading. I want the children to SEE the basic shapes of the characters—the basic “true” colors—so that they can identify them in the world around them.

There it is—my next steps in creatively developing these books. When I did my walk-through of our local bookstore, I became even more aware of the competition on the shelves. The big-name publishers have big-name illustrators on staff. However, with much pleasure, I found several self-published children’s books that were marvelously illustrated and definitely caught my eye. As I keep my writing focus on positive, instructive, value-building storylines, so too will I continue to seek out the illustrator/collaborator to enjoy this journey with me.

Royalene ABOUT ROYALENE DOYLE: Royalene Doyle is a Ghostwriter with Outskirts Press, bringing more than 35 years of writing experience to authors who need “just a little assistance” with completing their writing projects. She has worked with both experienced and fledgling writers helping complete projects in multiple genres. When a writer brings the passion they have for their work and combines it with Royalene’s passion to see the finished project in print, books are published and the writer’s legacy is passed forward.

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