Here it is!
And you can download it here!
Dadabulous is not one for sitting around waiting for opportunities to fall in your lap. “You want to write. You should write a kids book”. Frankly many of the books we’d downloaded for the girls were story wise quite lame. I’d frequently been heard to utter ” I could pull a better story out of my wazoo”. “Well you should” Dadabs would declare. “I’m serious. You should do an ebook”.
His idea of an ebook and what I believed I was ready for were two different things. He had in mind an extravaganza of fancy pants animation, voice overs and musical sound effects. I was struggling with the idea of illustrations and layout. I decided to take baby steps and see what eventuated.
About six months ago P1 was completely obsessed by The Voice – Kids. Almost all of her conversation revolved around it. When would she be ready for audition? Is she preciously talented for her age? Could she please do singing lessons? etc etc. I figured there must be an army of primary school kids equally captivated by the contest. At the same time my daughters adored sassy, fashionista fairies like The Winx. A kernel of an idea came to me.
I sat at the computer and a short story took shape. In Wish World is an Alice in Wonderland, meets the Rainbow fairies, meets The Voice hybrid with a few current pop stars thrown in for good measure. Writing was the easy bit. I bashed it out in a couple of sittings. Illustrating it was challenging to say the least. In retrospect it was a mistake to attempt it myself given that I’m not an accomplished artist. My experience with graphics programs is scant. However it wasn’t worth the outlay of paying someone. I started knocking out water colour paintings at home. The length of this process can measured in geological time. It took frickin’ eons. Species evolved and became extinct whilst I was preoccupied with the paintings.
The next step was the find a scanner that could handle A3 images. In my naive enthusiasm I had made the pictures way too big. Then the real work began. Hours were consumed by the painstaking process of retouching the drawings and creating back drops on Photoshop. Mind you the only experience I’d had in Photoshop was a six day course at Community College. Undeterred I boldly ventured where no middle aged mother with a background in finance had gone before.
Here’s one of the better paintings. Its the fairy superstar Milo Serious performing his smash hit – “I came in on a bowling ball.”
And here’s the reworked version as it appears in the book.
I was quite pleased with the way some of the images turned out. These two are nice.
However these two simply did not work.
Going for semi-realism was my down fall. Continuity was a big problem. Some of the characters look quite different from one page to the next. I should have opted for a simpler cartoon style, keeping the back drops crisp and white.
When it was all done the lengthy process of transporting all the images to the iBooks Author program started. Dadabs had to bring a Mac in from his office. Again I was thrown into the confusing world of software I’d never dealt with before. We rejigged layouts and did what seemed like 1,000 proof reads. Christmas came and went whilst we waited for Apple to verify our tax and bank details.
If you are thinking about putting together an ebook yourself its important to note that Apple won’t except your submission unless you are registered for GST. This is an unholy pain the proverbial and something I was unwilling to do under my own business name. I didn’t want to subject myself to regular BAS reporting when I wasn’t making any money. I was very lucky that I could use Dadabs ABN and bank account. So now all the (ahem) profits will go to him. I’m sure he is planning his escape to Rio as I write.
Now all that’s left is to market the thing.
Anyway what we have a is a sweet little book about dreaming big and the power of imagination. Its got some memorable characters and hopefully a few giggles. Despite the home made look, its colorful and cheery. Young kids will enjoy it. Whilst I admit the output is amateur I have learned so much about the programs and the publishing process. It was a worthwhile thing to do. Hopefully I’ll do it again with a bigger and better story and slicker images. Watch out!
Meanwhile if you are a blogger interested in doing a review, please let me know and I’ll forward you a free copy.
Do you have any tips to help me market it?