So I made an


Here it is!


Master title page med

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.

With some fancy photoshopping.

With some fancy photoshopping.


I was quite pleased with the way some of the images turned out. These two are nice.

Gracie Sue wows the crowd.

Gracie Sue wows the crowd.


Sapphire your glamorous hostess.

Sapphire your glamorous hostess.

However these two simply did not work.

tunnel for blog


It's a hodge podge.

It’s a hodge podge.

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?





34 thoughts on “So I made an

  1. Good on you! I’m totally impressed with the illustrations, being someone who absolutely can’t produce anything visually artistic at all. And yay for husbands who don’t take crap – I started my whole blog because I mentioned to my husband that I’d always wanted to be a writer, but of course I couldn’t be. His response: ‘Why not?’ Good point, Mr D, good point…

  2. WOW! Love those illustrations – so good!

  3. Absolutely interested in reviewing it- I bet it’s awesome! (No idea if you’d want it on handbagmafia and not at all offended if you don’t!!)
    The images look great, too. Don’t be so hard on yourself- truly, watercolours are a hard medium and you said yourself that’s not your area. Well done! Marketing… There are a few bloggers that specialise in book reviews, there’s twitter. I also contribute to Parenting Central Australia, they often do reviews 🙂

  4. I have to admit there is no way I’d attempt this, I have ZERO drawing skills, in fact I might be best to ask my 5yo to illustrate it as he has talent! Actually there’s an idea. Well done B, you deserve success for you are talented, hard-working, smart and most importantly HILARIOUS! x

  5. I am amazed at how clever you are …and persistent! I would have fallen over at the illustrations!!! And yours are just great. Congrats on the book . Inspirational! Linking in from Weekend Rewind

  6. That is super impressive and your drawings are fab. I love how involved your hubby is! Congrats!!!

  7. Can’t buy it on my iPhone iBooks. Says I have to buy it in iPad or Mac with iBooks 😞

  8. Wow – does your awesomeness know no limits? Well done chick and a huge congrats xx

  9. You are ON FIRE! Mumabs. Congratulations! I looks fabulous and I must find a way to view it without an iPhone or an iAnything!

  10. Your eBook looks fantastic, congratulations! I love the homemade look, gives it a warm and fuzzy feel.
    Hats off to you for a mammoth effort, well done.

  11. This is really impressive – I reckon the illustrations are great and you’ve obviously mastered a good whack at Photoshop. Well done.

  12. Wow, so impressed. Nothing like having a goal and just going out and doing it. Great work. You’ve inspired me 🙂

  13. Good for you. Good luck and congrats

  14. Wow – what an incredible achievement! I think your drawings are fabulous! Well done! 🙂

  15. Congratulations! That’s such a great effort, particularly the fact that you also illustrated the book yourself! I’ve often thought about writing a children’s book but have never made the effort to start, past a few ideas jotted down over the years. Good on you!

  16. Well done! I’d be happy to write you a review. Send me the info:
    I too have published my first eBook, so I fully understand the challenges you’ve shared along the way. Again, awesome effort. I wish you every success ♥ (I am now following you and have liked your FB page).

  17. Look a how creative you are! This could be the start of something big. Good luck with the marketing and sales x

  18. Congratulations!! I found this link earlier which may be of some help for promos

  19. Wow, congratulations and well done! I have trouble drawing a stick person so your pictures (even the ones you said didn’t work) look fantastic to me! Good luck with it!

  20. You clever little monkey, Brenda! I knew you could write, but I can’t believe you did all the illustrations and everything yourself. Just wonderful. x

  21. Wow I am super impressed that you did this. Good for you. It looks as if you have got a very positive response already. Have you started the next one? Thanks for linking with Mummy Mondays #Team MM

  22. Sorry I am so behind with this one, I’ve been in the abyss of buying and selling houses unexpectedly and have spent the last couple of weeks preparing our house for the market. LOL. This is great – I love that you’ve learnt so much just by getting stuck in and doing it. The registering for GST part is very good to know. What a bloody pain.

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