Christmas in August?
Updated: Aug 17
Christmas Holidays is that time of the year when people scoop everything off the shelves to get the perfect presents for their loved ones. One of those things is books. Can you even imagine how thrilling it would be to publish the book before the holidays so that little kids can find it under the tree on Christmas morning! I believe it is an amazing idea and I am sure your friends and family would enjoy it as well.
You might think, why are we even talking about this now? It’s only the middle of August, Christmas is still far away! Now let me explain.
Finish your righting!
We all know how often our greatest ideas can just pile up in our desk drawers, unfinished and untouched. Even if your manuscript is all done, you might consider giving it another look or two: there is always room for adjustments to bring the work to perfection. And if it’s not yet finished - you will need even more time to get it done. Only you know how long this process might take: a few days or a few weeks.
Even if you are a professional writer, you still need a second opinion and proofreading. If you are a first-time writer you definitely need to hire a professional editor who specializes in children’s literature (if we’re talking about children’s picture books). The editing, again, might take from a few days to a couple of weeks, including the time you spend looking for the right person to hire.
Decide where to print.
You need to figure out how and where you want to publish/print the book. You have many options to choose from POD (Print-on-Demand such as Amazon Kindle, IngramSpark, Lulu.com, etc), small private publishers, as well as ordering your copies directly from a print house. Your choice will depend on your goals: Do you want the book to sell on a larger scale market or just print a few copies for friends? How much money are you ready to invest? Do you want to sell the book by yourself or do you want to hire distributors? All the options have their pros and cons, and I will introduce you to all of them in my future posts.
Design and illustrations.
It is not so easy to find an artist that is able to bring your dreams into reality. The search for the right person might take up to a few weeks! And do not forget about the designer. One of the very common mistakes new self-publishers make is hiring an illustrator just to put the illustrations and texts together in one book. The best solution is to hire a team or a specialist who can do both: the design and the illustrations. They will be able to work on the whole concept together, combining their knowledge and skills to bring the best results.
As I am qualified in the field of design and illustrations, I can give you a few tips regarding the process.
First, give the artist the freedom and trust to make adjustments. You might already have a vision of how your book should look, but a person with professional education and experience knows best what needs to be changed in order to create a masterpiece out of your idea.
Second, you need to know the size of the book and illustrations, the numbers of pages, the style, and the medium you prefer before requesting the designer/illustrator to give you an accurate estimate of time and price. It is normal to discuss the options with the professional that you hire, but it is important to have the general idea of what you want beforehand.
The approximate time for design, illustrations, and layout work for a 28-page picture book with full-colour double-page illustrations is 5-8 weeks.
Print the book!
After all the design and layout work is done, you are ready for printing. Make sure to order a test hard copy before ordering a bigger batch. This will help you see how the final product looks like and if the printing process is running smoothly. You can also let your designer review it for the last minute adjustments if you wish. It is a very important step that will help you avoid loss of money and a really bad surprise on Christmas.
The printing process normally takes from one to two months, and even longer around Christmas time. That is where POD has a bigger advantage as it offers a faster printing service.
So when we look at a bigger picture and add everything up, we can see that in the better case scenario we will need 3 to 4 months to get our final product. Also, don’t forget the estimated shipping time, which usually takes longer around the holiday season.
Look at the calendar now! It is already the middle of August! I believe now you agree that it is just the right time to take your manuscript out of the drawer and get to work!
Little Big Me is open to help you in this complicated process: with consultations, book design, illustrations, and preparing your book for publishing!
We can make your dream come true!