More than a final touch, The Final Touch, Part 2
September 8, 2011
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The Final Touch, Part 2
Publishing University offered many opportunities to interact with publishing industry experts. I set up 15-minute appointments with book marketers to get feedback on my digital copies and learn what next steps to take. I was in for a big surprise.
While much of the feedback was positive regarding the illustration approach, I also received a lot of constructive criticism. Here are some highlights:
- Placing real children in digital backgrounds isn’t “standard”—use a cartoon effect instead.
- The book is too small at 9×9 inches—better to make it larger to stand out.
- “Branding” was missing—what was my author platform to distinguish the book in the marketplace?
- The story text was “lost” in the vivid illustrations—redo the layout to make the text easier to read.
- The characters didn’t have a problem to solve, some adversity to overcome—revise the story plot and make its message clear.
Feeling much deflated by the end of the second day, I attended a presentation by a professional book design company, TLC Graphics tlcgraphics.com. They featured many “before” and “after” book designs, and that’s when I had my “aha” moment. After the presentation, I spoke with Tom Dever, owner of the company, showed him my book and described the experts’ feedback.
I realized that I needed professional help to improve the book. I couldn’t do it myself, and TLC Graphics seemed a great fit to take my book to another level if I wanted to compete in the crowded children’s book marketplace. Although I’d been working on the book for over a year, and was impatient to finish and move on to the next book, I was yet to begin the final touch!