I welcome Jo Linsdell back on the Red Carpet today, Jo is touring her children’s book Out and About at the Zoo and joins me here to tell us how the process of creating this lovely book happened.
RED CARPET DAY
From idea to finished product By Jo Linsdell
I got the idea for my children’s picture book ‘Out and about at the zoo’ after taking my eldest son to the zoo for the first time. I decided to make the text rhyming as they were his favourite types of books.
My son was always an eager audience when I needed to read through the text and wasn’t shy about giving feedback either. As with most kids his age, he asks a lot of questions too which actually really helped me loads as it made me think about the project from a different angle.
I got him to help me with the illustration part too. He loves drawing and so was excited at the idea of helping me create the animalsfor the book. We researched together to find pictures of the animals I needed using our own photo’s from our trip to the zoo and pictures we found in books and on the internet. Every illustration included in the book was given his seal of approval… and trust me he was very demanding. If it didn’t look right to him it was redrawn.
Once I had the sketches for the illustrations I mapped out the book on paper. As standard children’s books have 32 pages I used that as a guide. I pencilled in pages for the title page and copyright page and then divided the text between the remaining pages. I then choose which illustrations would cover single pages and which a double spread.
Next I checked production costs for various book sizes and decided on the size for the book (6×9). I wanted it to be small enough to keep costs low but big enough for children to be read in groups as my target audience would be primarily mums with their young children.
I then draw an in-scale version of the book, page by page, including illustrations and the placing of the text. Once I had the rough draft version it was time to make it digital.
As I wasn’t familiar with any graphic programs I did some research into what programs and tools other illustrators were using and decided to use Adobe Illustrator. After playing around with it for a over a week I realised I needed some help and luckily for me, a friend of mine offered to help. I then just need to edit the pages. He was a real life saver.
Before adding the text to each page I asked a few writer friends to proofread the text for me. I wanted to make sure I hadn’t missed any mistakes (something that can happen when you have in mind what you want it to be). Once I’d done the final edit I added the text to the illustrations. It was then just a case of making sure it was formatted correctly for uploading to create space.
Involving my son in the project made everything more fun and he was fantastic at motivating me to work on it. He would often ask “Mummy did you finish that picture yet?” or “Is the book ready now?” This book definitely holds a very special place in my heart.
ISBN/EAN13: 1477446591 / 9781477446591
“Out and About at the Zoo by Jo Linsdell is a delightful story set in rhyme about a boy and his mum. The two spend the day at the zoo and meet many animals along the way. Your child will enjoy reading this book time and time again. The colorful illustrations make this book a joy to read. Pick up a copy of this book and share a day at the zoo memory with your little one”.
By Kate Mueller, Author of Bella’s Birthday Surprise
for more reviews check out yesterday’s spotlight here
Thank you Jo. I have always thought writing for children to be really hard, so am very impressed with any who can do it. It sounds like you had great fun creating and I think your son will hold the book dear as well. Who else has experienced writing for children is it as difficult as I imagine.
Last but certainly not least see how well this book is doing at Amazon