The Self-Publishing Journey Begins

Storyboarding with Illustrator Cindy Rodella-Purdy

Storyboarding with Illustrator Cindy Rodella-Purdy

Self-publishing a children’s book requires quite a bit more time and effort from the author than publishing with a traditional publisher. However, it also can allow for a fun, creative collaboration between author, illustrator and programmer. I met my wonderful illustrator and friend, Cindy, through the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, commonly known as SCBWI. After submitting to several traditional publishing houses and experiencing first-hand the agony of waiting, and yes, the ever-present stream of rejection letters, I began to see apps and e-books as viable options for getting my work out there for kids to enjoy. Most children’s book apps are well-known classic books by the likes of Dr. Seuss (one of my all-time favorites!) But a void exists in the availability of new, quality storybook apps for kids – stories that are well-written and beautifully illustrated, not just thrown together in order to have something in the App Store. Cindy and I agree that our books must be of the highest quality – the quality that a traditional publisher would accept if they had room in their limited list. Cindy and I have been collaborating for several months now on our first book, and we are very pleased with the quality that is being placed in each word and every illustration. People constantly say “Oh, it’s easy to write a children’s book. There are so few words.” Well, Lesson 101 in writing children’s books: It’s not easy!  It takes an incredible amount of time to revise, revise, and yes, revise again, and to work with each word making sure it earns the right to appear on the page. It takes time to create and discuss storyboards such as our first one shown in the photo above, and to modify subsequent versions. It takes time to create preliminary and final illustrations in media such as watercolor and Photoshop, and it takes time for the programmer (in this case, my talented husband Eric,) to write the code necessary to bring the story to life in app form so that the many moving parts flow seamlessly together for the reader’s enjoyment. Yes, it takes time, but it is worth every minute to create a quality story that will entertain and thrill children for years to come. Over the next few months, I will continue to share the creation and journey of this self-published children’s book app and e-book and hopefully shed a little light on the process along the way!