Sunday, July 22, 2012

Going Indie - Day 4: A Fair Trade

Grab a Copy of My Little Pet Dragon!
Our time is worth something. Hopefully we trade it for something meaningful, whether it's spending time with our family, acquiring new things (which we most likely don't need) or productivity. When I look back at what I accomplished between the hours of 9:00 - 10:30 AM and 5:00 - 11:00 PM, I find myself very satisfied. These were my most productive hours, when I took it to the next level, and got my latest children's book done. Although I'm in a holding pattern while I await feedback, the hard part is over.

I succeeded.

Children's books are tricky little things. They always look easier than they actually are. Although projects are similar, no two are alike, and surprises are lurking just around the corner.

Don't be fooled by how quickly these projects can be started and finished. A lot of hard work goes into them. Acquiring all the resources that you'll need can take hours, not to mention all the cropping, resizing, editing, tweaking, etc., that devours hours of your day.

"But it's just a little children's book," you say. Yeah, but these little children's books can kick your butt!

In my case, I was just going to put together a simple picture book about Labradors for a friend. Since my previous two books were about 30 pages each, I thought I would complete it in a day. “No problem,” I thought. I should have known then that I was in big trouble.

After assembling the first 25 pages on Saturday, I realized there was a lot more left to say. Just like that the project doubled, and suddenly I was scrambling for more assets. Ugh! Not again!

Even though I had a lot done this morning, I still underestimated the remaining workload. First, I had to nail down the latter half of the story since the introduction had already ballooned in size. Next, I had to hunt down the remaining assets I needed and try to make them work within the confines of the story. Usually there's some back and forth before arriving at a pleasing arrangement. Certainly it's not rocket science, but it can be tricky, especially when you don't have enough images to advance the story. Eventually I got my act together, but it consumed the entire day.

Honestly, it's going to be nice to take a break from picture books after I finish this series on dogs. It's fun, creative work and extremely visual, but eventually there comes a time when you want to work on something a bit more sophisticated (and scream!). I have no idea how Monica Molina cranked out so many picture books in a short period of time and still maintained her sanity.

Speaking of sanity, perhaps I'm already in the asylum and didn't know it. The walls aren’t padded yet, so I guess I’m safe for a while longer.

As for My Little Pet Dragon, it had a slightly disappointing day. It peaked at #21 overall before fading. It did manage to snare the top spot in Children's eBooks, so it wasn't all that bad. Giveaways should break 20,000 copies later tonight. Yay!

All in all, it's been a decent run. While it would have been nice to break into the Top 10, I can't keep relying on children's picture books to hit the top of the charts. I need novels, or at very least, novellas. A few short stories also wouldn't be a bad idea. Most of all, I need to bring out my best work.

There's no reason to hold back any more. I must succeed. Now.

Seize the opportunity before it fades.

Ok, now back to work!

Scott Gordon
Children’s Book Author

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