The Inky team were delighted to be approached by Isle of Wight author and illustrator Marianne Su Yin to help see her dream of publishing a picture book become a reality.
Marianne is a talented illustrator and, like Zoe, used crowdfunding to finance her book ‘On the Trail of the Missing Pets’. This was Marianne’s first foray into the world of self-publishing, so we asked her to share her thoughts on becoming an indie author.
Naively thinking the process of actually writing and illustrating a book would be the hardest part, it was a surprise to learn this was just the beginning. After six months of revisions, edits, formatting and preparation I made the wise decision (thankfully, in hindsight) to employ a professional for its transition from storyboard to publication. It is so easy to become attached to our work that taking a step back can be difficult, and sometimes impossible. Plus I simply didn’t have the expertise for the final stages.
As a first time author I confess I was creating a book for personal rather than commercial reasons. Focussing on the logistics of style, layout and print was not a priority. Having now published ‘On the Trail of the Missing Pets’ I applaud everyone who manages to do the same. It is a big achievement so well done all.
Fortunately I had successfully crowdfunded my book and a proportion of these funds were allocated to professional services. Even without this, unless you have the experience yourself, I would say that investing in publishing services is a must. My friends had proofread and given editorial suggestions, ruthlessly, and more than once. I had learnt there is a particular format for children’s books on word count, font, layout etc. Readers are so familiar with the way these books look that straying too far in order to be ‘unique’ or retain one’s artistic integrity may limit its purpose. Which is to be easily read and enjoyed.
Collaborating with Zoe at Inky Ever After Press was invaluable to give my book the look, feel and finish I needed. My expectations were high, and after all the hard work I had invested I didn’t want to produce something which shouted out ‘first timer’ or ‘self published’.
The feedback since launching has been fantastic. Children and adults love the book. It can proudly sit on the bookshelf next to familiar favourites and I hope it opens a genre of it’s own. Which is illustrated rhyming verse for older children by the way, but that is another blog for another day.
For pictures of the launch of ‘On the Trail of the Missing Pets’ visit our Facebook page
For more information about Marianne visit her at www.mariannesuyin.co.uk