Oh my goodness.
You know that feeling when you’ve worked on something for SO long and it FINALLY starts coming together?
Well since September of last year when our collaborations post went viral, all I really wanted to do was make a book of our doodles.
When I first ran the Kickstarter, I worried about everything. Because I’m a worrier, and that’s what I do. I worried we wouldn’t make our goal, I worried about what rewards to offer, I worried if I could handle the extra workload with my husband deployed if we DID meet our goal, and I worried that I might make mistakes in the books…and there are a few of you that can attest to my world of worry firsthand.
I am thankful to say that it was not only a great success, but we EXCEEDED our goal enough to print a smaller book of children’s stories from the collaborative animal doodles Myla and I did! And once we met THAT stretch goal, we made enough to give every one of the mailed backers an exclusive lemur print. Because….LEMURS.
So once it was over, I kicked into gear, having my good buddy at Cartozia Tales painstakingly proof both books (’cause he’s good at that sort of thing). I worked closely with the printer on page formats, layouts, saving files, uploads, downloads, around loads, changes and revisions, and all kinds of good and exhausting stuff. (I’m sure that stuff is a piece of cake when you go through a publisher–They probably have scores of people that scour each document for errors, and layout, and all that good stuff, but doing it yourself means it’s ALL up to you.)
While all of that was going on, I worked on backer rewards. In some of the higher tiers, rewards involved portraits on dinosaur bodies…and you all came up with some beautiful faces for me to draw!
I also sent postcards to be printed, and prints and doodle pages to the printer.
I registered ISBN and barcodes for both the “Share With Me” book and the animal story book, and ordered shipping supplies to send all this wonderful stuff OUT.
Next step was getting rough proofs in the mail, just for pagination; to make sure all the pages were laid out the way I wanted them.
And then YESTERDAY, my friends, I got a package in the mail from the printer that contained a few copies of the COMPLETED animal book and a printer’s proof of the ACTUAL BOOK on the ACTUAL PAPER!!!
And you guys–I am not at all someone to toot my own horn but OMGOSH these look so GOOD!!!
The little animal story booklet is completely finished, and waiting to be shipped. I think it’s quite cute! I read it to Myla (who had never seen the stories all put together), and she loved it! Although she was a bit critical of the fact that I apparently swapped the gender of some of the characters in the stories I wrote, which displeased her. I tried to explain that I changed it up a bit for the fun of the stories, I did the best I could, and that it’s too late and the books were already printed, but she was still a little miffed. So if you all could just mentally change the genders of the giraffe, bear, the zebra, the pig, and the cow when you read it, that’d be great. (Insert exhausted parental eyeball roll here, accompanied by a huge SIGH.)
The actual book, “Share With Me,” is nearly completely printed, folded, stitched, and is awaiting the cover print, and then it will continue on to binding. When I first started working with the printer on “Share With Me,” I wanted to be sure it wouldn’t be on glossy, schoolbook paper, but instead, a thick paper that was porous enough to…oh, I dunno….DRAW AND PAINT ON. When I opened the package, I thought to myself not to get too excited, because it doesn’t have a cover, and it’s just the inside guts, but I’m not too proud to say I got a little teary-eyed flipping through it. I’m just so….PROUD of it!!
And sure, there may be mistakes (I already found ONE, after ALL that proofing, and it’s too late to change it. URRRG!) and there may be some wonky bits, but it’s exactly what I imagined, and I can’t WAIT to see the whole thing finished and all put together!!!
If you didn’t get a chance to hop on the Kickstarter, never fear! Once I send all the Kickstarter copies out, I’ll have a storefront open to order them online.
So to everyone who helped make this book possible, thank you SO much! It feels really GOOD, and I can’t wait to share it all with you!