October 14, 2014

Why I Couldn't Afford to Channel my Inner Dahli

I recently published my first children's book, FINDING MYA, and thought I would share with you a little of what I went through to get the manuscript into a print book. There was so much to learn, and so many details that I didn't expect until they popped up, demanding attention. The biggest hurdle was the interior photos. It figures. I start with a children's book with brightly colored pictures. That has to be the hardest and priciest way to publish on your own for the first time. But...that's just how I roll. Take the easy way and just publish a regular book? No way! Let's write a children's book with lots of pictures and see what happens! Wheee!

Well. What happened was...the pictures came out great. But I didn't think they were bright enough to please a child. So I channeled my inner Dahli and ... voila! Loved it! Except...

Except all that ink and the size of the images ramped up the price before author royalties higher than the moon! I had to go back and rework all the photos in order to make the book affordable. I also wanted to donate a portion of our sales to the humane society in the towns where I have book signings, so there was a lot of hours that went into making this book. Not just the photos, but also downsizing the font and page count had to be considered to bring the price down.

Let me show you a photo I did for Chapter 4 entitled 'This Ain't Gonna Be Pleasant.'

I started out with a great photo taken by Scottish photographer, Paul Boland, who was gracious to let me use his photo called 'It's Never A Straight Road.'

photo of a road in Scotland taken by Paul Boland
©Paul Boland
I needed the road, but not really the sky and hills behind it. So off they went! Poof!

Then I added Herman on the guardrail, and on the road, playing 'possum, I put Joey, one of my yard possums. I also added a full moon from a photo I took years ago.
photo of road with Herman on guardrail and Jack in the road.
©2014 Kimberley Koz
I thought it came out pretty good. Except... that's when my inner Dahli kicked in. I wanted MORE!
same photo as above with intense pop art colors
©2014 Kimberley Koz
Pretty amazing, huh? I really loved this picture...so much! But it was huge and full of pricey ink, so I didn't have a choice. I had to rework it. Simmer it down... Make it less costly.

This was the final result. I wasn't happy that I couldn't ramp up the colors, but I wanted my readers to be visually entertained. I thought this way of framing the photo would give the reader everything the original photo had, but with an interesting twist. As the image is on white paper, all you really see is the oblong windows, not the white frame behind it. I like it.
Same photo as above in a tri oval frame
©2014 Kimberley Koz
So, that's a little Behind The Scenes look-see into FINDING MYA. Please leave a comment to tell me what you think of the revision of Chapter 4's picture.

And if you haven't bought a copy of FINDING MYA yet, you can click the below picture to check it out. I am donating a percentage of the sales to the Tunica Humane Society, a no kill shelter in my area. But when I travel to do book signings, I will donate a percentage to that area's humane society. At my house, it's all about saving the animals.


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