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Help! Need Advice For Book Illustrations

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  #1  
Old 08-27-2005, 08:32 AM
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Loverly Loverly is offline
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Question Help! Need Advice For Book Illustrations


Hi all,
I'm working on my first children's book based on my daughters millions of crazy dress up outfits and am doing all the illustrations myself. I am combining photos of her as well as my son who is the sub-plot (which I have completed with a little resistance. Hard to find good none complaining models nowadays!) with hand drawn backgrounds that I will make in Corel Painter (which I have not used much at all, but have gone through all the tutorials! yikes!).
This will be my first experience with publishing anything and I have to say I am a bit frightened about getting it done right from the start. I don't want to get half way through the 20 pages and realize that I have put it all in the wrong format for printing and have to start all over again.
Also, I am going to purchase my first Wacom Tablet before I start the drawing process. As you can tell I am forging in some new territory this year and would greatly appreciate ANY advice and information that you all might think is applicable.

Hugs,
Loverly

P.S. I'm glad to have found this site! I have had some times where I needed a place just to ask a few photoshop questions when I would get stuck on a project. The 1,000 page Photoshop Bible just isn't much fun to have to look up answers in for a blonde!!!!!!
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:11 AM
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Loverly, sounds like a fun project.

If you want to control the project from beginning to end you're going to need a page layout program such as Quark or InDesign (I recommend InDesign) to assemble all the graphics and text into a single output format to pass on to the printer.
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:28 AM
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Most publishers I've worked with require illustrations to be delivered as 300ppi RGB TIF files.

We recently had a children's book illustration contest (over in Studio forum). You might enjoy browsing the entries.

Swampy's advice is good, even if you just do it roughly to show what you have in mind. And having the entire book as a finished PDF might make it more attractive to publishers.
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Old 08-27-2005, 11:00 AM
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Wink

Swampy and Doug thanks for the input. I was hoping not to hear the world Quark! lol I was hoping to be able to do all I needed with PS and Painter so that I didn't have to learn another prog but in the back of my mind I figured it was truth that I have to face. Also, I wanted to see what advice I might receive before wasting time learning unnecessary progs but seems I will have to start checking on it.

I was planning on self publishing since that seems to be the wave of the future now but haven't decided on all those details. I have talked with 2 such places that will pretty much publish if you pay regardless of the quality of your book. I figure that if I haven't completed the project there is not use wasting time researching those details extensively.

Doug I wasn't able find the thread about the book illustrations in the Studio forum. Not sure I have this place down pat yet!

Loverly
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Old 08-27-2005, 11:20 AM
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Look up at the top of this page and see the "breadcrumbs". For this forum they say "RetouchPRO > Technique > Help Requested > Help! Need Advice For Book Illustrations". Each of them is clickable. So anyway, click on the RetouchPRO link to take you to the main forums page, then scroll down to the Studio forum. In that you'll find a Contests subforum, with each contest labeled by month. I think it was 2 or 3 months ago.

Or just click here
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Old 08-27-2005, 01:02 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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it was the june contest.

a friend of mnie recently started writing again, and published. i believe he did it through amazon.com, but i'll have to check on that next time i talk to him. and you're right, the new wave seems to be 'on demand' publishing. but, you shldnt have to pay anyone to have it done... i think. with on demand you submit your work, the publisher doesnt print it unless someone requests a copy, so they have almost no costs. ergo, YOU shld not have to pay THEM. but, that may only be for a completely edited, proof-read, ready to print copy. if you want them, the publisher to edit, proof-read and so on, then there may indeed be costs. but, i'm certainly no expert or even close, so the thing to do is to contact some of these folks and find out what they need and want and what their contracts say.

the other option is for you to become your own publisher/distributor. this requires more work. you'd want a web site with some sort of e-store point of sales, some advertising and so on. this has gotten quite popular in the music industry. artists no longer have to go to one of the big conglomerate music publishers and get 'accepted'. you produce your music, get a web site and publish/distribute it yourself, usually with a cd for sale and samples of your work on the site. with a book, i would think the hardest part would be binding. printing is pretty easy these days, but binding your pages together is something else. but, if it's only 20 pages, i'm sure there are simpler ways than actually binding.

best of luck, and keep us informed. would love to see the finished work.

Craig
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Old 08-27-2005, 07:41 PM
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Doug! You silly thing! I read that whole post on how to find it only to find that you put the link at the end! duh! Was fun to look at he examples and I will take more time and go through them again.

Craig, Thanks for the info! I also have talked with Amazon.com and they keep in touch every few weeks to see how my progress is going and when they can entrap another sucker, but I am not sure at all that is who I am going with yet.

I'm more worried at this point about the actual pages being the right format and right color for printing before I start drawing the pages out.

Seems like I have a lot to do before I can even get the first page going so it might be a few months before the first page is even finished! Visually I have them in my head and so I just have to get my technical skills all lined up first but I'll be happy to show and tell as I move through this process.

Loverly
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Old 08-27-2005, 08:20 PM
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loverly,

Quote:
I'm more worried at this point about the actual pages being the right format and right color for printing before I start drawing the pages out.
well, i would guess there is no 'right' format. i've seen all shapes and sizes in bookstores, so i would say that that is part of the creative process and up to you... primarily. if whomever you go with does want something different, i'd try and find that out now.

sketch it out, at least for yourself. just do an outline of sorts on paper or something. just a simple pencil outline is enough. use real sizes. imagine each page as you want it to be and where each illustration is going to go. it doesnt have to be written in stone; you can always make changes as new things occur, but make a rough draft to give your ideas some form to work from. a little organization right from the start can make the work easier.

i dont know who else is doing on demand publishing besides amazon, but i'm sure there are a few. you could even do a google on it and find out and then contact them to see what they require.

it sounds like a fun project. but rather than publish anything here, you might want to put things up on a private site with an obscure title and block google spiders (and others) from seeing it. then let folks in by private message.

Craig
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:02 PM
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Craig,
You are right about the size thing. I never thought of it that way since I am always under a size constrant with photos.

The sketching out before hand did cross my mind yesterday after I finished all the photos of the kids that I needed. So at least I am on the right track!

Good idea about the private viewing! Would be my luck it would be all published before I even got my copy to the publisher!

Hugs for your time!

Loverly
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Old 08-27-2005, 09:47 PM
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Craig Walters Craig Walters is offline
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you're welcome, and good luck

Craig
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