Monday, August 31, 2015

2nd Edition is Here!

This week, I'm happy to announce that the 2nd edition of Itchy Mitchie is here!!

After releasing the first edition almost 6 months ago, I have received a lot of feedback. Most has been very positive, which I'm super grateful for! And some has been constructive criticism, which I'm as equally grateful for! As a result, I went back to the story and thought long and hard about how to make it more concise, more condensed, more clear, and flow more smoothly. I edited and re-edited the story. I cut a lot of words out. I changed a few things up, and I didn't stop until I was 100% satisfied with it!

So I feel really good about this 2nd edition.  And like I said in a previous post, it's the same story, same illustrations, and same message as the first, so anyone who bought the first is not missing out on anything at all! It's just a little "refined".  :)

So if you haven't bought your copy of Itchy Mitchie yet, now's the time! It's a book made with lots of love, intended for kids around age 5-10 years old. It has a great moral that I hope will help kids with any kind of challenges in their lives. Check it out here!:

Thursday, August 27, 2015


I just recently I hit a milestone as a self-published author. You may not think it anything to be happy about, but I'm here celebrating! 

For the first time, someone bought my book through an expanded distribution channel online.

Now, what the heck does that mean? That means that some random person who I don't know was looking through books somewhere online, found mine, and bought it!
Why does this make me so happy? Well, because I haven't been advertising the book through the distribution channel to all my friends (because although the price is the same to the buyer, the profit return for me is a matter of cents). I've been advertising it through amazon and createspace. As a result, all the books I've sold have been from these channels. And chances are, most, if not all the books I've sold are to people I know. (Which, by the way, is AWESOME and I'm SUPER grateful for the support !!)

But then I sold one through the distribution channel. Do you seeing where I'm going here?  Out of the millions of children's books out there online, someone I don't know bought my book, just because they thought they'd like it! This means that my book is "getting out there", and going beyond my own little social circle, out into the world! I know, it may seem a little anti-climactic to be so excited about one little sale...but hopefully "one" will someday be..."more than one"!! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

How to write a picture book using paper illustrations

Last week, I did a small presentation for the young women in my church about how to write a picture book, using paper illustrations, from start to finish. In preparation for this, I wrote up some instructions to pass out. I thought I'd share those instructions here with you!

(The “Debbie” way, using paper art)

You’ll need: Paper, a pencil, lots of different kinds of scrapbook paper, scissors, a light box, and a high quality ink pen. 

Don't know what a light box is? Here is an example of one:

Step 1:   Write a story. Picture books in general, should be less than 1,000 words.

Step 2: Have lots of people read it! Listen to all the feedback. Then go back to your story and edit it. Make sure it’s exactly the way you want it.

Step 3: Play around with your characters, doodle and draw up a general idea of what you want your pictures to look like. Look on google images for ideas and art concepts if you want. CREATE A STORY BOARD: Pair your pictures with the text. Break it up into pages. Don’t put too many words on one page.  

Side note: Why do you think that step 2 needs to happen before step 3? (so that you get the illustrations right the first time and don’t waste time illustrating something that may be edited out in your final version).

Step 4: Decide what characters or “props” in your picture you want to be consistent throughout your book. Any reoccurring characters should remain consistent so the reader doesn’t get confused.
Take those characters and props, and make a prototype in pencil. For characters, do several versions  according to what they’ll be doing in the story– side view, talking, running, bending over, etc. A light box can help to keep things in proportion and consistent.

Step 5: Draw each illustration in detail, the exact way you want it to be in the book.  Use your prototypes and light box as a resource throughout this process. We’ll call those finish pencil drawings your “original pencil picture”. Also, be sure to make your illustrations at least the size you want it to be in your book or bigger. One more tip in this step: Keep it simple! Remember everything will be converted into paper!

Step 6: Convert all your “original pencil pictures” into paper illustrations. This is done using scissors, glue, and the light box.
Sometimes, if the paper is light colored enough, you can trace elements of your “original pencil pictures” directly onto the scrapbook paper (just remember, always trace it on the BACK of the scrapbook paper and backwards of the way you want it to go in the book…make sense?), other times, if the scrapbook paper is very dark in color and you aren’t able to see the lines underneath it, you’ll have to trace the elements onto another white piece of paper, cut it out, and THEN either cut or trace it onto the scrapbook paper you want.
Some elements in your picture may not need to be traced, you can just eye them.
After cutting everything out, use your “original pencil picture” as a reference as you glue all the pieces together. 

Step 7: Fill in lines and tiny details with a high quality ink pen. 

Step 8: Scan your pictures as JPG's onto a flash drive, make sure you scan them in at at least 600 dpi. (DPI is the number of dots, or pixels, per inch that will be scanned in your picture - the higher the number, the higher the resolution.)  You can do this at your local Kinkos or Fed Ex.   

Step 9: You are ready to submit your book to agents, publishing companies, or self publish it through the several companies that offer that, including Createspace (which is what I used).

Thursday, August 6, 2015

2nd Edition Coming Soon..

About 5 months ago, I released Itchy Mitchie. It's been a great experience trying to sell and promote it so far. It's been a dream come true and absolutely warms my heart to hear that children are reading it in their families and enjoy the story.  I am grateful beyond words for the support I've received from so many wonderful people. I've gotten a lot of feedback, and even critique and suggestions of how it could be better, which I appreciate immensely! As a result, I've done a lot of editing, thinking, and more editing. After cutting about 300 words out of the story, and making some minor changes to the text to make it flow a little better, I'm happy to announce that I'm coming out with a second edition! It's the same story, same illustrations, and same message, (so for those who have the first edition, don't worry, you're not missing out on anything!!) It's just a bit more condensed, refined, and smoothe-flowing. I'm really excited, because I feel like this will be the final step in moving forward from Itchy Mitchie to other projects. I hope to release it some time in the next month. I'll keep you posted! :) Thanks so much for all the support out there!