One year ago I thought my book was finished. My son, Daniel, and I co-authored the story, Sunbelievable—a children’s picture book for ages 4 to 8. After numerous rewrites, we believed it was really good, humorous and appealing to adults and children. I ventured into illustrating, using real photos of his daughters (then 5 and 3) combined with digital imagery. The result was a photo collage style that produced vivid colors and magical backgrounds to enhance the story. All set!
Little did we know we had just begun the next daunting phases—printing, publishing and marketing. From the beginning, we decided on the independent route. Because the story features real children, we wanted to maintain “control” over how the book was promoted. For the past year, we’ve read just about every resource available to learn how to navigate all this new territory. While overwhelmed, we knew we’d have to focus and prioritize. We had to make the shift from authors to business savvy folks while the entire publishing trade underwent its own transformation.
We couldn’t ignore the e-book revolution. I wanted to jump on the bandwagon, but quickly realized the limitations for an image-saturated book on an e-reader. In the fall of 2010, only iBooks for Apple’s iPad offered color illustration capability. Fortunately, expertise to employ the required epub format was close at hand. Drazan Lapic, our webmaster and SEO professional for http://www.sunbelievable-book.com and http://www.storyquestpublishing.com, stepped into the fray.
It took about 2 months to create and produce Sunbelievable as an iBook. After experimenting with the epub format, we created a digitally signed version that lays out perfectly on the iPad. We submitted Sunbelievable to Apple’s iTunes Connect program, and passed Apple’s internal quality inspection procedures in about 2 weeks. It’s quite an accomplishment, considering the 2-year-plus process involved in (almost) completing the print version.
Sunbelievable is now available at the iBook Store!
The hard cover book will be released this fall (2011).