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KenH

The woman who lived on her roof.

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I know this sounds crazy, but I have an idea for a kids book and I'm going to go ahead with it. I'll publish on Createspace. It will be about an old woman who lives on her roof. Lots of morales built in but I can't say too much on that. I'm trying to come up with illustrations.....of which there'll be about 25. I'm heading in the direction of a sort of a 3D tactile felt feel. I'm not sure but it could be the right direction. It's all flat "south park" style which is good for speed. This attached image is just a basic test of the style.

I'd be interested in any thoughts.

page0.jpg

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largento found a "scales" mat that looks like felt if you scale it real small.

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Great. I'll give it a go if I can find it. Is it in the Wannabe Pirates thread?

 

Here's a snippet of the story. There'll be 25 verses:

 

My friend Willow is awfully funny.

I tease her because she's afraid of the dark.

She likes to pick her nose while eating honey.

And when we go to play in parks.

Our Mums get cross if our clothes get dirty marks.

 

We're talking about 5 year olds here.

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Concept sounds terrific, it grabbed me from the getgo

 

& The snippet definitely made me laugh, and want MORE - that's the way to do it

 

Doesn't sound like a crazy idea at all.

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Sounds like great fun, Ken.

Do you have children around you that fit the target audience? They, and their mums, will be the ones who let you know whether it will succeed or not.

Best of luck with it all.

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That could be a very appealing way to go, Ken!

 

The material Robert is talking about is what I did with the skin on the Glimey model. It's a material called "Scales2" (it's in the basic Data directory that is installed with A:M, look under materials/skin) and I set the scale to a very small value (5, I think.) Not sure what it would look like on flat surfaces and it does "break" in places.

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Thanks for the vote of confidence guys! I'm rhyming away and yes I have a niece(4) and nephew(3) so I can get them to test it out. :) I'll give it a try Mark and start refining the look. Thanks all.

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This all sounds like a great project, Ken. I'm gonna take a look at CreatSpace...

 

NOT that I am any expert on sentence structuring... this one seems off:

 

And when we go to play in parks.

Our Mums get cross if our clothes get dirty marks.

 

The period should maybe be a hyphen?

 

And when we go to play in parks-

Our Mums get cross if our clothes get dirty marks.

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or nothing at all, just:

 

And when we go to play in parks

Our Mums get cross if our clothes get dirty marks

 

I know a lot of generic poetry doesn't utilize any sort of punctuation between lines, so perhaps go for the same effect(?)

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Good points. I'll look at some books we have in the attic. If I go for a punctuation on that one, I'd probably put in a comma. Thanks!

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Interesting Idea keep it up

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Thanks John.

Here's the render with the scales on it. I think I like it. It takes the edge off the models. It doesn't appear on the light colours though.

page0.jpg

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I hope you let us read some of it and look at the pictures when you get farther along!

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Of course! I'll throw a few of the pages into a pdf preview.

I changed the proportions of the face. I think it's got more character. Not sure. For the body, I'll do simple 3D shapes that can be seen from any angle. The faces will either be front or side so they can be flat. I'll use poses to turn off the one not being used.

page0.jpg

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I found a cool font called Camden that I think I'm going to use. Here's the first page shaping up in Word. Picture will be different though.

Capture.JPG

Capture2.JPG

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I found a cool font called Camden that I think I'm going to use. Here's the first page shaping up in Word. Picture will be different though.

 

Neat font - make sure it's not copyrighted or whatever they do to protect font designers livelihood - It's a little hard to read in that color - even tho I like the choice. Maybe make it darker?

 

I once took a short weekend course on writing children's books - a long time ago - and I don't know if this is relevant any more - but at that time (no self publishing on the web) - childrens books had standard # of pages, because of how publishers/printers worked, and the folding of the pages and binding - I think it was 16? 32? and there were standard sizes - also due to press configurations - with standardization of laying out title pages, bookends, etc.

 

Like I said - all this may be not relevant to createspace requirements - but maybe you can check into it - it may increase printing costs if not standardized?

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I'll watch out for those things. Thanks Nancy. The font is listed as free with a more complete pay version but I'll contact the author to be sure. I imagine the publication to be in the sub-$10 range.

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The page count will depend on how it's printed. If it's saddle-stitched (has staples on the spine), it will need to be set up to be a factor of 4. If it's perfect bound (glued to the spine), then it's only a factor of 2. Being as short as your book is, I would assume it would be saddle-stitched. Using CreateSpace, I would probably consider adapting the page count to what will provide the biggest margin of profit. :-)

 

I would think they handle pagination, but if they don't I'd recommend putting together a simple chart to work out what pages would be on the same spread. For instance, if it's saddle-stitched, the first spread would have the last page on the left and the first page on the right of the spread, then the second spread would have the second page on the left and the second-to-last page on the right, etc. etc.

 

The other thing to keep in mind is the physical size of the page and any bleed that might be used. I'd have to look, but I'm sure there's a standard bleed they'll require for anything that goes past the trim. Usually it's between 1/8" to 1/4" on all sides. It's always best to plan for the bleed, so you don't have to try to create bleed or risk having something important cut off. Also be mindful of their resolution requirements. Building the pages with their templates would be the best way to make sure that everything works.

 

The scale material does give it some texture. Kind of looks like construction paper.

 

I would look to see if the typeface has any licensing information. Given the fact that you'll be doing POD, I don't know that this would really qualify as a commercial venture.

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"All books must be a minimum of 24 pages. The maximum number of pages you can have vary by trim size and printing options.All books created through CreateSpace are printed as perfect-bound, trade paperback books."

 

This is in the help. I was thinking around 24 pages which would fit with the factor of two. It's going to be an even number anyway as there's a picture page with every word page. I'm still not too clear on bleed and trim but I'm trying to block them out till I have to worry about them. ;) I'm hoping that the white boarders around everything will help there too. Thanks for the help!

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other things I learned from that weekend course, a thousand years ago (which makes me an expert, of course) - is:

 

1) the Mums are # 1 customer - they're the one's with the dough - it has to appeal to them first...AND

 

2) to appeal to both Mums & kids & everyone, is to make each page/rhyme a Page Turner - ie, leave some mystery so that one has to go to the next page to find out some resolution...something for them to discuss, and use their imagination - like in "what do you think happens next?"

 

This might be done with starting your "rhyme" on one page and finishing it on the next, as well as starting the next rhyme/thought . Or something like that. Or even string them along for the whole book. (a la the DaVinci Code)

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Good suggestions! Hmmm.....I'll have to do some thinking.

How do you appeal to Mums?

 

Edit: So something like this attached.

 

Edit2: What about the back page blurb for attracting Mums:

Inside this book you will find 125 lines of poetry telling an original story that gently encourages children to stand up to discrimination and discover the blessings of forgiveness, self believe, empathy, respect and kindness.

Capture.JPG

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Sorta like that -

 

What might be better is to break the poem where the kid has to guess what happens next or what the rhyme might be Just off the top of my head - but should be more clever - maybe something like:

 

page 1 - (illustration could be just of boy, dog, parents - but no indication of snow - or some hints of snow falling..or he's rolling around in the dirt to throw kid off)

 

I'm a normal boy with normal parents

They teach me things I do not know

I love my normal dog named Terence,

and he likes to roll around in the ...

 

page 2

 

SNOW

 

While he loves to fetch a stick for me to throw.

 

My friend Willow is awfully funny

I tease her because she's afraid of the dark

She likes to pick ...

 

(illustration might have dog with stick, rolling in snow, with willow laughing, watching? eating honey, hiding behind tree?)

 

Page 3

 

HER NOSE

 

while eating honey in the park ...

___________

 

The above examples aren't quite right because they break the rhythm ...so more thought would have to be put into it. But whatever it is - it should set up a pattern, of either completing the rhyme, or ending on trying to guess something unlikely, ridiculous - so that the kid gets the game, and wants to have the story read over & over & over, even tho he/she knows the answers.

 

Another tip from the course (these things are coming back to me): The illustrations for this age group - can have sub-stories going on that aren't even mentioned in the text - eg like having a little mouse that appears watching, doing something on each page that provides even more things for the kid to notice and wonder about.

 

(I think? page 1 always starts on the right ? That could be a myth I just made up.)

 

As for appealing to the Mums? Bat your eyelashes...a lot.

 

EDIT: just saw your edit2 - that would be very appealing to mums - I hadn't picked that up from your text, - so the trick perhaps to where you break your poem, should be related to having the kid get the moral lesson without them knowing, ie, has to still be fun for them. Or they have to figure out the moral lesson - ie, they have to make a choice as to what's the right thing to do?

 

Or could forget about breaking the poem, and aim for making the rhymes something that they would love to repeat over and over

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An alternate texture idea might be to scan some actual construction paper and use that as the surface texture.

 

OR... use one of those natural media paint programs like ArtRage to create the color texture. That would save the scanning step.

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I understand Nancy. The above are the first pages setting the scene and I agree they're probably not dramatic page turners but the story will develop that way soon. Though it's going to be difficult to do that for every page. I plan on having something funny/interesting on every page somewhere. However, I do like the physical page turner technique of splitting the sentence at the end. In case you're worried about the "normal" words in the first verse, that's another lesson.......Nell says.....No one is normal, You're all different just like me.

 

I had thought about putting animals/insects/plants around the borders, but I'm not sure. It kind of feels gimmicky....like the story isn't good enough by itself. I'll see toward the end if I want to do that work too. Another idea I had was to do character animation frames for each page.....and make it into a flip book. It'd only be a second long animation though. If I can find a way to make it relevant I may do that.

A flip book would make the pages degrade faster and maybe increase sales. Thinking of all angles here. :D

Maybe we could get some SO publicity and use someone like the Witch as the flip character.

 

With the lessons, I'm going for subtle rather than obvious. It may be a mistake, but that how I feel about teaching. I do like the idea of letting them make a choice. Maybe another book....

 

Thanks for the interest!

 

Good ideas Robert. I'm quite pleased with what I got so I'll stop procrastinating for now. :) Time to start constructing the shots. Maybe at the end.

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I'm currently working my way through writing the story. I've decided to change it from a first person perspective to third person. And the two names are in fact my niece and nephews names! :) Here's a new verse I wrote last night:

 

Izzy panicked as there was no light,

Except the moon peering through the trees.

Charlie, who was often right,

Knew that they both could freeze.

So he squeezed her tight with all his might,

And caused her fear to ease.

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I'm starting to get into the groove. There's only an outline plan. Much of the story is being dictated by the poetry. Quite a fun way to write. It's working out longer than I thought so I may have to do some editing. We'll see. Here's some more verses:

 

Willow asked with a little shame:

"Excuse me old woman on the chair,

Could you tell us your name?

And of all things good and fair,

Would you care to explain,

Why you live forty feet up in the air?"

 

"Certainly my friend, I'll tell you true.

I'm Nell O'Boyle, the only one,

And this is why I live as I do:

One day when I was young,

I sprouted wings and flew,

And oh it was such fun!"

 

"But the wings only lasted for a while.

In time, they withered and died.

So, since then I've had a trial,

Of living here outside."

And she said with a smile,

"It's the best thing I've ever tried".

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Whohoo! I just completed the first spread. Another milestone reached.

Capture.JPG

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Looks great Ken, but the "normal" boy, "normal" parents and "normal" dog, seem a bit....can't think of the right works. Why not "Tommy's just a boy whose parents teach him things he doesn't know".

 

Also, the horizontal line from the trees is distracting, scaling the height of them will fix that.

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I like the ring to the line as it is. Also the word normal has significance in the story later on.

Good spot on the trees. I've updated the image. Thanks.

 

Edit: Here's how it looks in 3D.

Capture.JPG

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Whohoo! I just completed the first spread. Another milestone reached.

 

looks terrific - like the style

 

Didn't the first image (before fixing tree line) have some "pins" around the border ? Or am I imagining something - like spots before my eyes?

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That makes great book pages. Design is very appealing.

I like the text page too. Nice presentation and the choice of font looks good.

 

Michel

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Thanks everyone! Nancy, I don't know what you mean. Like drawing pins holding up the image? Or maybe you mean the snowflakes?

 

Edit: Perhaps I had the image selected in word. That creates a pin like border.

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OK, here's the final tweaked version. I love to tweak! I changed some of the "normal" words too.

Capture.JPG

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That's really looking good, Ken!

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Edit: Perhaps I had the image selected in word. That creates a pin like border.

 

Yes, that must have been it. I thought you were trying to go for a look of either images pinned up on a corkboard - or child's drawings taped to a refrigerator - which I thought was a clever idea ... When you had the "pins" I was going to suggest that you skew the images some to give the impression of "tacked" paper drawings.

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Coming along nicely, Ken.

 

The rythm seems awkward where you have the two lines ending "throw" and "snow". Just changing the word "him" to "Tommy" helps the clarity I feel. However it is your book and you should express it your way. ;)

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That's looking nice. Maybe vary the trees a bit more?

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Oh no. Now I have to put pins in it to be clever!? ;) It's a good idea, but I'm making this as simple as possible.

Good point Paul. I put a comma after snow which might make it clearer.

It's a fir tree forest (mentioned later on) Robert so they'll all have to be firs. True, I could make them taller etc, but as I mention above, I'm going simple. I don't think it takes away from the story as their more symbolic really. I'm also trying to imitate something that a child could cut out and assemble.

Thanks all.

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Thanks Gene!

 

I'm motoring along now. Here's image 5. 25 left to go.

page0.jpg

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Thanks Holmes. :)

 

I've just finished the cover. It's going to be 31 pages long.

BookCover8_25X6_Color_40.jpg

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Aragh! Thanks Paul....sometimes spell check just doesn't cut it.

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Thanks Nancy!

Aw thanks Holmes. A fraction of her sales would do me!

 

A small update. I think I'll be finished in a couple of days! This is where I'm up to. I'm going to have a watermarked preview pdf of all but four of the pages......need to keep something in the bag. But it'll give a good idea of the story. It's a simple but principled story....of course there's scope for expansion if demand got big. Can't wait to hold the book in my hands! I never thought I'd publish a book.

Capture.JPG

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