My friend, author Chrysa Smith, has written up a great basic guide for anyone considering writing and publishing a book. Chrysa has written for many years for magazines and blogs, and of late she has become a popular children’s book author, making regular school visits all over the Northeast to discuss her stories and conduct writing workshops for young writers. She has a lot of excellent experience.
Chrysa asked me to draw up a cover illustration for this ebook, The Making of a Book: What to Know, What to Do – available now for an incredibly low cost at Amazon – and she had an image in her head for the art. She suggested a person typing on a typewriter – how old-school! – with various accoutrements of the writer in view as well.
I pictured the image as looking down from above on the writer – I didn’t want to show a face, because that makes it a bit too specific. It’s been a long time since I used a typewriter, so I had to look up some images on google to make sure I got the details right! I then thought about other hallmarks of the writing process – motivation (cup of tea), critique (red pencil markups), and frustration (crumpled paper), and added them into the pencil sketch.
Chrysa made a few suggestions, and I sent her a rough color sketch, with her title text inserted, and she approved that for final art.
I drew the finished art in one of my standard techniques, using black prisma pencil for the outline, on illustration board, and then painted in washes with thinned acrylic paints. I made the cover into a high-res jpeg and Chrysa inserted it into her ebook file, then uploaded it to Amazon.
As an illustrator I’ve spoken to many people who have ideas for books, with topics ranging from trends in their industry to creative stories for children or adults, and I’ll now be happy to recommend The Making of a Book to them. Chrysa concisely explains traditional publishing, the exploding self-publishing market, ebooks and the all-important marketing phase of book publishing. And she gives clear, real-life tips for authors that will prevent problems they could encounter further down the process, saving them time and resources. Her website, if you’d like to read more about her books and events, is here.