The keyword research tool we use
The second keyword research tool we use
The perfect cure for writer's block
It was going on YouTube. Thank you for coming back to another episode of scatterbrain C. My name is Travis, and today I wanted to talk about my journey to self publishing my first children’s book. I wanted to make a video about it.
Just to go through the whole process just give information for anybody who’s, thinking about it or who just wants another opinion, because there are plenty of videos on YouTube that talked about the two main companies that I’m.
Gon na talk about today and give they’re a pain, but I want to let you know what my experience was with both of them. So the reason that I decided to do a children’s book in the first place was I’ve always had ideas to do a children’s book.
I really believe in multiple streams of income and, as I think I said in the video that just recently did, I believe in if you can make money somewhere try to make money. So the book was just a no-brainer.
I’m. I knew that. I did not have an agent I don’t. Have an agency to go to like I didn ‘ T expect a major publisher to try to pick me up, so I knew their self-publishing was gonna, be the route that I went and I started maybe a couple of years ago, just looking at different companies that do self-publishing and just trying to get an idea About who am I gonna go with then, and how am I gonna? Do it because they can’t be overwhelming, because there’s, so much information out there about self-publishing because it’s such a big thing.
Now but based on all my research, I have pretty much decided that I was gonna, go with Ingram spark and or create space to publish my book. Ingram spark is a company through Lightning Source and create spaces.
Amazon’s company. So I pretty much narrowed it down to those two for many reasons, just for example, some companies in the back of your book. They wanted their logo. I didn’t want anybody’s logo in my book, so pretty much and they all pretty much had great reviews for previous customers.
So I said: well, I’ll. Go I’ll, go through them anew and actually know someone who did a book through CreateSpace. So I figured oh, let me give it a try. I’ve. Had these ideas for children’s books because it’s, just something that happens, but I ‘
Ve always felt like my ideas were to be not necessarily that they weren’t good enough, but I just felt like they were too big when start thinking about these kind of things, I started thinking on like a grand scale like movie plots that’s, how big my ideas are, and I knew that the first book that I had planned on doing about the Tooth Fairy was just not gonna work, because the idea was just way too big and with this being my first time publishing a Book I knew I needed to do something that I could handle so earlier this year.
Maybe like April 2017, I decided you know what I need to go ahead and get this book going, because I know I can procrastinate. I know that about myself. I procrastinate and I knew that if I did not get started on this book, I may not ever get started and you know by that time I knew I was having a child, so I said, oh, I have to do this and you know get it done Before the baby gets here, so I literally wrote the whole book in maybe 30 to 35 minutes.
I didn’t want to do a book that was really deep. It’s, not a story. It’s more of an educational book saying this and I’m a teacher and that I teach art. I knew that that was just the the lane that I was gonna stay in for right now, just to kind of get.
My feet wet and see how things go, so I decided to do a book about colors. I know about colors. I teach about colors all the time. So I said I’m gonna do about colors and I’m gonna tie it into children and that’s.
How I came up with the color wheel, kids, so I wrote the book in, like I said, 30 to 35 minutes. I sent it to two or three people. Just to have them. Look over just to see doesn’t make sense um. I knew I was doing it all myself.
I wasn’t gonna have an editor. I was gonna obviously illustrate it myself, but I just wanted a couple of other sets of eyes to look at it just to. Let me know that. Does this make sense like that? Will it work and they all gave me their feedback and said that it worked so I began to sketch out characters now.
One of the things I want to talk about in this video was the main things the main products. I guess you could say I use when creating my book. The main thing I used was my iPad. My iPad was probably one of the best investments iPad pro 12.
9 screen. This is probably one of the best investments I’ve ever made outside of, like my house and stuff, because just it really realized my love for drawing. I got the Apple pencil to go with it. I took one of my summer checks for my summer job that’s, just my extra fun money – and I said I’m gonna buy myself an iPad pro and I bought it, and I’ve, been in love With it ever since, and there’s, a program that I heard a lot of people talking about a good drawing app called procreate, and I did my entire book through procreate, so I’ll talk about that from that program.
First, so, like I said, procreate is a drawing app and the really great thing that I loved about procreate outside of his features and being able to do layers and backgrounds, and just all those great features was just the fact that I could organize.
All of my pictures, the way I ended up illustrating the book was, I did rough sketches and I’m thinking. I’m gonna try to put him on the screen. Now I did rough sketches of what I wanted. The pages to look like and what I was able to do is just took the iPad, took a picture of the rough sketches and uploaded them to my iPad and just drew on top of them to create my pictures.
So, for example, like I said you can organize your work, I don’t know if there’s a glare from the lights, but you can organize your work, so this was all the pages in my book. I knew that I first went researched the size of books.
I wanted the biggest book possible with both companies, and that was um excuse me, and that was eight and a half by eleven. So I set my size when you create a new picture. You set the side, you set the dpi, the dots per inch and all of that so I said it’s, eight and a half by eleven, and I was able to do all the pages in my book and I could see all of them Right here all together and like I said, the pictures that I use and see if I can pull one up real quick.
So, for example, I took a sketch there we go. I just sketched out what I wanted the page to look like, took a picture of that upload it here and then I just drew on top of it to create how I wanted the page to look, and I took the wording that I wrote for the book Out of Word and just pasted it into here that way, I kind of knew what was going where one of the other really cool things about procreate is it will record the screen while you’re working, so every mark you make, it will record It and you can put it all into a video to kind of see the steps that you took to get there.
So I started doing my sketches of care of children for the book, because I knew the book was gonna talk about color and because it was talking about color and the importance of color. I wanted to make sure that there was a child that represented the main races.
You know I can’t represent every ethnicity, but I wanted to represent just the main ones first and then I probably try to add some other ones. When I do the next book, because I dedicated the book to every child of color who thought they were important enough to be represented in a book because, honestly, just as a black guy, I can’t, remember more than one book.
That, like is still in my mind today, that I can remember. Oh, I saw a character that looked like me in that book. I can only think of one book and the carry didn ‘ T look like me. He was just black.
He was a boy somebody else like as close as I could get so that’s, not to say that there aren’t other books out there that have children of color in them. But I wanted to just make a new one that featured new children of color.
So hopefully, when kids look at it, they’ll, see a character that reminds them of themself or that maybe looks like them or someone they know. So I’m gonna show you one of the time-lapse videos from when I took my original sketches of my other kids, and I turned it into what they look like now, so that’s.
What this is [ Music, ], [, Music ] a so that’s. The one thing I really love about procreate is: I was able to sit there and just watch myself draw these pictures. I was able to see the characters evolve.
I was able to see my layouts evolve and procreate and the iPad pro are just awesome tools and an awesome program. So if you’re, looking for just a drawing app in general, procreate is free. I think procreate is free.
Get procreate like you. Will have a great time the brushes it’s just so many features I can’t talk about how I’m for that long, but go look at other videos on YouTube to find more about procreate. So after I finished illustrating the book, I put all put everything together in Photoshop and I’ve had Photoshop for a really long time.
I’m, pretty well-versed in Photoshop, so I just took the pictures and I imported them. I exported them from procreate as on PSD as a Photoshop file from procreate to Photoshop, and I was able to put in my words in there and the cool thing about.
The wording is that when I was coming up with the idea for this book, I was concerned about copyrights. I didn’t want any of my kids, my children when I say children, I’m talking about the kids in the book.
Okay, I didn’t want any of the kids to look like any other characters out there, and I wasn’t sure about fonts and how fonts are copy written and are you allowed to use them in the book? And then I came across this great website called calligrapher, and this website allows you to make your own fonts with your handwriting.
So what you do is you go to the website? What most people do they go to the website and you print out the template for whatever number of characters or special letters that you need, and you write it with a black marker rescanned it up and they will convert it to a font for you well using The iPad Pro allowed to do was take a screenshot of the file use the iPad, I mean use the Apple pencil right on top of it and it helped create the fonts for me.
So I did that I have to worry about scanning anything. I have to worry about like sending a pin, I just reloaded that picture and they send me my phone within a few minutes and that’s free, so every five.
So all the fonts that you see of the book are my handwriting. So all of this is all my handwriting. Yes, so I mean the iPad pro just really saved my life when it came to doing this book it made it really really easy: [, Music, ], [, Music ].
So after I got everything, finished book was written Illustrated, and I put it all together in Photoshop. It was now time to start all of the setups with Ingram Sparks and Emmas. I mean Amazon CreateSpace.
I will say that CreateSpace was completely free. They actually also give you an ISBN number and for those who don’t know what ISBN number and ISBN number it’s, pretty much like a social security number for the book.
Every book has to have an ISBN. If you plan on selling it, and even if it’s, the same kind of book, even it’s, the same the same book that’s, a different format like a hardback and a paperback. You have to have two separate – I guess bins for that book or for those books rather and that’s, something I had to learn the hard way.
So Amazon CreateSpace gives you a free one in Ingram SPARC. You can get one on discount for 85 because I as being numbers to poker the owk or the website where people who live in the u.s. go to buy the ISBN numbers.
That is being number four one is 125, but there ain’t smart. You get a discount of $ 85 and, like I said to create space is free, so I made the decision that I was gonna. Do my heart back version through engrams Ingram spark, and I was gonna – do my paperback version through CreateSpace? I’m and the reason was that, because I knew hardback was the main version that I wanted to have because most children’s.
Books are hardback and I wouldn’t mind. I have a nice heart back and just have a really nice quality to it, and then I thought about, but I would love to have a paperback paperback and I realized oh, but create space has a free is being so.
I can just take my pick. My hardback version and just send it over there and have a new one that’s. What I thought so let me just say that the people that Ingram Sparks have been so helpful. They’ve, been so helpful and helped me get this book done.
The people that I spoke to a createspace were helpful as they could be, but as of today, my book would not be released in paperback. I ‘ Ve actually closed. My account with create space because create space would not allow me to have the artistic freedom that I wanted to have with my own book.
So let me just explain what I mean by that in my book. I have one full spread picture, so one picture that takes up the full page. This is the this is the the page. So if you look it’s, the word beautiful and in here you see that the letters are touching well.
Createspace said you can’t have the letters that close to the gutter, that’s, the spine part of the book. So you have to move the eye and the T and beautiful further and had to keep moving further apart and keep moving the further part, and I’m being nice right now, because I have already reported.
I have already recorded this video once where I went in on Amazon, but I asked the I’d accidentally deleted that file, so I got the letters as far away’s. They told me to, but as close as I could get them without them, you know having an issue because create space has a great tool, which is the interior review, so pretty much after you upload your PDF Ingram spark and creates, but you both have to upload A certain kind of PDF file with create space once you upload that PDF, you can view your book as if it was the real thing digitally and it will find any errors if you have any errors with margins, if you have any errors with quality, it’ll find all of that and give you a chance to fix it.
My book passed all of that stuff, but even still getting the book. Look at all that space that was in between the eye and the tea along with this white in the middle – and I was just like that’s, that’s, just not gonna work.
Those letters need to be closer. I mean when you look at I don’t know if I can get them both in here. At the same time, let’s, see if I can, when you look at how close the letters are to each other in the hardback version compared to the paperback.
There is a huge difference. Right. Excuse me, and I didn’t know what my book to say beat it full. I wanted to say beautiful. So that was strike one for Amazon and then on top of that y ‘ All can’t, see it on camera, but my book looks like it was printed on a desk jet, so I mean you literally see horizontal lines where the colors don’t necessarily match up some one.
More lighter a little bit darker going across the book like it was just praying at somebody’s house so for quality reasons. I decided not to continue with my book through Amazon and I just closed my account because they told me that they can ‘
T move my letters any closer and I said it’s, my book, I know what I want. They said we don’t want to move him closer because they’re gonna get cut off in the gutter. I said I just did a book and it wasn’t cut off in the gutter and I said: well then we’ll, just print out the proof, which is the one copy product the proof and let me see how bad it Looks and say: no, we can’t do it because they said it was just too close.
I said yeah y ‘ All telling me how I’m gonna. Do my own book like this. Is this is not working? You know it just closed my account. I’m, not gonna go through y ‘ All this is just as too much stress and is too much work because I literally like I said I wrote the book in April and I Ellis trated from my June to the beginning of August, and I literally got all of this done between like mid August To mid September, as far as getting it formatted getting get edited getting it published because I wasn’t, like might like, I said I was my own editor, so I was finding mistakes after I had already uploaded the final version.
Like grammar misspellings, you know it’s. Just when you’re doing everything by yourself. It can be difficult, but I’m, also very proud of myself right now. If we’re doing it all by myself, because I get to reap all of the benefits of doing about myself so while create space, you know they were, they really tried.
A woman named Yolanda really tried to help me out a lot. It just didn’t work, oh and another thing that pissed me off about Amazon was one of the people who was telling me that the letters were too close.
Sent me a screenshot saying all right. This is how much of your letters are. You need to move them this much. I moved them resubmitted. Then another person sent me an email saying they’re too close. I’m, touching a screenshot.
They send the exact same screenshot. The person from the last week has sent me, even though I had already uploaded a new file, so it pissed me off because I’m like y’all not even doing your job, but maybe here note there because the paper back This is the only one that exists in the world.
I’m, so happy with the quality that Ingram Sparks has for the hardcover books. I mean I mean you get a cover. Follow me. I made the whole cover myself. It’s. Just one big file that you do, I mean they step-by-step intro Sparks is just on it.
They have a proof that you can look at online. You can order your one copy that’s, obviously more because it’s just one but um. It was great. The only thing was when I got my proof. It looked like this, so this is what the book is supposed to look like.
The reason why this one is so thick is because when they sent me my proof they printed my book two times in this book. So after the book ends it starts all over again, so it starts all over. I have two versions of my book in this book and I’m.
I contacted them. They said, oh, my goodness, that’s. One mistake: it’s not supposed to be that way, and they send me out the correct version. So Ingram’s Park is an A+ for me. Createspace gets like to see, because I mean yes, everything is user friendly, but I just didn’t feel like they would.
Let me be as creative as I wanted to be, so I really wanted this book to be made not only for children but for my daughter to be able to read and if I ever have any more children for them to be able to read it and Just know that they are special, no matter what color they are, because at the core of the book, that’s, what it’s about surface is about the colors of the rainbow, but the deeper meaning is understanding that you may not Look like the people around you, but you are still special and you’re still needed in this world, and it takes every one of us to make the word at this beautiful place that it is, and I just want children to be reminded of That because I think it’s, so easy for kids to be swayed into thinking that they’re, not good enough – and I just want this book to be one of the books to tell them that they are so today is the Release day of my book – and I hope you all will go and order it online – I don’t.
I doubt us in any stores with Ingram’s parks. You can choose how you want your book to be distributed. You can distribute it distributed how you wanted to be distributed. You get such a priceless set, your wholesale discounts you can set.
All of that. I mean it’s. It’s. Amazing. I did not know. My book was gonna be on Barnes and Nobles website. I did not know who their distribution channels were, but um. It was just a great feeling to hop on Barnes & amp, Noble, rent to Google, my book and the name and Barnes & amp.
Noble was the first thing that came up, so it’s on Barnes & amp. Noble is on Amazon, even though I didn’t go to create spaces on books-a-million, it’s on a lot of different sites. I don’t know if it’s gonna be in store, because that’s just not really.
I think it takes a lot to get your book actually in a brick-and-mortar place, but I’m. Just happy to know that it’s out now that you all have the opportunity to go purchases so head on over to Amazon or Barnes, Noble or wherever it is.
You choose to buy books and see if they have the color wheel keys by Travis a Thompson. I tried to put a lot of information in this video and clearly there’s plenty of things I didn’t talk about just because this video will be 10 days long.
But if you have any questions about self-publishing definitely definitely leave it down in the comments and I’ll. Try to answer it to the best of my ability and if you don’t want to leave it in the comments you can send me an email scatterbrain see at yahoo.
com make sure you, like rate, comment and subscribe. If you haven’t already, and I’ll be talking to y’all later. Peace go pick up the color wheel, kids, bye, Travis, a Thompson, [ Music ], you