What I Did During the Pandemic:The Book
today at 2:31 pm
What I Did During the Pandemic: The Book
More than a dozen years have passed since I wrote my first children’s book,“Chloe and the All-By-Myself Cake.” From time to time, I tried to market the manuscript, intent on finding a publisher who would, in turn, hire the illustrator. But as I found out, the world of children’s books doesn’t take kindly to “first-book” authors, even if they have a four-decades-long string of publications, albeit in a different-but related- field.
The gurus advised me to find an illustrator and self-publish the book. I balked. The project languished. And then, along came the Pandemic, complete with month after month of nothing-to-do days followed by nothing-to-do weeks. One morning, for no known reason, I woke up determined to make it all happen.
I began by checking out the various online companies (vanity presses) that publish completed manuscripts. Some offer to connect writers with illustrators, but, in virtually every case, the number of pictures per book is limited.
Children’s books thrive on illustrations. If I was going to actually sell this book on the retail market, the choice of illustrator was crucial.
Eventually, after I related my tale of woe for the umpteenth time, a friend connected me with a project manager who-in turn-connected me with an illustrator. When the content of the book was done, the project manager arranged for the completed manuscript to be published.
Elaheh Bos, the book’s illustrator, lives in Montreal. We’ve never met in person; everything was done on Zoom. For starters, we trimmed the text.
“Too many digressions,” she said.
“But,” I said more than once or even twice.
In the end, we trimmed the text.
Up next was the question of how the characters would look, beginning with a choice of eyebrows. It’s an interesting process, but I’ll table it for now.
We (the project manager and me) debated the number of copies (we’re talking hundreds) and finally settled on a thousand, given that the price differential between five hundred and a thousand books was minimal. That’s a lot of books, but the basic marketing plan is based on creating a demand. Social media, in-person readings, placement in independent bookstores and public libraries, retail purchases-the road to success, in this case, is paved with books. Copies of the book are currently available for retail purchase on Amazon and through the website “barbararevsine.com”
“Chloe and the All-By-Myself Cake” is narrated by Chloe Adams, who is seven years, five months and twenty-one days old. She wants to make her mother’s birthday cake all-by-herself, and to make that happen, she calls Grandma and asks for help with the logistics. And like Grandmas everywhere, she says “Yes.”