Monday, January 22, 2007

This time, I'm really finished

Last week when I said that I'd finished my sketches for FARMER, I was wrong. Fixing a few inconsistencies led to my resketching almost the entire book in just one weekend.

The story is set on a farm run by a German immigrant family, about 1930. Because I lacked good source materials early on, without realizing it, I resorted to creating a lot of close-ups or odd angles, taking the focus off of what I didn't know. What is a "chris-cross" garden, and what does one look like? What would a farmer in the 1930s wear to a funeral? A black suit of the time period? Or bib overalls? Would a German farmer dress any different than, say, a black farmer? Geez, I don't know. By the time I finished my sketches, and after several trips to the library, I'd found more answers to my questions. So I spent the weekend changing and adding details.

Finally, I spent this morning creating a layout of the book. I prefer creating layouts as opposed to dummy book mock-ups, unless the publisher asks for one specifically. When I worked as a book designer for an educational publishing company, we used flat spread layouts and that's how I've been doing it ever since.

I had quite an assembly line going — from the drawing board to the photo copier. From the photo copier to the paper cutter. From the paper cutter, back to the drawing board. And so on.

Now, problem is, after seeing the book all laid out, to size, with text, I've discovered a few more problems. For now, I just noted them, and will make revisions once I get feedback from the publisher.

I hope my editors won't mind, but I suggested a few places to cut text. Ouch! I know. But with 3000-plus words in 32 pages, one half-spread illustration per page, somethings gonna have to give or else were gonna have to go with 8-point condensed text.

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Congratz to all the award winners! And thanks to Cynsations who provided early results when I couldn't get into any of the live webcasts.

3 comments:

rindawriter said...

I have a blog up now about being at the 2007 ALA...perhaps more later about trends, etc. I was only able to be there for about three hours--came home LOADED with new reading material--great fun!

rindawriter said...

P.S. I REALLY do think requesting a few word cuts in a 3,000 page picturebook is not asking too much. I'd do it in a flash did an illustrator ask me to do it for a longer PB text. They are DIFFICULT as it is to fit into 32 pages. It is, after all, a PICTURE book!

Liz said...

And plus, if its 8pt text none of us who are over the age of.. cough, muffle, ahem... will be able to read it.