Picture Book Formatting Woes

Curlilocks and the Big Bad Hairbrush is available on Amazon.com and BN.com. Yes! This one took a little longer on the production end, but it was worth the time. From start to finish it took about eight months. That’s writing, editing, illustrations, final edits and dun dun duuuuu formatting.

curlilock 2 inst

I was able to assemble most of the same team from the first book (Curlilocks and the Three Pink Pandas). I found them on oDesk. I’ve had success using oDesk. A couple of people have not come delivered, but you figure that out quickly and move forward.

My editor was ready. She gave great feedback and her edits and suggestions made the story stronger. My illustrator is a star.  I storyboard the book and provide her with a history/composite of each character. I try not to over direct, because she’s the illustrator and I picked her because of her talent. I insist on small details that I believe help readers connect and she’s wonderful at representing my words.

The kicker was this year, my formatter wasn’t available. He may be on a break, but for now he’s not available. I had a major panic moment (lasted about 48 hours) when I didn’t hear from him. I started looking for other picture book formatters but with a heavy heart. Formatting picture books can be a beast and I wasn’t looking forward to the search or figuring out who could really do the job. I put out a search, but didn’t have any bites. I decided to do it myself.  My awesome husband used to test all types of software in college. His goal was to find the weakness in the drivers. This 20 year old experience has come in handy many times and this was no exception. He and I took on the task of formatting this Curlilocks.

I’m proud of the finished product, both Kindle version and printed.  I learned how to use Photoshop (at least the parts I need for formatting) and InDesign.  Yay! There was a steep learning curve, but I made it past that point of pain. And to make things better, last year Amazon created Kindle Kids Book Creator. When I’m ready to publish to other eBook platforms, I’ll have to figure those processes out, but I’ll cross that bridge when I get there.

Tangled hugs,


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