One of the questions people like to ask is, “How long did it take to write and publish your book?” In this episode of Beyond the Written Page, I share how long it took to write, illustrate, and publish The Very Hungry Duck.
Believe it or not, I find this a hard question to answer. In the video, I share the length of time in months. But it’s hard to “quantify” that time, because when I’m in the middle of a project, I don’t think in terms of hours and minutes. I focus in on the project, and get so caught up in it that I lose track of time (and of other responsibilities I should be taking care of).
And each project is different, so each book I work on will have a different answer. The story/rhyme for The Very Hungry Duck came together very quickly. (In fact, I tell you exactly HOW quickly in the video–be sure to watch it 🙂 )
But very few stories fall into place that way. Most of them require more time for the story line or the right wording to come together.
That’s one of the things I love about stories, and about writing them. Each one has a unique “story” behind how it comes together.
I hope you enjoy learning a little bit about the story behind The Very Hungry Duck. And if you have any questions, please post it in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer.
I received the first order of books last night for the second edition of The Very Hungry Duck! I have been so involved with the final details for this book, as well as for my OTHER new book (called Do NOT Turn This Page), that I haven’t shared much about the project with you yet.
So, be sure to watch the above video, then read on to find out more about Duck’s new look!
1. Why a second edition?
I’ve wanted to make a hardcover edition of The Very Hungry Duck so that Duck can find a home in libraries, where she will be able to meet, entertain, and encourage children around the world! The biggest challenge with printing the first edition of the book was figuring out how to make the illustrations appear in printed form the way I intended them to. I redid the original illustrations twice, then made changes to the digital files another couple of times to brighten the images.
I have learned so much about digital illustration, as well as picture book layout and design, during the last year that I decided to give Duck a “page lift,” as I like to call it.
2. What has changed in this second edition?
The color scheme changed dramatically. This helps distinguish the second edition from the first one.
Very little of the text changed in the story–just a word here and there to flow with changes to the page layout.
I redid all the illustrations digitally, though I incorporated the original character drawings.
This book is 32 pages. The original edition was 24 pages.
I included a number of new, fun illustrations.
I used a new font for the text, called Quicksand. I chose it because most of the letters look similar to letters that preschoolers and Kindergartners learn to recognize and write. This will help support parents, caregivers and educators as they teach children early reading and writing skills.
3. What is the release date?
The publication date was February 20, 2015. Physical copies of the book should now be available by request through local book stores as well as on my website, and at online retailers. The e-book is available at Amazon.com.
4. Are there other books coming?
Oh, yes! I will be working on translating The Very Hungry Duck into other languages, starting with a Spanish translation. There are also at least three other stories planned for the Duck Tales series. I’m working out the final details in the story line for the second book in the series, which will feature Duck, her Auntie Duck, and a mischievous frog.
Also, in February I completed final edits to my first book for seven- to ten-year-old children, called Do NOT Turn This Page. It was published on February 19, 2015, and is available for purchase by request at local bookstores, at online retailers, or on my website.
5. What surprised me most when I saw the first printed copy?
The book looked so amazing, I almost cried. What surprised me most, though, was the color for the page backgrounds. The background colors I THOUGHT I chose were light purple, dark purple, and a tannish-brown (in addition to plain white). The actual printed colors (except for the plain white) looked off-white, purple-gray, and a mustardy yellow-brown. Although the page colors still worked fine with the story, it was a good reminder that colors can be very different in print than they look on a back-lit computer screen.