Publishing my First Craft Book - Part 3
Updated: Jun 16, 2022
This is a 4-part series where I share the process of writing my first ever Crepe Paper Flower book. Click on the links below to read the whole series.
PART 1: Finding a publisher and getting my first book contract
PART 2: Writing my book and photography woes
PART 4: Marketing and announcing the news!
Part 3: It all comes together!
SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 2021
Before this month, I was pretty much flying solo, working on my own and only asking questions if I had any. After the final submission though, it was pretty much ALL SYSTEMS GO, I had to work with different people on different aspects of the book and the emails were flooding in!
Remember that photography issue? I was thankfully given a month to reshoot all my hero images, and I MADE SURE to take extra precaution this time - I did my homework, studied countless of Youtube videos on how to work on styling and lighting, and I submitted the new batch of images in October (which were approved by my design team, HALLELUJAH!)
Looking back now, I think it was a blessing in disguise, having to focus on just the hero images (and not worry about shooting the step images at the same time). I devoted almost a week to capturing the new shots, and I could spend hours on each project. No one tells you how time-consuming it is! From changing the backdrops, to choosing the props, and positioning the different elements. I shot as much as I could as long as the sun was up.
This one turned out to be one of my favourites!
At the same time, I was also working with my project editor (Clare Ashton, who was wonderful) to comb through each project. This was one of the tougher parts too, reading and re-reading the text until it all became a blur. It was necessary though, as we spotted several mistakes and really worked on the text to make it clearer and better. Though the process was incredibly tedious, having a second pair of eyes that came from someone who was not necessarily a crafter was ultimately helpful in making sure my words were understandable to beginners!
How editing looked like, I prefer to jot down things and retype them again later.
Moreover, while all the above was going on, I also worked with our designer on the cover! Truly, this was CRUNCH TIME. I wanted the cover to be bright, colourful and cheerful, so we worked on selecting fonts that reflected my personality by looking at past titles from the same publisher and seeing what looks good on the cover. Overall, I am super pleased with the final cover design! (I hope everyone loves it as well).
Shooting the cover was probably the most fun! This one didn't make the cut but I loved the colour gradient.
In November I found out that the book listing was already up on Amazon and Book Depository and I FREAKED OUT! Its incredible to see my name on those websites, listed as 'Author' no less, gosh, that was surreal. I was advised by my publisher not to do a big reveal too early though, as we didn't want to announce prematurely only for the excitement to die down before the launch day in May. (I was really dying inside to announce it to the world though).
I squealed when I first saw this on Amazon!
I also FINALLY wrapped up the editing process with my project editor. We sent it off to the design team to get the copy ready for printing.
To be totally transparent, I had the biggest scare of my life when I got back the FINAL copy (which was supposed to be 'perfect' and ready for the printers) and discovered almost half the hero images were edited to present strange yellow and green tints!
I kid you not, I freaked out so hard that I threw up and fell sick that day. I was emailing with the team back and forth to fix the issues. I was genuinely upset that the images were changed so drastically, I could have cried.
To my relief, the team responded quickly to my concerns, and the images were edited back to their correct colours. Honestly, I don't know what happened, and I wasn't exactly offered a precise explanation of what went wrong, but I was just happy to get the images fixed. I definitely did not expect such a twist so close to the end, but the good news was that it was all fixed and now that the book is sent off to the printers, I can finally let it go and breathe easy again! I also gave myself a little bit of a vacation to celebrate, aha!
Now that the book was officially out of my hands, the next step for me was to look at marketing. This was something that excited me, and I'll share more in my next post!