Going Digital: First coloring book now available as a downloadable, printable series of PDFs!
The cover of Ruby Charm: 25 illustrations for coloring enthusiasts, collection no. 1
I was a little worried about making my first book of illustrations available for download, mostly due to stories about other artists seeing their work appear in places they never authorized and having their hard work stolen. Either people who steal the art don’t realize how many hours go into a drawing (plus the added expense of materials, marketing, etc.) or they simply just don’t care. Either way, it had given me pause and I’ve been reluctant to give it a go. Until now.
I’ve gotten to know a number of people in the coloring community over the past year and have faith that people will do the right thing. And I believe in karma. So I took all of the illustrations from my original spiral-bound book and put them into a series of 5 PDFs (plus two of my newer drawings, Autumn Cat and Paisley Fox) and made the digital version of my book available through my Etsy shop. Exciting times! This will benefit my overseas customers who have found that shipping the physical book is almost as much as a copy of the book itself!
The original spiral-bound book is still available through Etsy as the “Artist’s Edition” and each one is personally assembled and signed by me. My first batch of copies had sold out, but my dear local printer ran off another batch (on high-quality 80# Lynx card stock) and I assembled and bound them at home–just like the first batch.
Heading to Amazon!
I am also in the process of creating an expanded version of my original book through CreateSpace on Amazon. It has been a time-consuming process and I am running a little behind the schedule I set for myself, but I am pretty happy with the draft. The primary illustrations are plates (printed on one side of the page only since bleed-through can be an issue on lower quality papers) but there are pages in between that will contain stories, new small drawings you can use to plan out your colors for the actual plates, coloring tips and a collection of color charts (I think about 10) that you can fill in with your own colors at the back of the book.
I asked colorists on social media about their thoughts related to CreateSpace paper and was surprised to hear how many people really liked it. Far many more than I imagined. Others said the paper wasn’t ideal, but that they copied illustrations from their books onto the paper of their choice anyway (and kept the books uncolored), so paper quality wasn’t a big deal. That surprised me, too–how many people kept a copy of a book untouched so that they could make new copies of drawings they wanted to try again. Smart! And then there were a few people who said they absolutely hated CreateSpace paper and completely avoided books published through CreateSpace. Which was what I expected would be the overwhelming majority of responses to my query. But since the mix seemed all over the board, and since I wanted to be able to get my books overseas more easily and affordably plus have more exposure through Amazon (a girl’s got to make a living), I decided to add the CreateSpace book to my collection.
For the next few weeks, I’ll be putting the finishing touches on the book, creating the cover, and wrapping up a number of small new illustrations to add into the mix. I’ll post an announcement on my blog as well as on my Instagram and Faceboook accounts when it is ready!