Friday, February 10, 2017

PBJ: Dummy Books

Hello.  I hope everyone is well this bright snowy morning.  We got creamed yesterday with about a foot of snow, so I have bright, white windows next to me as I type.

This week I put together a dummy book for the project I'm working on with my critique group.   We'll call it Project: Fun! I've been working on it for a little while now.  It has a very simple text and a majority of the story is told through illustrations, so a solid dummy book is a must.

If you don't know, a dummy book is basically an outline of the book as I see it.  The book is broken up into the correct number of pages, the manuscript is layed out as I imagine it, and there are sketches.  When I started with Wink, the dummy book was an actual physical book that I had made a Staples.  Now, it's a pdf.  (I like that, because it saves time and money.)

 I draw all the pictures by hand, with a pencil, and then scan them into my computer.  Then I add the text and assemble the pages.  Usually I do a 2-page spread for each pfd page, but here you can see 4 book pages lumped together.

See, just pencil sketches.  Nothing fancy.  But they still have to be neat.  Editors need to be able to tell what is going on.

An illustrator will usually do 3 - 4 pieces of finished art, so editors can really see what their intentions are.  You don't want to do more than that, because A.) It work that you're not being paid for yet, and B.) Editors might want to change things - like the trim size or the colors or cut a character.

Here I've inserted a couple of pieces of full-color finished art into the dummy.

I would love to say I have the story and the words all worked out before I get to the sketching process, but more often than not, the pictures and the words grow together and change together.  As a result, I could fill a small museum with all the of sketches, prep-work, and test art I have done for my published books and my unpublished projects.  Oh my word!

It's great being an author-illustrator because I think it really helps an editor to see the whole story, but having to add the visuals also adds a very timely layer to the work.  Fun.  But timely.

So that's what I was doing this week.

Thanks so much for stopping in!
Have a great weekend.

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