How to self publish a book. My two cents.

How to self publish a book. My two cents.

Hi everyone !
Of course all this stuff is really subjective and everybody has it´s own experience or opinion but I´m writing this post now because I think it can help a lot of people who´s just starting on this self publishing online thing.
I keep having a lot of people asking me about what to do to publish their own projects, either children books or other type of books and so I will try to give you some points to get you started. This is my opinion then.
Self publish projects are now about half of the work I get in each year. It used to be just stuff for established mainstream publishers for many years but since about three years or so, I have noticed a big change as many people started to approach me also with independent or self publishing content. Right now my amazon new listing features a mix between projects for established mainstream publishers like New Paige Press with the “Once Canvas” book series and also independent and/or self published books like The Mystery Puzzle for example. As an illustrator the market now has doubled for me because I do work for any type of client as long as the project fits me and I like the book that is presented to me. 😉

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Therefore I think this post now might help to make things less confusing for people who are just arriving.
This about how to start self publishing online and not leave your written books on the shelve. Who knows, maybe you can start your little independent publishing business from home. Trust me, it happened more times than you may think. It´s all about persistence, exposure and good planning.

So…

You wrote a story and don´t know how to publish a book ? There´s actually plenty of things you can do nowadays as the market for self publish books has really changed in the last three years or so, when it comes to different opportunities and ways for the common folks to put their work out there. For example, put your book in amazon.
Publish your book on kindle and/or as real printed book.
You don´t need to leave your books forever in your drawer anymore.
Publish your book for free.
You don´t know how to write but you can draw ?…
Well, publish a coloring book like mine then.

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It´s now a lot easier (and many times even profitable) to become a self published author than it used to be. Self publish and be happy. 🙂
Don´t take it to seriously, just make it your hobby and then one morning you might find yourself with a new fulltime job.
Publish your book online. Self publish is actually a good door to reach more “professional markets” or maybe even to get your book noticed by established mainstream publishers.
For example a scifi book called “The Martian” which started as a self published project,  became the Ridley Scott movie “The Martian” with Matt Damon.

So don´t fear to dive into the self publish yourself. No matter what type of book you are writing although my focus here is on children books because those are what I am illustrating nowadays.

For example one of the best selling books I did recently, “The Masterpiece – One big canvas” , https://www.amazon.com/Masterpiece-One-Big-Canvas/dp/0578496380/ came out of a project which started as a self publishing effort for an independent author, Jay Miletsky and now he´s actually running his own established independent publishing company, New Paige Press out of the results in sales from his initial self published books, “Ricky the Rock”, “Beware of : The nose biting monster”, etc.

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I´ve actually already illustrated the sequel for the Masterpiece. The second volume in the “One big canvas – series” called “The Molding of the Clay” is about to be officially released and I will be starting to illustrate book 3 in a couple months too.
So, if one can do it, two can do it, three can do it.
You can do it too.

Just be aware of one thing. If you plan to go into self publish, besides gathering a comfortable budget for illustration work you should set aside a bit of money for online publicity, like google add words for example ; (facebook adds don´t work very well in my experience but this is  only my opinion) .
Then you need to have your work or info about it, posted everywhere in blogs, social media, sites, etc.
Don´t know where to start ? Start a blog if you don´t have one yet and blog about the making of the book. Don´t worry about having just one or two visits or readers on the first months. The more you write , the more you blog is picked up by the google search engine and the more people will know about your book.

Nowadays there´s a bunch of ways to self publish your book. Let´s look at some self publish ideas on how to start publishing your own book.

1 – There´s the zero cost way of publishing it on KDP Amazon like I´m doing with my coloring books right now.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B083XGJS9N/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

In that way , you get your book written, illustrated and edited; (I totally recommend the “Affinity Publisher software” (more on that one later)). Then you upload the content into your own author KDP account for free, choose your price and amazon prints your book each time someone orders it.

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At the same time you can create an alternative e-book version there from the same material you´ve uploaded and sell that too.
Amazon only gets a percentage out of everything. Don´t expect to become rich with this method but if you end up selling a few thousand copies your revenue will not be that bad too.

2 – If you want to do the same with your book like you did on amazon but also include an hardcover edition (amazon only prints soft covers), you can also self publish the book at the same time in www.lulu.com
It works mostly in the same way as amazon does. It´s actually much easier to upload your book pages and you can create your book in a bunch of different hardcover formats besides the traditional softcover one.

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You can also create an e-book version … but this one I think its only on pdf if I´m not mistaken.
The point is that you can have your book spread all around the self publish platforms you can find. The fact you publish on amazon does not mean you cannot publish it again in another company so take advantage of that. You retain all your rights anywhere you go.

In all these options the revenue wont be amazing unless you sell hundreds of books per month because the companies take their substantial fee out of each sale too, but don´t discourage because like I said if you are a first time self publishing author what matters is putting your book out there.

On this note, one thing that is very important… if you´re going to start your online store , try to fill it up with more than one book. I know its hard to invest in illustrations and making the book, but the more books you have in your online store the more the site search engines will sell the book for you.
So do your best to start creating. After all if you want to become a children book author just don´t stick with a single book.

Also don´t be in the hurry to see results. It takes months for search engines to index new content on the web so while you are waiting to something to happen regarding sales on your first book, start working on a second one. This way when your first book starts to get noticed by people and most of all, by search engines a few months after you launch it, you then release a second one and send the message to potential buyers out there that you mean business and you´re not going anywhere. Get the idea ?

3. The more profitable way to make money in your books is also the most expensive for a new self publish author.
In this third method, you need to invest on illustrations and creating the book but you also need to have a budget to print real copies and stock your book at home to sell all over the place.

Usually nowadays printing in bulk in China is a good choice because their quality has become real good and they print 1000s of copies of your product at a lower cost than anywhere in the world like New Paige Press did with my books for example.

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You need money to make money in this number 3 option but in the end you´ll make a lot more revenue than just self publishing in regular KDP print on demand routes like I mention on points 1 and 2.
This way you get your amazon store not just as a print on demand author on KDP but as an independent publisher. You are the one who´s stocking amazon with your books when their stock runs out, you´re the one printing the books and so you retain most of the cover price you ask for there.
In point 1 and 2 you just get a small fee out of your sales because the companies have to do all the printing and selling work for you.

So I hope this post of mine gives you a few ideas to be excited about also publishing your own book.
If you have any questions let me know in the comments and I´ll be posting a couple more things on this topic later.

Check my other post on my ETSY prints store too. If you are a creative person and you are looking to find another way of getting your work out there and still make a little money read that text. 😉

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“The Masterpiece / One Big Canvas”” – Book 1 on the Studio PaintBrushes series.

Created for book 1 of a new series written by Jay Miletsky.
This one is called “The Masterpiece – One Big Canvas” and you can find it on AMAZON.

Join a spunky collection of paintbrushes as they set out to create a grand masterpiece.

When some of the brushes don’t cooperate, is it because they are misbehaving…or is there another reason entirely? In this story, an initiative of REED Foundation for Autism, young readers are introduced to some of the behavioral differences in their peers with autism.

SPREAD 01 REV 3SPREAD 02 REV3SPREAD 03 REV 3SPREAD 04 REV3SPREAD 05-ORIGINAL REVISEDSPREAD 06 REV3SPREAD 07 REV3SPREAD 08 REV3SPREAD 09 REV3BSPREAD 10 REV3BSPREAD 12 REV3

Take a peek at how the book looks like. Check out this little video here:

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“THE MASTERPIECE” – Written by Jay Miletsky , Illustrated by Luis Peres. A video first look.

What you´re looking at is one of my new books which is about to be released in the United States, written by Jay Miletsky and it´s part of a more extensive children´s books series to be continued.

I´m currently completing illustrating book 2 which will come out in August of this year and soon there will be more news regarding these same characters as there are some plans out there for some extra stuff coming out of this concept.

Page turn first look out of printer.

Actually this is a book sponsored by the REED FOUNDATION for Autism (https://reedfoundationforautism.org/) base in the United States and although it´s not one of those “in your face” type stories the subjacent theme can be read as something related to that.

I had a ton of fun illustrating this and working with the author, Jay Miletsky has been a blast. We now have three books togheter and hopefuly there will be plenty more in the future.

I´ll post images of the book soon and a link for amazon once this book 1 comes out.

AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“WEST OF OZ 9 : PINK BUNNY MECH BORDER PATROL”

“WEST OF OZ 9 : PINK BUNNY MECH BORDER PATROL”

My HUION GT221 PRO has just arrived. So this is my first test pic with it. It´s a lot different from my old GT220 in the sense that I´m still ajusting my painting style to cope with all the new pen pressure levels but this new Huion product sure is an outsanding alternative to the expensive Wacoms out there.
So anyway, here´s my first test pic. Another “West of Oz” pic for me as I´m starting to think about creating a book based on this concept of mine just for myself.

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I´ll post the Making of breakdown on the next post.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“WEST OF OZ 8 : ROCKET TOWN” – Variations

“WEST OF OZ 8 : ROCKET TOWN”

And here it goes another brand new one. All painted with Clip Studio Paint as usual as I totally left Photoshop behind for good.

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Click on the image below to see the making of for this one.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“WEST OF OZ : PIC 8 – ROCKET TOWN” Making of.

So here´s the complete step by step making of for this brand new one. This is actually a good example of one of my ideas change overtime during the making of an image and why I don´t plan anything in advance as it would be a waste of time in my worklow anyhow. 😉
The initial idea was to place some sort of fairy tale village against an epic crashed spaceship but then that got a bit abstract at some point. Then I thought about placing a character reading an Oz book, but then again my pics are not about characters but about environments . So finally I got the idea of the rocketship. It gave the perfect retro style I was searching for and at the same time it helped to give scale to the whole background.
Here it goes, from start to finish.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“DESIGNING EARTH WORLD” : Winner at the Huion 2018 Scifi Art contest. Just in time as I was really in need of a new tablet. :)

“DESIGNING EARTH WORLD” : Winner at the Huion 2018 Scifi Art contest.
Just in time as I was really in need of a new tablet. 🙂

The last time I´ve entered a competition or an art contest was probably more than 25 years ago, even before I started to take this illustration thing more serious.
So to my surprise I found myself participating in one just last month.
An online friend of mine told me about this contest on the same week when I had a problem here at my studio and lost my Huion tablet for good, so when I noticed that Huion was now offering as first prize a new PRO version of the model I owned and lostthat very same week I thought, why not ?…
As I was in need of a new tablet, well… I sent in three pics mostly for fun.
The results came out yesterday and it seems I got the first prize.
Cool. I really needed that.

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My idea behind this pic was simply to keep it as further away from the standard “concept art” (for videogames) or “super hero / mech ” stuff as I could and so I went with a storytelling approach while at the same time always having in mind the potential to create an image that could also used as a marketing tool for the Huion brand.

The world is filled with thousands of artpieces that showcase mostly the same things, space battles, mech warriors, super hero stuff and all that and my idea of scifi is not about that at all. What I love to depict in fantasy or scifi are not action scenes, characters, monsters or comic type stuff but scenes about the daily life of the creatures that live on these scifi fantasy imaginary worlds.

In this case I was listening to an old Art Bell radio show about alien abductions and I thought that it would be a good idea to depict the Earth being designed by Grey Aliens showcasing the Huion brand while at the same time retaining my storybook visual style so I could distance myself from all the more standard artwork in the competition as there were a few good pieces there in technique but not many of them had the Huion brand on their mind as part of what they were narrating visually.
And so, I took advantage of my experience in creating visual stories, attached that to the Grey concept + the need to sell the Huion brand and make it a central piece of the illustration and I created this: “Designing Earth World” focused not only on the scifi aspect of things but on the actual use of Huion products.
I must have connected to someone out there because I won.

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Actually I´ve been a big Huion fan since I started to use their product several years ago. At the time I was looking for a good Wacom alternative and came across Huion GT-220 one day. I took a chance , bought the thing and I was extremely surprised with its quality level when compared to what a similar and way more expensive Wacom tablet could do.
99% of all my work in the last few years have all been done with my old Huion GT 220 and so I´m more than happy to now get the chance to continue my illustrations with their new GT 221 PRO and can hardly wait to get that hardware on my hands.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

***

luisperesillustrator@gmail.com

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“A FADA AZUL e o POTE da CALMA” : Making of

I apologise for the lack of updates on my site and on this blog, but I´ve been really busy the last couple of months with children books and board games to illustrate.
So here goes a little making of video with a glimpse of the creative process behind one of my recent children books; “A FADA AZUL E O POTE DA CALMA” for the PT market.

I have a ton of new illustrations to post, but I need the aproval of my clients first as they want to keep what I´ve been doing lately confidential until the games come out.
So, I hope you enjoy the little video above for now.
Stay tuned. 😉

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work on a pod project ( I do not descriminate print on demand material for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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luisperesillustrator@gmail.com

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“Thunder and Lightning” – Still getting good reviews on Amazon

“Thunder and Lightning” – Still getting good reviews on Amazon

Noticed just now that one of the books I did 5 years ago (back in 2013);  “THUNDER AND LIGHTNING” written by the wonderful Mary Evans which was a pleasure to work with at the time still has excellent reviews from all the readers; all FIVE STARS up until now. Really cool.

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I don´t have many pics to showcase here about this project but you should check it out if you are looking for a fun story for kids to help them loose their fear of storms. 😉

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This was one the books which I did entirely in IPad 2, finger painting with the ARTRAGE app which was one of the first digital illustration softwares I ever used.

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for an affordable children book artist , board-game illustrator, card game artist, concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work no a pod project even ( I do not descriminate print on demand for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

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“BEWARE OF THE NOSE BITING MONSTER” : Page MAKING OF – Digital Painting Video Tutorial 2

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“BEWARE OF THE NOSE BITING MONSTER” : Page MAKING OF – Digital Painting Video Tutorial 2

Here´s a SECOND glimpse out of a current project I´m now working on.
It´s a childrens book written by author Jay Miletsky , called “BEWARE OF THE NOSE BITING MONSTER : A Cautionary Tale for Petrified Parents” and it´s a really great story; challenging to illustrate because most of the story is based on emotion and features only two characters but it´s been real fun to paint.
So for now, here´s another small making of video for one of the pages.

Click here if you want to see the first video I posted for the making of of this book.

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If you liked this, you might want to check out these tutorial links below too:

Learn to draw landscapes / Perspective tutorial

0 INTRO ” A matter of perspective” :
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/07/drawing-tutorial-how-to-draw-landscapes-or-background-scenery-intro/
Lesson 1 “Little House on the Grid” :
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/07/drawing-tutorial-part-one-little-house-on-the-grid/
Lesson 2 “Going 3D” :
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/07/drawing-tutorial-part-two-going-3d/
Lesson 3 “Scenery takes shape” :
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/08/drawing-tutorial-part-three-scenery-takes-shape/
Lesson 4 “Planes & Viewpoints” :
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/08/drawing-tutorial-part-four-planes-viewpoints/
Lesson 5 “Fluffy clouds in the sky” :
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/08/drawing-tutorial-part-five-fluffy-clouds-in-the-sky/
Lesson 6 “Endless Worlds“:
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/08/drawing-tutorial-part-six-endless-worlds/

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Drawing Tutorial / “FINDING NEMO”
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/11/drawing-tutorial-finding-nemo-making-of/

Drawing Tutorial / “TITANIC DRY DOC”
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/09/21/drawing-tutorial-titanic-dry-dock-making-of/

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Video Tutorial (PT Version)
https://icreateworlds.net/2017/12/14/the-monuments-of-mars-making-of-como-se-fez-pt-version/

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AVAILABLE FOR ILLUSTRATION WORK

If you are a potential illustration client, if you are looking for a children book artist , concept illustrator or need a freelance artist to work no a pod project even ( I do not descriminate print on demand for sure; I love it ); do not forget to take a look at my illustration portfolio (Fantasy or Childrens Book art ) and I´m always available to discuss future work.
If you have a dream, no matter what your budget is don´t hesitate to contact me and let´s see what we can do.

 

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