Alphabet Book Challenge

So here is the deal.

My very first children's book took from March to September of 2015 to create.  I liked the product and loved the process even more.  

The only problem is I want to create a lot more books and I know I wasted a ton of time.

So my next book I want to create in HALF the time.  The plan is to launch by by 30th birthday, April 10th, 2016.  

The following is one big post that I will be updating frequently ...be sure and check back often!

Table of Contents:

2/1

One of the areas that took the longest in Alfred the Time Traveling Dinosaur was the narrative.  It takes a while to create a story that carries throughout the book.  To make my next book a little quicker I wanted to find a way to still have a great children's book but not be so narrative driven.

I was looking through some books recently and saw a whole section devoted to ABC's.  What if I made my next book an alphabet book?  Each page would be a the next letter in the alphabet...so 26 in all!

Dr. Suess's ABC is a great example of how simple these can be but also have ton's of creativity.

I really like the rhythm he creates in the writing, each page starts with a little phrase that is repeated for every single letter.

I'm hoping I can use something similar to keep younger kids attention as they are going through the alphabet.

So 26 pages with a consistent phrase that rhymes.

Now what should the book be about?

--------

2/3

Each week I send a new survey out to anyone that is interested asking them to vote on which fruit I should include in the book (if you want it make sure and put your email address in the top of this post).

 Today I sent out a survey asking for fruit that start with D,E,F,G.  Here are the results with around 50 people voting:

  • Cherry (18 Votes)
  • Dragon Fruit (31 Votes)
  • Elderberry (38 Votes)
  • Fuji Apples (27 Votes)  
  • Grape (34 Votes)

I have already created the first 3 pages of the story before I sent out this survey.  They are letters A, B and C.  Apple is our first fruit so I'm going to use the power of the veto and and pick fig for letter F.  Apples are always the stars anyways right?

2/9

Pencil is getting put to paper and pixels are being pushed.  Over the past few days I've started to test out the look of the new book.  Below is a quick look at the sketches for the first few pages.  Since we are working with a compressed timeline I'm going to keep them pretty simple.

I also just finished the digital version of the first fruit, apple.  I'm not in love with it yet but you can get the idea of where I'm heading!

2/12

Have you ever heard the phrase, "see how the sausage gets made".  I personally wouldn't want to see sausage getting made...seems kind of gross.  That phrase usually means getting an inside look of how a product is created.  Today I recorded my screen as I took pencil sketch and transformed it in Adobe Illustrator to be used in the final version for the book.

This is page 3 of the book, featuring Clementine!

2/17

Another fruit knocked out.  Another in progress video.  Super excited about what the Dragon Fruit is going to be looking at in the distance...any guesses?

3/2

I've been trucking along the past couple weeks and wanted to let you know the results of our latest survey!  Looks like lime squeezed out a win over lemon ;)

  • Imbu (29 Votes)
  • Jujube (21 Votes)
  • Kiwi (26 Votes)
  • Lime (13 Votes)

Finally, here is another in progress video that has to do with a skydiving grape.  We have a ton more fruit to go so be sure and check back to get the latest update!

3/16

Another weeks worth of surveys!  We are over halfway and I'm cranking up the heat on the illustrations.

  • Mango (22 Votes)
  • Necatrine (24 Votes)
  • Orange (29 Votes)
  • Pineapple (13 Votes)
  • Quinch (17 Votes)

3/30

So we are on the final stretch.  There are now only 4 fruit left to be voted on!  Here is a quick look at all the fruit so far that have been illustrated.  There is still a good bit of work that will go into every single illustration but you can get the feel of the book.

alphabet-fruit-working

In addition to sending out fruit to everyone who is signed up on the email list (you can jump on at the top of this post!), I have also been playing around with Snapchat.

You might be thinking...isn't that just for middle schoolers who send pictures of them doing stupid things?

Yes...but it also is a really fun way to tell a story and get people to interact.  Here is quick video I used to help to vote for which R fruit would make it into the story.

And finally here are the results from the last survey.

  • Rasberry (29 Votes)
  • Star Fruit (19 Votes)
  • Tangerine (21 Votes)
  • Ugli (19 Votes)
  • Velvet Apple (21 Votes)

4/15

Alright.

I have a confession.

I couldn't do it.  I wanted to have Alphabet Fruit finished by my birthday, but at the time of this writing that was 5 days ago.

So what gives? 

Long story short there were several weekends I've been away for work so I couldn't get the last pages finished in time.   But there is some good news.

The book is officially launching on May 2nd and I've got a good bit of updates for you.

1.  The final survey results are in!

And the winners are:

  • Watermelon (20 Votes)
  • Xigua (9 Votes)
  • Yumberry (14 Votes)
  • Zig Zag Fruit (12 Votes)

2.   All the Illustrations are done!

There were 26 of them, and as of 9:30 am 4/15 they are now complete.  

Here is Zigzag fruit..getting attacked by fleas.

3.  Live Streaming is Pretty Cool

So one of my goals with creating any book is giving you an inside look at the process as well as having you involved in the overall outcome.  So far we have been able to do this with votes and you have helped to decide nearly every single fruit that is in the book.

But I still wanted to do more...and then Facebook announced live streaming.

Now I'm able to hit record and interact with you while I'm creating.  Here is one of me walking you through the creation process.

I also gave Blab.im a shot.  You can watch me go from start to finish of ZigZag the last page of the book.

Now Blab isn't really set up for doing screensharing and I had to hack it together.  So the quality isn't the best.  In the future I might use Google Hangouts so you guys can getter a better picture of what I'm doing.

The video is an hour long, but everything is happening in real time.

Check it out at this link.