October 11, 2014

#FINDING_MYA ~ Pricey Details

Hi pals! Long time no meow! It's me, Herman!!! Both my mom, author Kimberley Koz, and me, her mews, feel bad that we've been virtually gone from hanging out with our friends for the past few months. And the weeks leading up to, and after publishing FINDING MYA has been especially demanding on our time. It's all I can do to stay awake and purr while Mom pounds on that computer from early morning until late at night. I'm exhausted, I tell you!

But we wanted this book to be super special for @ItsMeDeaner's furless, Mya, who drew the picture-maps for the story. In case you don't know the back story, Mya has drawn many pictures of me over the past couple of years. Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed her talent. So much so that we took a children's story we'd been working on for a long time (and had hit the creative wall on, so to speak) and cut it down to size to fit Mya's drawings. We asked Mya if she would mind drawing a few specific pictures for the story, and bless her heart, she did a pawsome job!

My mom has been a photographer for most of her adult life, and she loves playing around with graphics, so she took what she does best, and made the pictures for the book, adding in Mya's drawings to compliment the plot. I think it all worked out pretty well.

So, now FINDING MYA is in print and waiting to be enjoyed by readers everywhere, both children and adults. It's that kind of story, designed to entertain everyone. We've had some truly pawsome reviews, and want to thank each and every one of mew who took the time to read and review for us before we published.

Getting the manuscript into the print book you may now be holding in your paws was a new experience for us. There was so much to learn, and so many details that we didn't expect until they popped up, demanding attention. The biggest hurdle was the interior photos. It figures. We start with a children's book with brightly colored pictures. That has to be the hardest and priciest way to publish on your own for the first time. But...that's just how we roll at my house. Take the easy way and just publish a regular book? No way! Let's write a children's book with lots of pictures and see what happens! Wheee!

Well. What happened was...the pictures came out great. But we didn't think they were bright enough to please a child. So we channeled our inner Dahli and ... voila! Loved it! Except...

Except all that ink and the size of the images ramped up the price before author royalties higher than the moon! We had to go back and rework all the photos in order to make the book affordable. We also wanted to donate a portion of our sales to the humane society in the towns where we have book signings, so there was a lot of hours that went into making this book. Not just the photos, but also downsizing the font and page count had to be considered to bring the price down. Sheesh!

Let me show you a photo we did for Chapter 4 entitled This Ain't Gonna Be Pleasant

We started out with a great photo taken by Scottish photographer Paul Boland who was thrilled we asked to use his photo called 'It's Never A Straight Road.'
photo of a road in Scotland taken by Paul Boland
©Paul Boland
We needed the road but not really the sky and hills behind it. So off they went! Poof!

Then we added me on the guardrail, and on the road, playing 'possum, we put Joey, one of our yard possums who was excited to be included in the book. We also added a full moon from a photo Mom took years ago.
photo of road with Herman on guardrail and Jack in the road.
©2014 Kimberley Koz
We thought it came out pretty good. Except... that's when our inner Dahli kicked in. We wanted MORE!
same photo as above with intense pop art colors
©2014 Kimberley Koz
Pretty amazing, huh? We really loved this picture...so much! But it was huge and full of pricey ink, so we didn't have a choice. We had to rework it. Simmer it down... Make it less costly.

This was the final result. We weren't happy that we couldn't ramp up the colors, but we wanted our readers to be visually entertained. We thought this way of framing the photo would give the reader everything the original photo had, but with an inpurresting twist. As the image is on white paper, all you really see is the oblong windows, not the white frame behind it. We like it.
Same photo as above in a tri oval frame
©2014 Kimberley Koz
So, that's a little look-see into what has been keeping us from hanging out with our pals on Twitter and Facebook. It's never been purrrsonal. We have just been on OVERLOAD! *paw over mouth* Sorry. I didn't mean to growl.

Wuv you all! Please leave a comment to tell us what you think of Chapter 4's picture.*nervous ears*

And if you haven't bought a copy of FINDING MYA yet, you can click the below picture to check it out. We are donating a percentage of the sales to the Tunica Humane Society, a no kill shelter here in our area. But when we travel to do book signings, we will donate a percentage to that area's humane society. At my house, it's all about saving the animals.

Paw hugs!

Buy FINDNIG MYA on Amazon.com

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