Author Feature

Tammy Brown on her Children’s Book and Self-Marketing

The following are the words of Tammy (Seebecker) Brown, Archway Publishing author. Tammy’s book Herman the Mouse is dedicated to her first grandchild, Charlie. She is expecting a second grandson in March and a sequel is already in the works; “I’m Glad It’s Just Me!” – “Herman Gets a Baby Brother.” Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Deciding to Write a Children’s Book

IMG_7013I have always loved the “magic” of books. The stories that create whole new worlds, stories so descriptive whole scenes unfold before your eyes, if only in my mind. My love for children’s books never left me. My favorite books are the ones with plenty of detail in the pictures. I fell in love with the thought of writing and illustrating my own book someday from a very young age. My dream was to see a book in the library, in the children’s section of course, with my name on the side and a card in the back to check it out. I was probably one of the only kids who played “library” when I was a little girl instead of “house!”

Self -Marketing

Recently I have been traveling to schools and libraries to promote my book. Once, I read it eighteen times in three days! I hand out bookmarks and have drawings for free books and e-books. One of my favorite things to observe at readings are the children’s faces. Some of the younger ones start out restless but then grow quiet as church mice (pun intended); by page two or three they start to watch intently, pointing out the hidden spider on each page. When I reach the climax of the story, when Herman hears a loud “SNAP,” I see their mouths drop open wide. Their faces worried, they wait anxiously for the page to turn so they can see what Herman will do.

The end of the book is always met with cheers, a round of applause, and “will there be another story about Herman?” “Will you come read that one to us too?” If only I could get all the ideas and images down on paper as fast as they are swirling around in my head! Once, there was even a young preteen boy at a reading. He obviously would rather have been anywhere else but at the library with his little brother. Yet after I was finished, he responded with surprise; “That was actually pretty good. You’re a really good artist too!”

A Book that TeachesTammy Brown

My book is one that can be read at home or in an academic setting. Teachers may develop lesson plans from my story that apply to multiple disciplines. As an art lesson they could draw a detailed picture of what they think a mouse house would look like. In English they could write their own story to speculate why Lloyd has only one ear. For science they could draw up their own plans for getting the cheese out of the giant mousetrap; several of Herman’s ideas look like Roux Goldberg machines. The story teaches not to judge by appearances, and suggests that help can come from some of the most unlikely places. Most importantly, it reveals that anyone can be a friend.

After reading to an Elementary school, the principal told me the next day a student brought in a book she made out of construction paper, stapled together. It was a story she wrote and illustrated. The girl said she wanted to be an Author/Illustrator just like me when she grew up. Her whole class gave her undivided attention while she sat in front of them and shared her story. I can’t think of a better compliment than that.

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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Author Feature

Illustration Transformation; from Original to Digital

The following are the words of Tammy (Seebecker) Brown, Archway Publishing author. Tammy’s book Herman the Mouse is dedicated to her first grandchild, Charlie. She is expecting a second grandson in March and a sequel is already in the works; “I’m Glad It’s Just Me!” – “Herman Gets a Baby Brother.” For more about Tammy and her book check out her website and her Facebook page. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services. 

Illustration with Archway

My first piece of advice to someone looking into self-publish is to research! Google, read, ask questions, and take notes. I referred to my notes throughout the search of different publishers. I didn’t choose Archway because they were the least expensive and I didn’t choose Archway because they were the most expensive. Rather, I chose Archway because they were the publisher that fit my needs. More importantly, they impressed me the most. Archway Publishing were the most accommodating with what I wanted as an artist and writer. They adjusted the Illustration Package I chose using my own drawings and accommodated accordingly since my writing had already been edited. Through my concierge, I was involved with word placement, the Art Department, cover design, and printing of my book.

cmyk-illustrationOriginal to Digital

What I loved most about creating Herman the Mouse wasn’t just writing the story, but drawing the illustrations. As an artist, I gained an entirely new perspective on what was involved using your own illustrations for a book. When an original artwork is scanned, some of the color and detail is lost. The fewer times you scan the closer to the originals the art will stay. When your original is scanned onto a computer it becomes broken up into what our eye sees as RGB or Red, Green, and Blue. The image needs to be transferred or printed onto paper with inks that are CMYK or Ceyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key Black. A publisher needs the image in CMYK to print your images. It is impossible to get a 100% color match to RGB. Set yourself up to prepare for the change and adjust as best you can.

The Process and ProductIMG_8777

After more than a year’s worth of work, it is hard to part with your original artwork. But with computers and digital scanning, I was able to keep my precious originals in my portfolio, scan them RGB or SRGB, and Archway had the capability to turn them into CMYK for me.

When I am creating my book illustrations, my favorite part is the detail on every page and the bold colors. I want the reader to look at the book two, three, maybe four times and see things they did not see the first time through. I am working on another book for Herman, but I would love to illustrate for other authors as well.

 

Archway Publishing is always looking for content for its blog. If you’re an Archway Publishing author and would like to share an idea for a guest blog post, please tweet the Archway Publishing Twitter account @ArchwayPub or send us a message at the Archway Publishing Facebook page.

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