The Peculiar Princess children’s book
It’s been a very long time since my last post. As usual I’m super busy! I’ve been working away on a few projects and trying to fill up my portfolio with relevant children’s book illustrations, The Peculiar Princess being one of them. Great to read and even better to illustrate
I was commissioned to complete the artwork for this lovely story, but unfortunately the publisher wanted more than the author and I could deliver, so sadly we had to say good bye to it. Not all was lost though, I learnt an awful lot about the publishing process, from the illustrators point of view that is, but publishing wise – I’m still trying to work out the pros and cons from self publishing, Amazon ebooks, and various other methods of getting a book “out there” so to speak. Anyway getting back to what I learnt about the editorial and illustration side of things…
To really make the book jump off the shelf to buyers, all my research and graphic design knowledge says it needs to have several things going for it. One of these is the title, not just the words (although these count too) but how they are presented i.e fonts/ typefaces!The typeface/ fonts need to express the mood/ personality of the story. The Peculiar Princess had a cute, but quaint personality to the story which I reflected by using two different typefaces – the top one is a rather traditional font and pairs well with the child like bottom font. Both completely different but complementing each other plus adding another main factor to the title – legibility.
To really get the curiosity of the buyer, the cover is the main selling point. If it looks good then the common belief is usually that the story is good too. The saying goes “don’t judge a book by the cover” – well a lot of people do. Whether that is a good or bad thing remains to be seen…or read.
The cover needs to have a relevant image, usually a captive one from the book itself. Researchers say that books with blue covers or blue in the image sell better than any other colour strangely enough. Another factor is margins, I’ve seen many badly designed covers where the text/ title is too close to the edge and/ or the images are cropped badly making it difficult to work out what the artwork is about!
As a graphic designer, I have learnt to take into consideration the bleed area of 3mm for images that exceed the printing area (book cover) making sure that no important parts of the image are cropped as well as making sure the quality of the image is at least 300 dpi. Another factor to take into consideration is the safe area (like a margin around the entire edge of the cover) of 10 to 15mm for text and title so that nothing vital goes too close to the edge.