Was it worth the 50 hours of Indesign layout formatting and Photoshop image editing/drawing to change the format of our first release of “Sprint The CAT: What’s For Breakfast? (Sprint The CAT Book 1)” picture book from landscape to square format? I think so. The more I receive emails from popular publishers, and do online searches, the more I see that the Square format dominates children’s picture books ages 3-8.
There are still other formats, like the standard 8.5″x11″ and the landscape formats, but for sure, it’s hip to be square! Yes, I should have thought of that before I embarked on the book. But that was 2 years ago, and I knew hardly anything about book publishing and formats then. I’m still learning, but I do have more confidence than I did back then. All I did back then was buy a 18×12″ watercolor pad and start drawing!
Here’s an example of the work I had to do to extend the sky and a basket handle to fill the extra 2.5 inches of height.
The main reason I chose to undertake this is clarity and font size. Moving to a square format allowed me to move the text off the artwork and up into the “sky” zone. So,, the message of the book became clearer. Also, when a child opens an 8.5″ square, it fills their field of vision completely top to bottom and left to right, with an 8.5″ tall book that is also 17″ wide! It’s worth the effort to create a more pleasant, clear and readable book for children and the adults helping them read it. Speaking of that, a friend mentioned that grandparents will be doing a lot of this reading, and a larger font will be a huge blessing!
We are so eager to complete the work on Sprint The CAT: What’s For Breakfast? (Sprint The CAT Book 1), and we are 20% of the way there. The format is transferring nicely with larger fonts and more breathing space for the artwork. We anticipate completion on Friday 10-9-20. We will still sell the original edition paperback as a [COMPACT EDITION] as a stocking stuffer.
Very blessed to announce that not just Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble’s have approved us for sale of the Sprint The CAT Book series, but also iTunes, FacebookeShops, and Google Play vendor accounts are moving along and in the works! This means that customers will be able to buy our eBooks any way they like, on any device they prefer, and gift them to friends and family however they choose. We still imagine that the Paperback 8.5″ square format will still be the most popular, but we are covering the bases in this digital world where holiday gifts can be electronically sent to friends and family.
Yesterday we received the first paperback edition of our long-awaited Sprint the CAT: What’s For Breakfast? (Sprint the CAT #1) available on available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles for sale in digital format. We were overjoyed, and Josh really enjoyed reading it and seeing the real book in his hand, after helping daddy work on it for nearly 2 years!
But as we read it more, we realized the paperback was a little too small for younger readers ages 3-6. Also, one of our close friends had mentioned that the font size was a bit too small for very young children. This reminded me of the old days, in 2006, when I first released my film course, and how it took quite a few tries to get it just right. We talked about and decided to pull the current paperback book from publishing, redo it a little larger, with a bigger font, and in a square format standard for picture books. We will republish the current book as a “Stocking Stuffer” perfect for Christmas, older kids, or compact home libraries. We are keeping the digital version just the way it is, because it’s perfect for Kindle, FireTablet, Nook, iPad, iPhone, Android, etc. These are all devices designed for watching widescreen movies, so they benefit from wider books. So, another week or so of work, and we will have the paperback ready again in two formats: LARGE PRINT Edition: Square 8.5″ format perfect for younger readers ages 3-6, larger images, and larger font size. STOCKING STUFFER Edition: Wide 8.5″x6″ format perfect for older readers ages 6-9, and fits easily in Christmas stockings or any tighter spaces. Until then, the books are available on Amazon and Barnes & Nobles for sale in digital format! Those can also be gifted and given to people.