Hello! I am Stefanie. In my column “Open Up” I give b2zone Magazine readers an exclusive opportunity to follow in the formation and development of my children’s book project “Maggy & Max” up close. My stories will openly show the entire creative process from the initial idea to the financial model.
I will describe the hurdles and successes, the creation of my web presence as well as showing you the possibilities and opportunities in the World Wide Web. I hope to share my experience with you through “Maggy & Max” and to give you thoughts, ideas and tips that you can use on your own projects. Stay tuned!
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An idea is born; a book gets printed – a brief review of Hatch
It also applies to me: the developmental period of a book takes about one year – when one considers the actual time working effectively on it. In the beginning, there was the idea. Then there was a text. That is when it became exciting. But you cannot do it all yourself; much must be outsourced and enriched through the human factor and know-how of others. In my case, this is particularly true about the topics of drawing, graphic processing and print. I have already mentioned how hard it is to find the right illustrator, one who creates the figures I imagine. My luck was to meet Julian who makes outstanding images.
There is one insight about this project that I have not shared with you so far: between illustrating and printing the actual product there is a whole world that, it turns out, fueled the Maggy & Max team to grow. During another project I got to know and appreciate Roland Knauseder, who is a complete pro when it comes down to turning visuals into images one can almost touch. He practically grew up in the printing business so he knows every aspect of it, including the human element involved in the process of idea generation.
When Julian finished all the illustrations I knocked on Roland’s door. I told him that I wanted to print my story, that I wanted to publish it on my own and that I wanted to create a children’s book that is more than a book. Namely, that children should be able to do something with it. And it should not be so expensive to produce that parents lock it in the glass cabinet or get angry if a page is carelessly folded or those little sticky fingers touch it during breakfast. I had to accept that I am no online printing expert. What paper thickness? Glossy or matte? Spiral or coil bound? Same coloring inside and outside? So many challenges… challenges that Roland happily took on. Roland’s first draft was there soon. The 16:9 picture from Julian that we agreed upon flowed elegantly over the middle of the book. We kept the cover and font in the same style as the homepage of Maggy & Max.
We decided to print a softcover book for the first edition because it strikes the best price-quality balance and because it meets my expectations for the product. After a few delays, graphic translations, overlooked details getting fixed, reevaluating the proof and ourselves, the book was ready for printing. I have to admit this was an emotional moment. At this point I want to thank all of you who have made “Hatch” possible. My husband and my children for supporting me, JU for his constant and constructive guidance, Julian for his amazing illustrations, Rodrigo for the translation and Roland for the graphical implementation and making the book printable. You all have been great! Yay. The first book is here.