JC Little ~ The LAST Snowman

JC Little - The Animated Woman

JC Little – The Animated Woman

Hi guys, JC here, from TheAnimatedWoman.com: animator, blogger and story artist. I just published a picture-book called The LAST Snowmanwhich is a true story about a teenage girl (my daughter) who builds a dangerously tall snowman. In this guest post, I’m going to tell you how this story came to be a book.

My years of animation and blogging have helped me hone my visual storytelling skills. Books seemed to be the next logical place for me to take my illustrated stories. Rather than labor to gain the interest of a publisher or book agent, I decided that I would move forward independently; self-publishing allows a story artist like me to reach my audience directly.

This first book, The LAST Snowman, was supposed to be the “test” book. I wanted to use it just to explore the medium and to figure out how it works. But it turned into so much more. 

To begin with, the process of turning an illustrated blog post into a book was not a simple case of copy-and-paste. I had to rewrite and story edit the text, do additional drawings for context and conclusion, and format the drawings for both Kindle and print versions. In order to nail down the formatting, I had to first educate myself about the publishing and self-publishing worlds. It was like going back to school! 

JC Little - The Last SnowmanFor about six weeks, I was submerged in searching, reading, asking questions, and figuring out the technical challenge of creating a digital picture-book. Everywhere I looked, it seemed that the technology to both create and view digital picture-books did not yet exist. Even so-called specialist companies that offer authors expertise in formatting services claimed that the industry just wasn’t there yet, specifically for fixed-format books in a horizontal aspect ratio. 

After testing many different ePub options unsuccessfully, I eventually discovered Amazon’s recently released Kindle Comic Creator, also known as KC2. It’s a very simple program to use and it’s free to download. It can’t do more complex programming, but it turned out to be perfect for my needs. I was able to import my artwork, page by page, into KC2 and export a Kindle ready book file. 

From there I went through Createspace, Amazon’s print on demand company, to create the print version of my book, and that was pretty straightforward. Print on demand is a good way to offer a ‘hold it in your hands’ version of the book for readers. 

JC Little - Reading The Last SnowmanAs far as marketing a self-published book, I also researched this and discovered that I was ahead of the game, because I already have a solid online presence in social media. Four years of blogging and five years of engaging in conversations on Twitter, Facebook and Google+ meant that I had an audience for my first book. I also hired a publicist to do focused media outreach beyond my own audience, landing several book reviews on high-trafficked sites and across social media. We’re planning a blog tour with giveaways in mid-winter. Giveaways are a wonderful way to reach out to people who don’t know me and gain author recognition. I set up a free download through Amazon on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and gave away 422 Kindle copies of The LAST Snowman in 2 days. 

My goal is to bring my illustrated stories to a wider audience; social media and self-publishing is helping me do just that. Result: a few more people will know about me when my next book comes out in Spring 2014! 

JC Little

@LittleAnimation
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The LAST Snowman
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Amazon -Kindle & paperback
Createspace – paperback

To get your very own copy of The LAST Snowman, click on the cover art below:

Did you know that JC Little is also a past Amused Now Featured Artist?
Read JC’s Featured Artist post: http://amusednow.com/blog/jc-little-the-animated-woman/
Watch JC’s Featured Artist video interview: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMgoUGAjiYI