I wrote a book! This is such a strange and exciting post for me to write.
In October of last year, I was hanging out at my husband’s temporary work apartment in Colorado trying to entertain our just-turned 1-year-old when I received a message from a publisher asking if I was interested in writing and illustrating a how-to book on metallic notes. Metallic notes? What’s that? A lot of my work is foil-stamped, which is a printing process that involves huge printing machines, laser-engraved magnesium plates, and wonderful, wise professionals who have been in the printing business longer than I have been alive. Metallic notes…?
The idea was to create a lettering kit with metallic gel pens and note cards. My first instinct was to say no. I didn’t feel confident enough to do everything on my own, but I quickly convinced myself to take on the challenge. It would be a refreshing change from my day-to-day, and I was thrilled at the opportunity create something that would be available to the public. It was nice to think about a young person doodling and sending real mail to their friends in a world where limiting “screen time” is a thing. Plus, it gave me an excuse to load up on cute Poppin office supplies to prop-style the photographs for the book.
Within a week or two of the first contact with the publisher, I signed a contract to write, design and photograph 8-10 projects that a beginner could replicate from a simple kit. The contract was a buy-out, which means the publisher had all rights to the book, the text and the images and would get all profits for sales. I am totally okay with that. I was jazzed to make something that I would have LOVED to own as a tween. And I was able to sneak some of my friends' names in the projects that would be in the book.
I quickly got to work, creating little invitations, place cards, note cards and gift tags. I turned in my photographs and manuscript around February of 2016 and then it was a waiting game to see if they would even publish it. Every few months, I Googled the book and was surprised to see that in the book was to be released on Amazon in August 2016. It was surreal to see my name listed as an author.
Real talk: I was disgruntled by the chevron pattern overload. I know - it’s a snobby, graphic-designer-thing, but it’s just not a pattern I use in print. I say this not to complain or disclaim, but to offer a behind-the-scenes look at the commercial vs. artist aspect of the process. I’m sure that the Chevron pattern will appeal to a younger market and help sell more kits to that market, so I get it.
I had little input into the cards and pens, but ultimately it comes down to sourcing supplies that can be available in large quantities and affordable for producing the kits. Side note - I believe the description says it comes with stickers, but it does not. For an upgrade on pens, try these gel pens. For colorful paper and envelopes, Paper Source is a dream!
Final thoughts: this was a scary thing to take on, but I’m so glad that I did. Thank you to Rage at Rock Point Publishing for the opportunity TO WRITE A BOOK and Thank you to my family who were supportive through the process.