Please join me in welcoming writer William D. Holland back to the blog. If you missed the author interview with Bill or weren’t yet following Poetic Parfait, please check it out. Today Bill has a guest post for us. The idea for it came when I learned last week of the coloring book he recently released to the world, titled The Urban Farming Coloring Book. To this point, I had known him primarily for his fictional works and his excellent tips for writers. So, I asked Bill: “Why did you create a coloring book?” Here is his wonderful guest post in response to my question.
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Christy, thank you so much for the opportunity to share my little story with all of your readers.
So, why a novelist created a coloring book…that is the question.
I am, most definitely, a novelist. I have five self-published novels, another one nearly completed, and five novellas to my credit. I can’t even count the number of short stories I’ve written.
I love fiction! I am alive when I’m developing a story, every single one of my senses vibrating as I paint a scene.
So what in the world am I doing publishing a coloring book?
Besides being a writer I’m also an urban farmer. My wife and I spend quite a bit of our time, during the summer, at farmers markets selling our quail eggs. Last year, while working our booth, I decided we needed another product to sell, something that would appeal to a broader crowd.
Take my love of farming, combine it with my love of writing, and you have a coloring book, an Urban Farming Coloring Book, one that not only has pictures to color but also has information on how to farm in an urban setting.
Each “chapter” covers a certain aspect of urban farming i.e. how to raise chickens, how to prepare the soil, how to raise quail, how to compost, and each chapter has a picture that relates to that information. I had great fun formatting the book, despite the formatting problems I knew would come, and I’m pretty happy with the results. Hopefully someone will agree with me and buy it.
How Do You Make a Coloring Book?
It’s really not that hard. You can use a sketch or you can use a photograph and change that photograph into a sketch using a program like GIMP or Photoshop. Then it’s just a matter of formatting it so it works with a self-publishing program like CreateSpace. It took me about a month of practicing and making mistakes before I felt confident in my ability. In truth, my first attempt failed miserably, as did my second attempt, but eventually I found the winning combination.
This is all a continually-evolving process for me, trying new things, attempting new marketing strategies, to get myself noticed. It would not bother me at all if my coloring book outsold my novels. Maybe the novel sales will increase because of the coloring books. Who knows? All I know is it doesn’t cost me a penny to try something new, and there may be rewards down the road.
And that, I guess, is my message to all of you out there who are struggling to find someone to purchase your books. Don’t be afraid to try new avenues in the marketing game. Don’t give up before the miracle happens. If traditional isn’t working for you, go non-traditional.
In my case, the worst that can happen is I’ll have fun coloring in my new book!
Thank you, Christy, and thank you Christy’s followers.
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