William D. Holland's Coloring Book Launches

Why a Novelist Created a Coloring Book

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?

Coloring Book Creator Bill Holland

Author Bill Holland stands confidently as a talented author and creator of a coloring book. Photo used with the permission of Bill Holland.

Farmers Markets

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.

Guerilla Marketing

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!

You can find my Urban Farming Coloring Book by following this link to Amazon, and you can follow along with my other efforts and writings on my blog, Artistry With Words.

Thank you, Christy, and thank you Christy’s followers.

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96 thoughts on “Why a Novelist Created a Coloring Book

    1. Billybuc

      Why not indeed, Lelouisef?

      Christy, thank you so much for letting me hijack your blog this week. You are a blessing as a friend and I’m a lucky man to count you as a friend. Hugs from Olympia!

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  1. I can't wait to see what you come up with next! You are just a road runner pursuing wonderful ideas and sharLea Tartanian. them with others. I just adore you as a Facebook fri

    Bill you continue to amaze me! You are so inspirational and so encouraging about others pursuing their endeavors and their logs. I just love the coloring book idea! When I was a child I was calling all the time. My twin sister is much more creative than me so she did magnificent jobs on the coloring pages. I can’t wait to see what you come up with next! You are just a road runner pursuing wonderful ideas and sharing them with others. I just adore you as a Facebook friend. God bless you real good. Lea Tartanian

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  2. Sageleaf

    What fun! I love that Bill created a beautiful coloring book – and a wonderful niche product – farming and coloring books. 🙂 So glad to have Bill over here and two of my favorite people are here in one spot. I hope lots of those coloring books sell. I’m wanting to do the same with my own. Though sheesh…hand-drawing takes fo-evah. LOL.

    Liked by 3 people

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  3. Resa

    Fabulous! I like the inventive marketing approach. Best of luck! It’s interesting because I’ve been seeing more coloring books at our local bookshops. Like Billy’s they are not the old fashioned type, but modern images that teach.

    Liked by 2 people

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  4. Annika Perry

    Christy, this is a wonderful guest post! Lovely to ‘meet you, Bill and I’m fascinated by your change of book publishing but kudos to you for this colouring book! Tapping into a hugely popular market (I have a couple) whilst keeping to a subject you know. Best of luck with your book. 😀

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  5. macjam47

    I’ve been to my share of farmer’s markets. Nowhere else will you find delicious fresh food such as what I’ve gotten at these various markets. Best wishes to Bill on his coloring book. Coloring has become one way many adults unwind.

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  6. dgkaye

    What a fantastic post and interview! It was nice to learn about Bill and his reason for diversifying into creating a coloring book. And I appreciated him sharing the process. Good food for thought. Thank you. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

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  7. inesephoto

    What a wonderful blog post, Christy! Who doesn’t like a coloring book? There are so many fantastic colorful jelly pens available – not like when I was a kid 🙂 I like to take a 10 minute break and color another square inch. Great idea, Bill 🙂

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  8. milliethom

    The colouring book idea is great, especially as colouring books as a whole are very popular at the moment. I like the idea of combining the pictures with various aspects of urban farming, which makes it an educational resource as well. I hope it sells well for you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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  9. Sarah Potter Writes

    How did I miss this post? One of my favourite people interviewing another one of my favourite people.

    I’m so proud of you, Bill, with your colouring book. It’s very entrepreneurial of you. Wishing you all the best with this book. I must check it out, as my daughter and teenage granddaughter both love doing colouring, plus the info looks most interesting. As for the keeping of quails, I’ve heard from fellow blogger, Sherri Matthews, that incubating and hatching these birds is quite a challenge. You might enjoy this old post of hers, in which you will see a picture of two successfully hatched one-hour old baby quails in her daughter’s hand. https://sherrimatthewsblog.com/2015/07/10/five-photos-five-stories-challenge-day-two/

    Thank you, dear Christy, for featuring Bill on your blog and sharing the word about his latest project. I’m reading his first novel of the five at the moment. It’s quite scary, but luckily I’m used to reading Nordic noir, so am surviving the experience! He’s a very talented writer. I told him his style and subject matter reminds me of the works of bestselling Norwegian author, Jo Nesbo.

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    1. Billybuc

      Aww, Sarah, thank you for your kindness. The sales of the coloring book are skyrocketing, I’m happy to say. I’m working on another in my spare time, so I must be pleased. As for the quail, we’ve been incubating them for three years now and we have it down to a science, so to speak. It is tricky when you first start out, balancing temperature and humidity, but once one gets accustomed to it, the hatch rates are excellent.

      Again., thank you for your kindness and friendship.

      Liked by 2 people

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      1. Sarah Potter Writes

        I like that word “skyrocketing” when it comes to sales 🙂 Not something I’ve experienced yet. Perhaps I need to make a colouring book about growing fruit and vegetables on the allotment we have, and the recipes I invent with the produce. If you do a search for “allotment” on my blog, quite a number of posts will come up that you’ll probably never have seen, as I wrote them before I knew you. Being into urban farming, you might find some stuff that interests you there.

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    2. Christy B Post author

      Thanks Sarah for supporting Bill and I in our projects~! What wonderful friends I have in you both. Yes, Bill warned me about the scary books and instead suggested I read his “Resurrecting Tobias,” which I have a copy of and plan to read soon. I’m not one for scary reads! You take care over there and keep the light on at night if the read makes you squirm a bit!

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