“Were you faced with challenges running your company?”: Anna Faktorovich, PhD Interview

Faktorovich: You have done a lot of illustration, but the OUTBACK seems to be your first self-written children’s book. Why didn’t you attempt to publish one of your authored books with your own publishing company or with other previously? Did you try to sell this book to other publishers before releasing it with your own press? I am writing a book on author-publishers (Dickens, Twain, Woolf, Scott, Poe, etc.) and as part of this research I am curious why authors, artists and others are frequently driven to found their own publishing companies when they encounter problems with other publishers as they attempt to create traditional careers. It seems that you have had great success finding well-paying employment as an illustrator, animator, and the like, so I am curious where you faced challenges that made you realize that the independence that comes with running your own company was necessary. I believe you also wrote some of your picture books, including: King for a Day, the Story of StoriesBest Sketchbook, and Good Night Mare.

Adams: Well-paying employment is called a JOB. “Don’t work hard—work smart,” my dad once said. I’d been working hard since I was about thirteen. This phrase inspired me to graduate college and work for several major companies, where I managed or lead others. I never felt fulfilled. So, I began illustrating books again in 2007, while working as an Art Director.

steven_rileySteve Riley, fellow illustrator of the Little Ty Cooney National Wonder Series and college friend, gave me great advice! “Two incomes are better than one. Don’t quit your day job until your employer asks you to leave.” I paid attention while building my illustration business 2 hours a night, 5 days a week. Every four weeks I finished another children’s book in only 40 hours. When I finally left my day job, I was an award-winning illustrator of children’s books and a national public speaker.

I sold thousands of books annually for my publishers making about a 10–20% royalty. Authors who were illustrators made double royalties. I had a college degree, so I decided, I’ll write a children’s book and illustrate it too! My publishers said my books would never sell; there was no audience for my writing. I visited 45 plus schools a year, selling thousands of books to my audience.

Jilli thats Silly-3D-bookPeople say, “No!” for control. I had illustrated and created layouts for numerous published books. I had been an Art Director and Printing Manager in control of large production budgets. Taking control of my publishing journey wasn’t a difficult decision. Adams Illustration & Design, my illustration and graphic design business, became Mark Wayne Adams, Inc., mine and my wife Angela’s publishing company. MWA, Inc. purchased a block of 1,000 ISBNs and published award-winning books like: King for a Day, the Story of StoriesNicholas, That’s Ridiculous!Jilli, That’s Silly!and Teddy TalesThese four books combined won 14 children’s book awards.

If you’re passionate about writing and drawing make them a second JOB until they become the bread winner. Once the second job makes a small income, the day JOB becomes more bearable. Treat writing and illustration like a business and you’ll be in business.

Read the complete interview with Mark Adams, Award-Winning IllustratorAdams-Author Bio Photo-mwa.company-template with Anna Faktorovich, PhD

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Copyright Page Checklist

Copyright Pages contain additional content Authors may not consider when publishing books. Below is a general copyright page checklist for creating content the required.

Copyright Page General Requirements

Copyright Date:  Example:  Text and illustrations copyright © 20?? by Author Name. All rights reserved. The Book imprints and characters are a Publishing Company Name, LLC.

Reproduction Rights:  Example: No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from Publishing Company Name, LLC.

Publisher Contact Information:  This may include:  Publisher Logo (optional), Publisher Name, Publisher Contact Name (optional), Publisher Address, Publisher Telephone (optional), Publisher Website, and Publisher Email (optional).

LCCN (Library of Congress Control Number):  LCCN is not always included in self published books. (optional)

Contributor(s):  List each contributor associated with the book creation: Author, Illustrator, Editor, Graphic Designer, Musician, and Narrators.

ISBN (International Standard Book Number):  Provide the ISBN in 13 digit format and 10 digit format (optional).

Printer Country:  Location of the printer is important when printing outside the United States. (optional)

Published Date:  Date published is necessary for noting the year of printing. Books may have been copyrighted in different years as they were published. Published Date, also referred to as Pub Date, is the year the book was created. This information is important to Book Reviewers and Awards programs.

Become a Barnes & Noble Author

While attending the FAPA Annual Conference Library and Bookstore Panel, Angie Roix, Community Business Development Manager (CBDM) for Barnes & Noble Bookseller, provided authors a valuable list of requirements to succeed within B&N bookstores.

  1.  Books must have an ISBN (International Standard Book Number).

2.  Books must have a Bar Code. The bar code helps stores efficiently mange books. Remember bar codes must have the book’s US retail price embedded and printed on the book.

3.  Binding Matters:  Perfect and hard bound books offer longer self life and better sales due to printed names on the spine, especially since most products are placed on shelves spine out.

4.  Place books with a wholesaler to simplify billing—one invoice to one location. This allows B&N to purchase larger orders and puts the book on auto replenish.

5.  Price books competitively with other titles similar in content and format.

6.  Tell Barnes & Noble what makes your book unique by sending:  publicity/promotional plans, reviews, and articles written about the book.

This list should increase your ability in selling books through the Barnes & Noble Bookselling system both in-store and online. For more information about listing titles on Barnes&Noble.com, scroll to the Services and click on Publisher and Author Guidelines.

Publishing Cheat Sheet

Managing the publishing process for the first time can be intimidating. A cheat sheet would be great! Below is a quick checklist of items you’ll need along the way. It’s the same list I use to stay on point.

Business Plan

A business plan creates a realistic budget and project direction. A business plan requires little money to create, but also time. Research multiple printers, illustrators, editors, and distributors to determine a competitive team for your business model.

Professional Editing

A professional editor is essential! Each has his/her own pricing structure and should commit from first edit to press proofing. Editors assist with: page count, layout recommendations, proofing, plagiarism issues, and of course editing. Professional editing services are well worth the investment!

Copyrighting

One of the most common questions is how to obtain a copyright. Contact the copyright offices or fill out the form online. The average cost is around $45, well worth the investment. Barcode, ISBN setup, ISBN Metadata, and Library of Congress submissions are separate from the copyright process. ISBN standards require multiple ISBN numbers for printed and digital versions.

Copyrighting can be done in the final stage of publishing to include additions in text and illustrations. The publisher or author can submit based on their agreement. The publisher is also responsible for the ISBN and Barcode costs.

Printing

Printers need several items to quote a project: page count, binding style, paper stock, dimensions, deadlines, packaging requirements, and shipping destination. Printing options range from Print On Demand, “Green”, United States, overseas, award-winning, and eBooks. Production times vary from on-demand to three months, depending on the printer selected.

E-book conversion into e-readers, such as the Amazon Kindle or the Apple iPad is separate from printing expenses. These are sold online through places like iTunes or the iBookstore. A good business plan should include this income stream when projecting sales or negotiating illustration contracts.

Printers

Illustration

Illustrators require the printer and graphic designer guidelines as well as the final edited story. Artists are liberal with time, however a professional illustrator creates according to timelines and budgets. Require communication throughout the illustration approval process using digital proofing. Digital proofing allows remote viewing for the author, editor, printer, graphic designer, and artist.

Three basic illustration contracts are: Purchase Contract, Copyright Contract, or Royalty Contract. A Royalty Contract usually offers unlimited use of the art. Each contract is based on the number of illustrations, artistic style, scanning, manipulation, and digital clean up.

Graphic Design

A Graphic Designer requires clean artwork along, the printer guidelines, additional book content, and the editor’s final edit. Graphic Designers provide scanning services, logos, professional layouts, and press ready production files. These services can be preformed by some professional illustrators. A fee and talent are required for this service as well. Samples should be provided.

As new resources are added and updated, this cheat sheet will be updated. Bookmark this page for future reference, I have.