Friday, June 21, 2019

ABC Book Update: C is for Complete!

Well, I have completed my ABC Book project.  (Time to open the cabinets, I think!)

For many, many years now it has been my goal to create a children's picture book for my family.  Way back when, I thought it might be finished in time for my youngest son to enjoy it.  He is 26 now and getting married in the fall; I guess that ship has sailed, hasn't it?  But not long after I became a grandmother 8 years ago, I got inspired once again and started the project anew.

And finally, FINALLY, I am done. 

From A

to Z!

Although it would be nice if I could somehow get this thing published and make it available at an affordable price, I just don't think that's going to happen.  My husband (who is unparalleled when it comes to supporting his wife and going above and beyond to help her see her dreams come true) would probably encourage me to go the self-publishing route if I felt strongly about it--even though that is pretty costly and it is extremely doubtful that I would even come close to making back my initial investment in sales.  (I have decided that God has plans for me that include having books in print but do not include being a financially successful author.  My two faith-filled novels, Finding Grace and Erin's Ring, were a joy to write and contain what I hope are beautiful and inspiring messages for readers; but NYT bestsellers they are not!)

So...even though he would do it in a New York minute, I just can't ask my husband to invest too much money in this ABC Book project.  My gut is telling me that trying to get it into print is just not the path I'm meant to take with it.

I did, however, stumble upon a photo book a Shutterfly-type company called Mixbook a few years back, and through them I was able to have all of my 8 and 1/2 by 11-inch pages copied beautifully into a soft-covered 8 and 1/2 by 11-inch book.  I was quite pleased with the result.

Decided to re-purpose the Finding Grace cover image for the S's--and was happy I could figure
out a way to fit it into a rhyme for this book!

I was kind of tickled when I received it in the mail recently, because it looks like a real book, and the illustrations reproduced remarkably well.  BUT (and this is a BIG but) each soft-cover copy is prohibitively expensive: $69.69.  (And the hard-cover version is $20 more per copy--yikes!)  I mean, at 50 pages it's about twice as long as the average children's picture book, but still...

I was able to find a decent Mixbook coupon online when I ordered mine; but even using that, the price of just one soft-cover copy was over $40 with shipping.  I can't imagine that anyone is going to want to pay that kind of price for a children's book!

You are, dear readers, of course more than welcome to use this link to order a Mixbook copy if you so desire. (Maybe you'll be able to find a 75% off coupon?!)   However, the main reason I decided to share the link is that it will enable you to "flip" through the pages of the book for free, while you view it on your computer screen.  In this new modern age, perhaps that's the way computer-savvy little ones prefer to look at picture books anyway.  (I've seen the way toddlers can work iPhones and iPads; it's impressive!)

To make copies for my own little people, I decided to run off two-sided copies of the illustrated pages  (using the "best" resolution printer setting) on high-quality resume paper and protect them with plastic sleeves.  Then I put all the pages in an inexpensive three-hole presentation binder.  I did use card stock for the front cover, for better durability, and enclosed that in a plastic sleeve as well.

The end product actually came out really well (in person, with better lighting and less glare, the pages look almost identical to the Mixbook versions)--and I'm thinking of offering a CD with all of the printable images here at the blog (for $15 perhaps, s & h costs included?), so that if you are interested in having a hard copy, you can run one off using your home printer.  If you have any thoughts on the CD idea, leave me a comment.  I love hearing from you!

P.S. I have been blogging about this project for a number of years, and if you have any interest in knowing the origins and inspirations for some of the artwork included, there is an "ABC Book" tab up at the top of my blog's home page.  Any posts about the book can be found by clicking on there.


  1. I love it! I will have to start researching it to see if I can get a coupon!!

    1. If you can't find a good one, we'll print a copy up this summer.

  2. Amazing! You should be so proud of yourself! I am going to have my husband, who is a graphic designer, poke around to see if there's a cheaper option for you but however it turns out, we are in for a copy! Congratulations on finishing this project. (And the large majority of the grandkids are fully in alphabet book world, with more grandbabies yet to come!)

    1. When I see your name in the combox, I always smile knowing I'm about to read something really kind. Thank you for all of your enthusiasm for this little project (with a WALRUS involved--woo hoo!). And thank you for offering your husband's help with it. That's really above and beyond, so please don't let him spend too much time on it!

      I have been fiddling around with paint, pastels, and colored pencils for as long as I can remember, and it was really satisfying to use that passion for doing artwork to make a gift for all my babies. :)

      You've made my day (once again), Madeline! Thank you!!

  3. Beautiful work, Laura! Will be keeping an eye out for a coupon!

    1. Thanks, Lisa. I wish I could figure out a way to offer it for a lot less than Mixbook does. We just got through a very busy week (Pearl family reunion!); but now that things have settled down, I'm going to look into a few ideas.

      Anyway, thanks for your support of my little project!