Wow, it’s two years since I self-published my first picture book for children about a frog named Bob. The book was indeed titled A Frog Named Bob.
I remember vividly sitting in my local cafe (and second home) and coming up with the idea of drawing a series of pictures about a frog who had no idea what sound he should make. His name was Bob and he’d be the most miserable frog that ever lived.
All that Bob wanted was to be able to make his own sound. The birds chirped, the owl twit-wooed, the bear growled, the mice squeaked, the cows mooed, so on and so forth. But Bob, well he had no clue what sound he should make. So he set forth to discover.
When I came up with the idea I knew that the words in the story would need to present me with an opportunity to create some fun and colourful cartoons.
I looked around at popular children’s picture books and found that rhyming was a key feature.
Julia Donaldson’s Gruffalo was obviously riding high in the charts for children’s picture books so I pored over it and took some notes.
Sure enough the rhyming was cool and great to read aloud.
I made the decision right there to create a rhyming picture book that would be colourful and fun. I’d also aim it at very young readers who enjoy a fun story before bed.
At the time I was using an iPad with the wonderful Procreate app installed. I also had a Wacom Intuos Stylus so creating cool concept sketches whilst enjoying a coffee in town was pretty straight forward.
With a bit of research into writing for children I found that 32 pages and around 600 – 700 words was the ideal for a picture book. So I set to work.
At home I have a Wacom Cintiq 22HD Touch running with an iMac. A dream combo and coupled with Corel’s Painter X3 I was able to transfer sketches produced in Procreate to the iMac to create something a little more polished.
Before long I had a manuscript and a bunch of rough sketches.
A week or so later (and several nights of little sleep) I had a complete portfolio of artwork for the book.
I self-published using Amazon’s Createspace service. Within a week or two of placing the order I had a box of brand new picture books that I could distribute around the local book stores.
I’ve had several reviews about A Frog Named Bob that have all thus far been very positive. From reluctant young talkers finding their voice to hyperactive children settling down for a good giggle right before bed.
The success of A Frog Named Bob encouraged me to continue writing, drawing and self-publishing. Something that I’ve been doing ever since.
You can see my list of books on my dedicated page – my picture books for children.