Tech Talk is my semi-regular blog post to teach you some of the technicalities or specifications that will make your book perfect in print and divine in digital form.
So you’re creating a children’s picture book. Or a lovely illustrated book for the gift market. Or maybe even a luxurious spiritual book with original art!
The first step on this journey is to find your perfect artist. There are some amazingly talented illustrators out there, for sure! Perhaps you find them on Facebook. Or Instagram. Or on Upwork or Freelancer.com.
Wherever you connect, your artist will need some technical specifications from you to be able to create the PERFECT artwork for your gorgeous illustrated book.
Here are a few questions to get you and your artist both started:
- What size is your book? And equally importantly, what units of measurement are you using?
With artists working all over the globe, it’s critical to know what units of measurement they expect. In the US, Imperial measurements are standard i.e. inches. While in Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, the metric system is the norm i.e. centimetres or millimetres. Your artist will need to know the PRECISE size of your book page. It’ll make both your lives much easier if you agree and only ever communicate in one system of measurement units.
- They’ll also need to know if your illustrations will go right up to the edge of the page or not.
If they do, then something called “bleed” is required. Bleed is an extra allowance of about 3 mm to 5 mm to compensate for movement of the page while it is being trimmed or guillotined. Otherwise, you can end up with a nasty white line at the edge of your page! The bleed will be trimmed off and give a really nice, professional finish to your book.
- Is your book in full-colour? Or will it be printed in black-and-white (either as grayscale or line art drawings)?
Your artist obviously needs to know if you require colour or black-and-white artwork. This may or may not affect the price that you pay for your art but it will definitely affect the printing price.
- How will they provide the finished artwork? Will it be delivered by post or emailed as a download link for print-ready digital scans, suitable for layout?
It might be delivered both ways but it’s best to ask up front so that you are both clear on what is expected.
- When in doubt, ASK.
Right from the outset, ASK your artist what they need to know from you. If they are experienced, they will have a list of questions for you to answer that will tell them everything they need to know to create the PERFECT artwork for you.
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Is it your dream to create a business book? A coaching workbook? A memoir? A cookbook with your family’s treasured recipes? A children’s picture book? I’d love to hear ALL about your book!
Let’s connect. I’d sincerely enjoy chatting with you one-on-one about your book.