How to make a Children's Picture Book
How to design a graphic children's picture book.
So you want to draw a children's picture book but you feel that your skills as an artist are sadly lacking? What can you do?
Or you have a poem or story that would go nicely with some artwork. Well there is a way. And this is exactly what I am doing right now!
I am writing/drawing/graphics, a picture book to show the story of my fairy poem.
But how did I do it? And is it really that easy?
Well yes, as long as you are aware of a few pitfalls, trip ups and annoying slip ups!
For starters you need good sites that will help you, for free, to download, shrink, move about and pixelate your work.
And then of course there is the very important copyright infringement that you must avoid if you don't want your book to be taken off the 'shelf' so to speak. Or more to the point, be taken to court for theft. It happens!
My latest Book, Violet Pippin and Rumble Tum Fairies !
Check the sites you are going to use for formatting first. Then you can open them all up at once. This saves hours of fiddling about with the wrong ones!
Usage Rights on Google.
How to find Usage Rights in Google Search.
If you are planning on using Images from Google there are a number of things you can do before you start.
- Keep checking that the pics/photos are 'Free to use'. This may be obvious. But trust me, its not! For example, if you put the words Pixabay into Google, click Images, you will get loads of pictures. But on closer study you will see the word copyright underneath them. This is because so many of the real copyright photos have been stolen, passed around and so on, they have ended up in the wrong place. Pinterest is one of the worse contenders for this. Not the site itself but the people who add pics discriminately. In plain English, they get muddled up with the free ones.
- So, what to do? You really need all the free sites together. Wikicommons, Public Domain, Pixabay, and so on.
- Write your key word in Google search. In my case Fairies. Then click Images. Underneath the word Fairies, and above the pictures you will see smaller writing which says Video, Shopping, News, More. Then slightly further along you can see Settings and Tools.
- Click on Tools. Below to the left you will see the words Usage Rights. This is the one you want.
- Click Usage Rights, look down the list until you get to Labelled for Reuse.
- Click to open, and there you go. All the freebies in one place! But still check and double check as you go to use them.
- In fact there are two bits you can use. Labelled for Reuse, and Labelled for Reuse with Modification. I take it this means you can use it as long as you are changing it in some way. The good thing is both seem to bring up the same pics but be careful all the same.
- And last but not least, check and recheck.
Make sure you keep checking Usage Rights. Click the wrong picture and it could take you away from the Free pictures and photos. Be careful.
Lunapic the best of the rest.
Now for the fun part!
Okay, so now we have found our photos or pictures. The next step is to find the best site to make them bigger or smaller, according to the page size you intend to make.
This is where the awesome Lunapic comes in! You can more or less do anything you want on that page. But the best part? The Gradient Blend or Blend two pictures. Not only that, you can add Text, Shade, add Borders, too!
It allows you to place a picture as your background, and then grab another pic from your own collection or the free sites, and blend it onto the other photo! And you can put it anywhere on the page.
I could not have done my book without that site.
And the other two sites are a must too.
The first being Recisepiconline. You need high resolution pictures for your book. This the one place that will do them for you! Just follow the guide lines.
The next site is really useful too. Its called Picresize. I use this one separately purely because its so easy to cut the pictures down to size. Just click on, grab your photo from your gallery or Images, scroll down and it asks you how small? Just click and go!
Need Resolution, size, blend and add text? Here's the best sites to use.
blend, art, effects etc
The best! I tried the rest, stick with this one!
Tried and tested. Came back to this one as it suited my style best. Easy to use.
Cuts pics down to size.
The reason why this one is the best? Its simple. No chatting,explaining etc. Just does what is says 'on the label'.
Makes pics bigger, but adds pixels
A quick word about Roflbot.
I love Roflbot. Its the easiest and best site to add text. Well I think so. But of course you choose the best for you. This is just a suggestion for you.
But whatever site you are using for text, make sure that once you have added the text, saved and sent to your gallery, you need to do one more thing.
Check that it doesn't have the Roflbot logo or word on the pic. Roflbot tend to add that word to the bottom right hand corner of your picture. So go into your live photo gallery and find the crop, retouch, red eye bit at the top. Then use the retouch to get rid of the Roflbot word.
Obviously if you are using these sites to make your book, give them a mention, thanks, or link when you publish.
I loved Roflbot because it does a good size Text, white and easy to read. Nothing fancy. If you need color Text then stick to Lunapic. (above)
Write it down!
When you start the process of finding Images, adding text etc you may forget one little thing that will mess up the whole.
So its best to get a bit of paper, remember what that is?! Yep, and a pen.
And jot down the sequence.
Simple as that.
As I mentioned above, its best if you open all the pages first. Roflbot, Lunapic and so on. This will save you time and not add frustration to your efforts!
Because even though it sounds easy, the whole process is time consuming. Even though, like me, you love doing the graphic art thing, or just using Free stuff, you have to be very very careful of Copyright.
Sigh, yes but we all moan when someone steals from us, so it worth the extra time to make sure its all legitimate from the free point of view!
So as not to make it too convoluted, I do bullet point.
- Open all sites.
- Check and recheck Free Usage.
- Find your background pic, then go to the Resolution site and make sure you have enough pixels per page. Its self explanatory when you get there.
- Open Lunapic and find the Blend list. Once again its easy when you are looking at the page.
- Find your 'Add pic' that you want to put on the background. Save, and then blend with your background pic.
- Experiment with various pictures and colors. And either make the pictures to size by using the cut down to size sites, or if you have a steady hand, use the Lunapic version by pulling the pic. down yourself. Once again it is self explanatory when you see the blend.
- And then just save!
- Simple as that!
- My example below is from the book I have just published.
Here's another example- How to do graphic design for a book cover.
One last tip that will be useful! And trust me I know because I nearly fell into the trap!
Make sure you keep all your 'practice' pictures! You may just need them if you mess up the ones you are working on! Been there, got the book so to speak!
Sounds obvious? Yeah, but trust me simple things like that are the stuff of nightmares when it goes wrong! Searching the Internet for your original free pic. is a nightmare if you have forgotten where you got it from!
And there you are!
And a last word on manners. I used so many Pixabay pics. from a particular lady who produced these amazing fairy pictures, that I tracked down the artist, and said a great big fat
I received an email back afterwards, and she was so happy to think someone had taken the time to say it! So thanks, DeeDee51 !
Doesn't take a minute to be polite.
Sources that I couldn't do without.....!