Coloring Books for Adults

This is a cautionary tale about print on demand services and deadlines! Last weekend my daughter and I were at Green Fest Philly, having been approached to attend as Etsy store owners with eco-friendly products. As we planned for the event, we brainstormed ideas for new products that we thought might appeal. As the dust settled, I found myself designing some coloring books for adults…

As the concept has been around for several months, I wondered if the books would be greeted warmly or not. Too my surprise, even before the fair had opened a woman from a local arboretum stopped by and asked to buy any copies we hadn’t sold to sell in their gift shop! It was great to find that my coloring books for adults were so well received.

Before that small triumph, I had to get the designs created and the books made, so began by deciding how best to have the designs printed. I first went to CreateSpace to see what their time line looked like. I learned that if I uploaded my designs within the next 3 days I could have printed copies delivered in time for the fair, so with great excitement – and a firm deadline in place – I set to work. I had toyed with the idea a while back so had some designs that were ready to go, but needed to work on enough to create a book. After I had completed one book with flower images, my daughter suggested that she would like one with mandalas and allover designs in it, so I set to work and managed to create another set of new designs.

Having uploaded the designs, I created covers for both books and sat back to await the approval phase. Within seconds of setting the books into approval mode, I inevitably noticed there was a typo on the back cover. When the books got initial approval I quickly made that small change and sent them back, explaining I had changed nothing but one word on the back cover of each book, hoping for a faster review the second time. 24 hours passed, and then it got into the next day. I finally got the approval and ordered copies for the fair. It was only when the invoices popped through that I saw that the delivery date was no longer September 12th, but had leaped to September 19th. I replied to the email to see if I could expedite the process. Another 24 hours and I was told I could pay a lot extra – only then to be told they still couldn’t be delivered until September 14th or 15th – still too late for the fair on September 13th, so told them to forget the expedited mailing and just let them arrive when they did.

Having put in so much design energy to create these coloring books for adults for this fair, I quickly I sent a copy order to Staples and an Amazon Prime order for covers. Staples also had a print delay, but finally got all the copies and the covers, and spent an afternoon making up the new books so we’d be ready for the fair. You can imagine my frustration when 2 days later, the printed copies arrived by mail…

This chaos did mean we now had two full sets of coloring books – one that had pages that could be easily be removed so finished pictures could be framed, and the other easily transported – but had been a much more complicated task than it should have been!

So if you would like to see my handiwork, click here! If on the other hand you want to use print on demand services… plan well ahead!

Using technology and media

Using technology and media is not just for the young! As you think about what you would like to share for your idea, whether it will be for profit or for your personal legacy, don’t let the “hows” of your idea get in the way of the “what”. I hate to tell you how many opportunities have slid through my fingers simply because I talked myself out of doing them – based on what others would think of me, or in case would I look stupid if I tried something new. One of the huge advantages of getting a little older is that we become less preoccupied with what other people might think, which frees us up to take more chances to do the things that matter to us! I first set hands on a computer in 1987, on a course was for young mothers to learn to use computers before returning to work. The teacher spent quite a lot of time explaining to us that we would have to work very hard to damage the computer, and so not to be afraid of it. We successfully went on to turn the computers on (with no scary electrical sparks or smells) and then code them to say “Hello” ten times. By today’s standards that was pretty tame for a first class in using a computer, but on that sunny day long ago, it was pretty heady stuff! If I hadn’t gone to that computer class, I wonder how different my life would have been since it began my love affair with technology?

Using Technology and Media

So without further ado, here are a few ways of using technology and media that could bring your project to life:

  • Start a blog – if you like to write, or have encyclopedic knowledge that you’ll never get written as a book, start by writing a little every day. You can sort your posts by “categories” so you can go back later and build on a topic. If you are concerned about who might see what is in your blog, you can keep your blog private, or give access to only those with a password.
  • Display your photos or art – if you have a huge catalog of images, they can be scanned and then added to a website. As with a blog, you can sort them by categories so you – or others – can find specific images very easily. Again, they can be private, password protected, or public.
  • Publish a book – take what you have written down and have stored away in closets and boxes. You can buy just one copy for your own satisfaction, or buy a few to share with friends and family (the cost per copy to authors is usually $2-3 per copy) or let the book out to the world.
  • Create information products – there are several options here:
    • Write down your information and offer access to it for a subscription fee
    • Create an ebook to sell with slightly less information in it to sell as a stand alone product or as an entry point to bigger products
    • Create an audio course and offer it as a download – or on CD for those who prefer a tangible product
    • Become a consultant on your topic – by selling it to those who have purchased earlier and less specific materials
  • Create an online course – you teach the material either in person on video or as a slide show with voice over
  • Sell your photographs or artwork directly from your secured site
  • Sell your photographs or artwork printed on other materials
  • Create a photo book or iPad book to display your artistry
  • Create your own audio or video recording to sell or enjoy

Before you let any objections creep in, know that all the technology exists to do these things online. Some tasks are easier to do than others, but there is always help available to get the information from your head and out into the world. In addition to building websites I have helped create CDs, built paid membership sites, built a consulting business, created both text and image books, uploaded images to appear on products for sale, and assisted in marketing the end products, so am confident I can help you, too! Now it is time to start thinking what would be the best way to get your knowledge, memories, art, music, and stories out of your head and out to those who would enjoy sharing them with you. Click on the picture below to go to a page to let me know when it would be convenient for you to talk with me. I look forward to hearing from you!
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