Happy New Year!! It’s that lovely time of year for business owners and entrepreneurs to take a look back and try to fix everything that wasn’t working the year before! Kinda like a New Year’s resolution, I suppose, but for your business. :)
And after I got sick for 2 weeks straight and then immediately got swept away by the busy holiday season, I was able to take a BIG step back and do a LOT of reflection on Fables & Fauna. Apparently it was for the best, because I made some major realizations…
So here are the 3 BIG changes I have planned for 2019-
Change 1: I need to explore other methods of storytelling than just books.
Each children’s book launch needs: 1. Huge investment/crowdfunding and 2. Lots of time (minimum of 1-2 years since it’s just me here and not a whole publishing team, thank you very much!)
Because of this, I’m stuck in a situation where I can’t make enough money selling one book, and I can’t make more books without money. …It’s an unfortunate truth.
Fact: Bookstores are dying out. Indie bookstores are hanging in there thankfully, but I have to wonder if it’s because of the customers feeling obligated to support small businesses and their craving for community. I don’t know if these are strong enough motivators to actually last years down the road, and I’m not willing to risk Fables & Fauna’s future on it.
Fact: Publishing companies make an overall profit of 2% while the standard business makes a profit of 5%. (It’s actually a big difference.)
Fact: Typically, children’s book authors and illustrators need to travel and do various presentations to make extra money just to make it through the year. It’s rare for them to survive off of freelance work alone.
But I’m looking at this situation like an optimist! Because I think it’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with different ways to “reinvent” different ways to visually tell stories….
What do you mean, ‘other storytelling methods’ anyways?
Interactive e-books, videos, comic strips… Things like that. (Further examples of this given in “Change 3” below.)
I’ll use my Tortoise and Hare characters to experiment until I’ve found something that clicks!
What about your other children’s book projects?! You’re not giving up on those, are you??
PSH! Of course not! But I AM being realistic- it’ll take time and money to complete each step of my book making journey.
Change 2: I’m going to start doing freelance children’s book illustration work, first starting off by teaming up with BookLogix.
Simple: It’s not smart to base my business’s income ENTIRELY on selling my ONE kids book, Amelia the Flying Cat.
Even if it was flying off of the shelves (like the pun?) like a NY TImes Bestseller! And as established earlier, making more books to sell isn’t going to happen overnight either.
I’ll be honest, starting freelance work scares me the most simply because it’s the biggest change. Which is why I’m happy that BookLogix will be accepting me as one of their illustrators and helping me adapt to the realm of freelance!
Cool! I want to work with you!
D’aww, shucks! :) If you’re interested in hiring me to illustrate your children’s book, please feel free to email me at nikki AT fablesandfauna DOT com for now. I’ll post a service package and a full portfolio on this website, so stay tuned to learn more!
DO keep in mind that hiring a children’s book illustrator is an expensive endeavor, and is NOT worth doing for someone’s baby shower gift or making a book about your dog or something menial like that. I can only do 3 projects per year, so imagine making a living off of $_____ x 3. If you’re still interested, NOW you can email me. ;)
Change 3: And to make my Fauna Friend’s Stories enjoyable for all ages, not just kids.
But how? You’re a children’s book illustrator!
Yup! And I don’t ever want that to change. :)
But imagine if my Tortoise and Hare pair could stand out on YouTube like Simon’s Cat.
Or bring joy through cute little gifs like Pusheen on Instagram or Tumblr.
…I want to explore the possibilities this year! And maybe the recognition could help me make more books faster, eh?
Needless to say, I’m nervous about 2019 because that’s a LOT of change. But I’ve thought about it a lot, and I think it’s just what Fables & Fauna needs!
How about YOU? What’s changing for you in 2019?
And what types of Tortoise and Hares stories would you enjoy most: Interactive E-Books, Comic strips, or Animated YouTube videos? Let me know!