I have five nephews and every time I spend time with them I just want to capture every moment, every cute word they say. This year I decided to try and write some personal stories for each of them and publish a book. My first book was written for my three Moseley nephews. I wrote a cute simple little story about them becoming super heros and listening to their parents, keeping their rooms clean, etc. I then went on ETSY and listed a request for a an illustrator to draw the pictures for a book. That was a lesson in and of it self, and while the outcome was awesome, contact me if you want to go this route as I learned alot and can offer you some tips on making it a success. My challenge was the time frame, payment terms, artist ego, etc. I also learned that I had my own image of the illustrations in mind, and if you hire an artist, they also have their own image. If you want to see the end result, you can view it here at http://www.lulu.com/. Just search for a book called the "Amazing Wonder Kids". You can view a number of the pages. I think you will find its a personal story, its rustic, but it was so much fun to do, and the end result was a book that will be treasured forever by three nephews who have their names and stories captured in the book. I printed three books and that plus the illustrator cost me about $200. Not bad for a Christmas present.
My second book was for my nephew Dylan who is fascinated by wild animals. One day he was talking to me about wild animals and wanted me to tell him stories about each one. We sat and I made up stories about each animal and Dylan. Silly stories, nothing mind shattering or difficult to write, just simple short stories. I then put another request on the ETSY alchemy site www.etsy.com/alchemy looking for someone to help me layer photos of Dylan with photos of wild animals. You can see from the pictures how much fun they are! Just imagine the stories you can create! The result was so much fun. I wrote one page short stories, and made a photo book that I printed in Snapfish. The cost for all of this? I think all in all I spent $72 for the photos, I wrote the story, and to print the book I ordered a hardcover copy for $24.99. Can it be done cheaper? Well, I suspect layering photos is a skill that can be learned, but I hired someone who already knew how to do it. The book, if you have book binding skills could probably also be made for less. That just wasn't the route I chose to take. But I have to tell you, with technology the way it is today, I think there is no better book than one that is written about you, for you! To get in touch with my photography layering guru, check out http://www.lilybeandesigns.etsy.com/ Tell her I sent you. Dana was fun to work with, she listened to my ideas, oh, and by the way, she created my banner ad for this blog!