Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Little Raindrop's BIG Plunge" Book Status Update, Spring 2014 #LittleRaindropsBigPlunge

Hello, hello!

It sure has been a while, hasn't it? But don't fret, we're all still here, chugging along and working hard as always! Life sometimes just gets in the way of the blogging, and before I know it, it's been quite a few months.

In the last super-detailed book status I wrote, I kept a detailed list of everything that has happened up until this point. I'm not going to repeat the entire story here, but if you want to read up on what happened between The Very Beginning in 2011, up until the Fall of 2013, you can read it here. For now, I will start at the end of that list with what we've been up to since then!

August, 2013:
-I do a video chat with Mr. H's class of 2013! (learn more here)
-Mr H. comes to visit, and we bring Little Raindrop to Mystic Aquarium!
-I near completion on the manuscript's revision and cleanup.
September to October, 2013:
-I complete the entire manuscript revision/cleanup!
October, 2013:
-I prepare packages to send out to our Little Raindrop's BIG Helpers!
-The manuscript and review questionnaires are sent out to teacher and science friends for review.
November 2013 to January 2014:
-Our review results slowly trickle in from our Helpers, and by the end of January they have all responded.
-I catch up on some of the blog posts.
-I re-work, edit, and create many of the Activity Pages.
-I get feedback from Mr. H's class on the Activity Pages, and we learn there is some work needed on some pages!
February, 2014:
-I read over all the notes, long answers, and edited materials that have been so graciously given to us by our friends. This valuable feedback provides me with the tools I need to fix some problems we have with the story, and I re-write a few sections of the story. It's even BETTER than before!!!
-Mr. H does further work on our Nature Notes sections, which have been lacking up to this point.
*HUGE NEWS*-I am contacted by an ACTUAL publishing company, Tibury House Publishers, who ask me to do some sketches on a story they need art for. But, more importantly, I am asked to send things I am working on, and I send them a digital copy of Little Raindrop's book dummy and manuscript. We are waiting to hear their response, and in the meantime, I am putting together a physical book dummy to send them, as my own copy is beaten up and dirty now!
March, 2014:
-I re-work, edit, and create more of the Activity Pages.
-I prepare materials for the upcoming school visit...
April, 2014:
-I do a presentation about the creation of the book with Mr. H's two Third Grade classes, as well as my Aunt's two Fourth Grade classes. The kids are really excited for this book to be complete!
-I (will soon) have another presentation about the creation of the book, but with a local Girl Scout troop
-I create and order some bookplate stickers for signing, as the kids tend to ask for autographs (eek!)

And here is what our Mega To-Do List! is looking like now... (some items may be a tad out of order)
-Integrate the newly edited Nature Notes with the current manuscript
-Complete the rest of the Activity Pages
-Send the entire manuscript to our professional editor
-While waiting for professional revision to be completed, complete the Marketing Plan
-Work on the end pages of the book, which include an Index and Glossary, as well as a Flora and Fauna Glossary, and a Quote Index
-Plot the visual layout of the pages of entire book in a storyboard form.
-Meet with the editor for feedback
-Final revision of manuscript
-Sketch out each page's layout and design in full size. Plan text and art placement.
-Create a FULL, COMPLETE dummy book
-Send complete dummy book to art and layout friends for revision
-Gather names for the Pre-Order and Email list
-Determine price of printed books and estimated time of printing
-Use feedback from Helpers to further revise and edit; maybe send to editor one last time
-After all the revisions and edits and corrections are made, including the art and layout issues, begin working on the complete and final art. (YAY! My favorite part!)
-Final art must be completed. (That's drawing all the comics, all the double page spreads and special items throughout.)
-Final art scanned and merged with layout and text components via computer.
-(Don't forget to order/pay for the desired final text font copyrights!)
-IF STILL SELF PUBLISHING: Launch Kickstarter campaign
-Complete and print final sample book on regular printer. Check for mistakes, and send the final version to mistake-checkers and other Little Raindrop's BIG Helpers!
-IF STILL SELF PUBLISHING: Get ISBN number, register the story and copyrights and all that legal stuff!
-IF STILL SELF PUBLISHING: Double check everything with the Printer. (From colors, to text, to layout and design. This might take a trip to VA.)
-Plan and prepare for two book launch parties; one in RI, and one in VA
-Send the books for Pre-Order customers
-Send special Thank You gifts for all our wonderful helpers!
-Sell those books, baby!

THE AFTERMATH... when the first book is complete and published
-Do some school visits
-Create Little Raindrop's Official web site at some point... a fancier version than just the blog
-Plot and outline the next two books in the series
-Get some ideas for some of the Little Raindrop spinoff picture books

While there is still so much to be done, I can't help but think of some really awesome quotes that I have up here on my studio wall...

"Mountains cannot be surmounted except by winding paths." -Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
"Determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you." -Denis Waitley

...and I feel positive and upbeat about how far we've come so far. I'm excited every time I fill up a Project Time Sheet and it's time to start a fresh one, which means we are constantly moving forward, and constantly improving!

Thank you, as always, for being there with us every step of the way!!!
~Miss Melanie

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