Publishing a Children’s Book? Read this first!

How wonderful! Here are some important things you need to know before you begin.

Where to begin!

Talk to an experienced children’s book designer or publisher

Hello! I have experience as a children’s book designer and publisher, and working with a number of illustrators and commercial children’s book printers. Here’s some helpful tips that you might find useful to get you started. If you would like more information, please contact me.

Before you hire an illustrator…

Not just any artist

There are certain abilities required in a children’s book illustrator that not all artists understand or have experience with.

The ability to be consistent is important. The artist will need to know how to keep a consistent style throughout the book. If the artist is drawing or painting the art on paper or canvas, the choice of paper matters, and all art should be created on the same size and kind of paper. Color palettes, hue, saturation, and brightness need to be considered and followed throughout the book. The artist will also need to be able to draw and redraw a book’s characters so that each character is distinct and recognizable throughout the book.

Working with an experienced children’s book illustrator will give you the best results. And having an illustrator who lives nearby so that you can meet with them in person is helpful, but not mandatory.

Size and page counts matter

It’s very important to determine the trim size of your book before your illustrator begins creating the art for your book.
Choosing the trim size will dictate the dimensions needed for the illustrations.

A visit to a bookstore or library to look at children’s books in the intended age group for your book is a fun outing and very educational. Take your ruler and take notes!

There are standard trim sizes and page counts for different age levels for children’s books. Keeping within standard trim sizes will allow your book to be easily printed by a variety of different vendors. Bookstores who will want your book to fit in and sit on the shelf next to other books of its age level and subject.

Young children’s picture books have specific page counts to consider. Standard page counts include a minimum of 24, 32, 36, 40, and 48. Standard practice usually requires a title page at the beginning of the book. At the beginning or end, you also might like a page or two for your copyright statement, ISBN, etc., and room for optional information, such as: About This Book, About the Author, About the Illustrator, Fun Facts, For Teachers or Parent, etc. Factor these into your chosen page count.

Make a “dummy” or “mockup” to help you.

You can take pieces of paper and rough sketch your ideas for what art you want to see on the same page as the text. Use stick figures, circles and squares — this is not the time for detailed drawings.

Have the rough text of the book in a Word document, put some extra space between each paragraph, print the document out, and cut into strips that can be used to help create a “dummy” or “mockup” of what you have in mind for your book. Take the strips of paper with your text on it, and paste it on the paper with your rough sketches.

Example of a dummy:

Finished pages:
final art

If the art is to appear as a “spread” — meaning visible on facing pages, crossing the binding, it will need to be created with that proportional dimension in mind, and knowing that the area where the art crosses the binding should not have any imaging pertinent to the story that might partially “disappear” into the bind.

Art should be created on paper larger than the book’s trim size, and proportional to the trim size. It can always be scaled down, and usually, when it is scaled down, the details of the art become crisper when printed.

There’s more! Contact me with any questions you have at the beginning of your project!

Happy Creating!

October 2015: Salt & Pepper Cooking

Salt & Pepper Cooking, Chef James Haller

The Education of an American Chef

by Chef James Haller

Available October 5th, 2015 at RiverRun Bookstore

Heartwarming and nostalgic, here are stories of Chef Haller’s childhood experiences with family farm life and cooking in pre-World War II American Midwest, and how he came to be a chef and owner of the Blue Strawbery restaurant with his own unique approach to cooking.

The narratives in this book were previously presented on stage by the author for ACT ONE (Actors Collaborative Theatre of New England) at West End Studio Theatre in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

5×8 softcover, 128 pages, photos

O. Henry Perfect by David Mauriello

O. Henry Perfect, by David J. MaurielloAuthor, playwright, and film producer David Mauriello has newly published a set of 3 one-act plays based on short stories by O. Henry. The three one-act plays are: The Perfect Fool, The Perfect Stranger, and The Perfect Archer, based respectively on O. Henry’s short stories entitled The Ransom of Mack, Makes the Whole World Kin, and Mammon and the Archer.

O. Henry Perfect, Three Short Plays

Adapted from the works of O. Henry by David J. Mauriello

O. Henry Perfect, is available for purchase on

From the book:

O. Henry (William Sydney Porter (1862-1910) wrote hundreds of entertaining tales. His perfection of the “twist-to-the-plot ending” and unique style make him a true American original.

His Christmas classic, THE GIFT OF THE MAGI, illustrates another reason for O. Henry’s popularity; his representation of the common man and woman.

“While adapting THE GIFT OF THE MAGI I more fully realized that O. Henry’s dialogue with its delightful combinations of superlatives and malapropisms would be “perfect” when spoken for theater audiences.” — David Mauriello

David J. Mauriello is an award-winning playwright, author of the book REMINDERS OF HOME, How To Remember Who You Really Are, and is the Executive Producer of the movie JUST SAY LOVE, available on Amazon Instant Video.

Reviews of David’s previous works:

JUST SAY LOVE —”A strikingly elegant, moving and satisfying film. Truly a wonderful cinematic creation.”
—TLA Video

SPIRITS WILLING — “sparkles, Mauriello proves a resourceful craftsman.” —The Boston Phoenix
BODY — “phenomenally well crafted script”
—Rockingham County News

Much gratitude to the Players’ Ring of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, for their unfailing dedication to promote original plays.

Shoals Archaeology exhibit: Only a few more days to go!

Under the Isles of Shoals, J. Dennis RobinsonOnly a few more days to go to see the “Under the Isles of Shoals” exhibit at Discover Portsmouth in downtown Portsmouth, NH.

If you miss the exhibit, be sure to stop in and pick up a copy of J. Dennis Robinson‘s great book, Under the Isles of Shoals, designed and produced by Grace Peirce of Great Life Press for Portsmouth Marine Society.

The book is available at the Discover Portsmouth museum shop, and can be ordered from Portsmouth Historical Society, where you can also find many other fine books on the history of the maritime region of the Piscataqua River, which runs between New Hampshire and Maine.

The Under the Isles of Shoals book has over 200 full color photos and maps, illustrating the well-written account of the archaeology dig now in progress on Smuttynose Island off the coast of New Hampshire and Maine. Thousands of artifacts are being uncovered.

Smuttynose“In just four years of an ongoing “dig” at the Isles of Shoals, Nathan Hamilton and his archaeology students have unearthed 250,000 artifacts. Those bones, stones, and fragments of human occupation tell volumes about life on a rock. And tiny buried shells may reveal secrets of climate change.” — J. Dennis Robinson.

Until August 31, 2012:

Visit the FREE Under the Isles of Shoals exhibit:
Discover Portsmouth
corner of Middle and Islington Streets, Portsmouth NH
Call 603-436-8433 for hours and more info

June 23 – Saco, Maine Sidewalk Fair

Costa NdayisabyeThis coming Saturday, June 23rd, 2012 is the Saco Maine Sidewalk Arts Festival, and Costa will have a booth there. Please stop by and say hello and to talk with Costa about his work and his book, The Work That Brings Peace In Me. I hope to see you there!

66,180 dancing Rwandan children — wearing shoes!

shoesLast night I went to bed with the vision of 66,180 Rwandan children dancing in my head — wearing SHOES from Toms Shoes and Eyewear One For One project. Costa Ndayisabye, author of The Work that Brings Peace in Me, recently published by Great Life Press, facilitated in the donation of the new shoes to Rwanda, and he plans on being there when the shoes arrive in late July / early August to help with their distribution.

Costa came to see me yesterday, and told me the donation is dedicated to Great Life Press! He said that successfully publishing his book with me has given him more confidence at his speaking engagements, and this was part of his thanks. I am so honored to be a part of Costa’s efforts for peace, reconciliation, and making a difference in the world. I have rarely felt so blessed, and so joyful to be witness to all of Costa’s activities around the globe.

Costa will be participating in the Old Port Festival, Portland, Maine on Sunday June 10, 2012. Please come, and please stop by to meet Costa and say hello to this amazing emissary of peace!

Costa will be presenting his talk, “The Work that Brings Peace in Me,” in more places in Maine and New Hampshire in the coming months.

In love and light,