Since we had a book show scheduled right after we received our paperback books – and our hardcovers weren’t yet ready – we decided that it would be smart to have a second product to sell. We thought “The Great PJ Elf Chase Coloring and Activity Book” might fit the bill, so we set out to design it.
Since they had published our picture book, CreateSpace was who we first approached to produce our coloring and activity book. They quoted us a price of thousands of dollars to produce the book; this was cost prohibitive for the amount of money we would be able to recoup.
We enlisted the help of a friend and talented graphic designer, Jessica Zeigler. She was able to take the black and white sketches of our illustrations and translate them into coloring pages. She also pulled out portions of certain illustrations and enlarged them. Using a local printer, we were able to get our coloring book production cost down to $1,000, from the initial concept to 250 books-in-hand.
When we designed our book cover, we were presented with two options. To save money, we decided to use the “discarded” option as the cover for our coloring book. We wanted it to be similar to the book, but distinguishable in some way.
We perused other coloring and activity books and most seemed to include activities such as word searches, mazes and word scrambles, so we took our cue from that. In addition to our 19 coloring pages, we designed 16 activities to include in our book. Pages such as “Help the Elf Escape the Maze,” “Draw a Picture of Your Favorite Christmas Decoration” and “Finish the Picture of Santa” added another dimension to our companion book.
If we print more coloring and activity books, we will make some adjustments, but all-in-all, we are happy with this addition to our products for “The Great PJ Elf Chase.”