From Dust to Essence
I published my first coloring book. Adult coloring was trending at the time, and I saw a need from people in my circle for some kind of soul-searching mental health. It just seemed like a lot of mothers among my friends of writers were suffering from some kind of depression or anxiety, something that just seemed like a result of getting lost in motherhood. And in the hospital, coloring was a big deal among mental health patients as a form of therapy.
The first step of the coloring book was to do some research on spirituality concepts and psychology and find it’s Venn.
Spiritual Research Included: Taosim, Buddhism, Mindfulness, Christianity, Islam, Wicca, Witchcraft, Luciferianism, Satanism, Ancient Egypt… In some cases, I was looking for things that make you healthy, and in others, the things that make you unhealthy and find it’s opposite.
Then I did some research on Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Erik Erikson’s Theory of Cognitive Development (I feel like if you missed something in that, you’ll feel it in your adult years), the psychology behind religion and morality, psychology worksheets, and specific terms such as depression, anxiety, anger management, etc.
The second step of the coloring book was to draw some pictures.
I used Adobe Photoshop to scan in the art, then I Live Traced the work in Illustrator, and then pasted it back into Photoshop. Some things I drew piece by piece and put together in the computer. I thought about making new paths for everything like many comic book creators do, but I wanted the coloring sheets to look like authentic art, and I felt the jagged edges made it look more real. The idea is nobody would want to hang up a picture from a coloring book on their wall, but these won’t look bad framed because they appear more authentic.
The drawings were inspired by tattoos, henna, and Zen doodles
Then I needed a book cover. My obsession with watercolor was at its peak, and it made a perfect backdrop for a black and transparent drawing. The fonts I used were from the Intro collection: Rust, Head and Script. Wendy’s often uses Rust on their menu.
Then the Marketing.
I didn’t really follow through on the marketing because I started getting pretty sick around the time I needed to do things. But because this was a first edition, I was focusing on free marketing. Indie Book Publishing is one of those places where your best marketing strategy is to start free and see how well your product does. With social media, do some A/B Testing of a small ad budget, and from there, tweak the marketing concept, the product description, etc. If you show your product to X amount of people, you want to aim for a 10% interest before moving into a larger marketing investment. Until you hit that 10% conversion rate, you will probably lose money by investing it. The reason being, it’s truly an art to find the right keywords, the right price, the right concept, the right amount of traffic, and the timing when it comes to the internet. Just about every viral thing spent quite a bit of time not being viral at all, and virality doesn’t go far without investments, so you want to invest as you are gaining organic attention, not to get the attention. This is why Facebook tells you to invest in posts that are already doing well.
Social Media Graphics
Facebook doesn't like words in their paid image advertising, but you CAN get around that with video and links.