Wednesday, February 24, 2016

My Coloring Book Journey: A Viable Market for Illustrators - Guest post by Illustrator Ashley Lucas

Today we welcome SCBWI member Ashley Lucas who's new adult coloring book comes out next month. Welcome Ashley!

My Coloring Book Journey: A Viable Market for Illustrators

Ever since beginning my journey as a full time artist in 2011, I've played around with designing coloring books and pages. I started posting them in my etsy shop as printables for kids... and then... it happened. The adult coloring book boom. I started playing around with the keyword 'adult coloring book' within my online listings and my views and sales jumped sharply. I began to create book after book and was most inspired to create one around my current life here in Salzburg, Austria. 'Zinnie's Garden Coloring Book' was a great way for me to keep my skills sharp while living in a new land surrounded by a new culture and language. 

Photo of adult coloring books available at Michael's in the USA

Originally from the United States, I moved to Austria last year with my husband (who is a Salzburg native). I found it very hard to break into any kind of illustration market here, so the next best thing was to really dig into the possibilities online. I started focusing more on social media and eventually, after almost a year of continuously putting my work out there, an editor contacted me about possibly publishing 'Zinnie's Garden Coloring Book'. I was thrilled, but after sending her the book, her feedback was that it needed lots more detail on every single page in order to keep adult coloring enthusiasts engaged. I was up for the challenge!  I worked day and night for a month putting all 23 pages together. The book, now renamed, 'The Magical Garden Coloring Book', will be available beginning March 1, 2016. 

The adult coloring book market is currently still very popular, and new content is being published every day. If you enjoy doodling and creating detailed line drawings, this market may be for you! A few tips before you begin:
  • Research online and in stores before you begin. Look at what subjects are most popular, but be sure to make your idea different than anything else available.
  • If you have trouble finding the right publisher, consider self publishing with Amazon's CreateSpace. I have used their service in the past with great results.
  • Remember that adult coloring books are meant for relaxation, so the designs should flow together and be fun to color.
  • If you publish a coloring book (traditionally or self published), have some kind of social media and marketing strategy in place at least a month before the book arrives!

Ashley Lucas (aka Lady Lucas) is an author and illustrator who has written and designed various picture books and coloring books featuring her sweet, hand drawn characters. She loves to share her experiences with others, so don't hesitate to contact her via her website or on social media at @LadyLucasArt. 

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