Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's Almost Official!

I just got a note from my Publisher yesterday...drumroll...I have an official, pending on the printer, release date of February 2nd, 2009 for my book. I even have an ISBN number!

Through Endangered Eyes: a poetic journey into the wild
By Rachel Allen Dillon – February 2, 2009 Publication Date
64 pages, 7-1/2” x 7’, jacketed-hardcover, © 2009, ISBN: 978-0-89317-067-7
Order Number: WW-0677…$16.50

It is surreal truly! What an amazing Christmas gift. I'll keep this posted once I speak with the marketing department on the rest of the details.

:) Yipeeee

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Home stretch?

Last week the designer of my publisher mentioned that, if all goes well, the book should be at the printer the week of Dec. 15th. I have learned over the years to hesitate when wanting to bombard a publisher with "when, when, when...?" So, I usually wait a couple of weeks after they say they are going to do something, to check and see if it happened.

I have not always been the best with patience, it wasn't a given virtue. This process has forced me to wait.

There are so many things I am not sure of:
1) The number of books they will print - somewhere between 3,000-5,000
2) Where will they market the book? I know will have it on their site.
3) When the book will be released? I know it will be sometime in Spring 2009. So that could mean March, April or May.
4) What awards will it be submitted for? I want the Caldecott!
5) Not sure how it will be priced.
6) Not sure if I should start the next book, if they are interested in another or not...

The final book will be 64 pages, hard cover, with a wrap. I am so excited and can't wait to market it everywhere I go! I want to do readings at zoos, local libraries, schools, and bookstores. I am going to send it out to: WWF, Zeb Hogan (specialist in Mekong Giant Catfish), Pi Phi, UW Madison, Henry Vilas Zoo, Vaquita Marina, Folsom Zoo, San Diego Zoo, Taranga Zoo in Australia. That is my list thus far. I am sure it will grow.

I am currently getting my applications ready for Grad school. But, another book in my series of endangered species is floating in my head. I want to see how this first book does.

So, if I think big, I will be on Oprah; have a favorable review in the NY Times; and be a key-note speaker for a WWFoundation fundraising event. I want to have 3,000 books sold by Dec. 2009. The more people that talk about Endangered Species, the more people will help them.

Here is how I wrote the poem for the Karner Blue Butterfly:

When I am a caterpiller
I eat a lupine plant.
So I'll become a butterfly
because without the plant, I can't!

In the factual informaiton, it talks about how the Karner Blue Butterfly is a specialized species and completely dependent on one kind of plant for survival.

:) Night!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

More editorial changes

I just completed a bunch of changes to the book. The editor emailed a list of 13 items in question. Glancing at the list was a bit daunting. Five to six hours later I completed the list of changes and emailed it all back to the editor.

All I can say is that the book is even better than before. It is amazing that when I think it is done, the editor still finds ways to improve it. Although, I am ready for the last edits to be done, so we can get the book done. I have probably gone through at least a dozen drafts of this book.

I am anxious to be done. It has been such a long time and long process! But, I want the Caldecott Award. Can you imagine how many would hear about my book? Can you imagine the discussions the book will create? Wouldn't it be wonderful to bring the issue of endangered species to the forefront of children education and reading. An award like the Caldecott would help make that happen. Even in a small way maybe my book can help to change the world.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Progress with the book!

Hooray! I have been working with the designer at Finney Co. The words preparing for "print"! oh my gosh, have actually been spoken.

We had a couple file glitches and a graphic saved at a low resolution. Thanks to , the 85MB file of the zebras was uploaded and fast. I love our new internet connection - lightening fast!

The publisher mentioned a Spring time release. Nature books are best released at that time, which makes total sense! So, I am thinking March or April? Wouldn't that be great? Six years in the making. To have it real is surreal.

I feel really positive though about Finney Co. They are a great team! I am looking forward to starting the next book, although I am applying for a Masters program to start next fall. We shall see how art continues to be a more significant part of my life.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No word from my publisher

No word yet from my publisher:( It has been at least two weeks since I submitted my content to the designer and editor. It takes a LONG time to get published. I started writing the book "Through Endangered Eyes" in 2002.

I submitted to 3 publishers in 2003. With 2 illustrations and all of my text for nine species + human.

My first publisher, Stemmer House, sent me a contract in 2004. They asked me in 2005 to take the book from 9 species, to twenty. I completed the book (about draft number 5) in 2006.

My first editor, Craig Thorn sadly passed away in 2006:(

I was released from my contract from Stemmer House in February 2007. After which, I submitted to 14 publishers. I lost count of rejections.

My knight in shining armor, Al Kryson, called me in February 2008, wanting my book! I signed the contract with them that month.

A new draft, with their suggested changes was sent to them in April 2008.

In August, they discovered that they needed the book to go from 57 pages to 64 pages. So, I created an opening page, added the polar bear, a to the parents page, and a for the teachers page. That was submitted in September 2008.

Now, the wait continues for the next step in this process. Patience must be a virtue in this process...

:) Rachel

New way to talk...

I have read so much about blogging, but have never actually done it. I hear about the success that some artists have had in marketing their artwork through their blogs. It would be great to have that happen for me...but more important to me is to randomly talk about art.

I started painting with dots in 1992 after my trip to Australia. I was so inspired my the simplicity of the color, patterns and designs portrayed in Aboriginal Acrylic Dot Paintings, that I wanted to mimic them. My technique has certainly morphed...(

I'll post more later, I am tired since I am on my magazine deadline...