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What its like to write a book.

What its like to write a book.

I often get asked about what it’s like to write a book, so I decided to share my experience with writing "Animal Rhymes From Akita to Zebra" through a blog post. Writing this book was an absolute joy. Having a four-year-old, we often engage in wordplay, rhyming, and exploring silly homonyms. One night, while immersed in our rhyming activities, I realized the absence of an A-Z animal rhyming book. There are plenty of ABC animal books, but none with rhymes that I knew of. This realization sparked my creativity, and thus, the journey began.

Over the following two months, I diligently worked on crafting rhymes for various animals, following the alphabetical order. It was common to find myself stuck on a letter for days, sometimes crafting multiple versions for the same letter before deciding which rhyme would best fit the book. After finalizing the rhymes, I faced the challenging and at times frustrating task of illustrating the book using AI.

Interestingly, none of the initial AI-generated images made it into the final book; each required a redo. The challenge was not only in the multiple words that needed to be represented in a single image but also in the AI’s tendency to produce bizarre results—often capturing 80% of a rhyme accurately, only to falter at the last moment. This necessitated creative prompt crafting and extensive Photoshop editing to get usable images. One notable challenge was illustrating concepts like "farina," which the AI struggled to depict accurately, forcing me to describe the scenes more creatively.

Despite these hurdles, the process was immensely enjoyable and the quirks of AI-generated images added an unexpected layer of entertainment. The effort invested made the final product all the more special. This being my first book, there was a steep learning curve, particularly in placing text over the vibrant images in a readable manner. After several attempts to integrate colored text, I opted for a simpler design: a rectangular page with a square image and black-and-white text beneath, which proved to be clear and effective.

Aligning the images to fit the page precisely and designing the cover to meet printing specifications proved to be the most tedious tasks. Adjustments down to the millimeter were necessary, and the process was fraught with rejections due to incorrect margins.

However, this journey was incredibly educational, and I’m applying these lessons to two other books currently in the works. The highlight of the project was presenting the book to my daughter’s class and distributing copies. Witnessing their laughter and engagement with the book was profoundly rewarding and a testament to why I embarked on this creative endeavor.

For those contemplating a similar project, I hope my experience serves as encouragement. And if you’re interested in "Animal Rhymes From Akita to Zebra," you can find it here. I eagerly anticipate publishing more books in the near future.

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