Monday, August 13, 2007

How Did Sparky Sparrow Make It Into Print?

Sparky Sparrow was invented by my father William Weiss late in the 1950s. When all the Weiss children started having kids of their own Sparky got got passed on as an oral tradition to the next generation. After about a decade of everyone saying we should do a Sparky Sparrow book I began nibbling at the idea by registering the domain name and looking into a trademark. Things took off when I finally stumbled onto where you can self publish electronically. And Lulu helps you get into distribution--all at a price. But armed with a broadband connection, an old Dell laptop, some graphics art software, markers, paper and a word processor I began in earnest late in 2006. It did not take much prodding to have William write down his favorite and most classic of all stories: Sparky Sparrow and the Baby Robin. With the narrative in raw form I moved it into my word processor and began the simple, modest illustrations. I did these on paper by hand as simple black outline drawings and scanned them into my computer for colorization. In my graphics arts software I was able to manipulate the drawings some and add air brushed scenery and backgrounds. I exported the graphics as JPEG files and imported everything into the word processor for final layout. I spent a great deal of time and many revisions trying to get the cover art to a level I thought appropriate. From there I was basically done. All I needed was to get into distribution which includes some formatting tweaks, an ISBN assignment, bar code and into the Bowkers database of published works.

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