Tag Archives: illustrator

Total Control

14 Dec

To have control over what you’re doing sounds nice. As a team consisting of a draughtsman and a writer, we have complete control over “Jibonka”: we did the text, we did the artwork, we chose the type font (we even discussed to create our own for a while) we designed the look of every single page.

This, as I understand goes far beyond the degree of control one usually has when writing a children’s picture book and getting it published. Usually a writer submits a text, the publisher sends it to an illustrator, a designer does the look and so on.

Well, we finally have the opportunity to go through the process on our own. Not that we would have declined offers,but… Anyway, as I wrote earlier, we’ve now got the budget to go through with it – having a lot of control along the way. Alas, control does not mean you control little helpers who “do” all those things that need to be done.

We wanted to have an audio book version of “Jibonka”, so we got ourselves a decent microphone, a digital audio interface, a recording softwareand monitors, met for a week and recorded the German and English versions. We did all sorts of funny voices for our cast of cake loving monsters and once we left the well behaved, inhibited selves next to the coffee maker, it was great fun.

For the last 10 days I have been doing the job of a sound engineer, not that I am really qualified to do this. But cleaning the recordings up, cutting away everything that is just sonic junk, then mixing it in a way that makes sense, adding sounds, burning a CD to then notice all the mistakes and doing it all over again – a lot of control.

Meanwhile Jörg is blowing the pages up – well, enlarging them. This proved to be more complcated than expected, because he could not just scale them up. The final format will be 38 cm in height and 30,1 cm in width. This does not entirely correspond with A4, so there is some extra control in it.

Today, Jörg ordered the ISBN numbers, which made a few inter Adewani telephone conferences necessary. The business of comparing printer’s quotes and organizing transportation of the books from China to Germany – all a lot of control.

I guess it will feel quite nice to transfer the printing data to our printer and send the CD for replication. Because when this will be done, it will be out of our hands for a while. Unless somebody pays for a ticket to Hong Kong (I would then pay the train ride to Shenzhen myself) and we transform into printers – I would not rule it out.



To start with a regular beginning…

24 Nov

Six years ago two people met in a café. One of them brought a heap of children’s picture books, which these grown men leafed through over cappuccinos, while discussing different story lines. They did this, because they intended to write and illustrate a children’s picture book themselves. By then, they did not know what was ahead of them, how much fun it would be to create and what a pain it would be to get it “out there”. These two were us: adewani.

Two years ago adewani – illustrator Jörg Nittenwilm and writer Achim Wagner – had it all done. The book was finished and a manuscript sent over to a publisher in Hong Kong. The publisher liked it and after a meeting in Hong Kong and at the Frankfurt book fair everything seemed settled. Seemed settled! Until the publisher informed us they were sorry to let us know that due to financal problems…

Two years and one financial crisis later we have had a lot of quite positive feedback from publishers abroad and almost predictably unenthusiastic responses from German publishers. Luckilly it looks as though we don’t need them. There are a couple of very nice people who like what we did and who support us  – financially, morally, they even gave us a coffee.

And so the adventure of getting published begins again. So why not share it? In the following weeks or month we would like you to be part of our little shift from creators of a story to “managers”. If only you could see us now, hunched over cups of undisclosed beverages, chuckling over the term managers. Anyway, we hope you might enjoy the trip.