Fireworks on the Third of July

Self-Published Book

In 2001, I wrote a short story for school inspired by my family’s summer vacations. In 2016, after I was encouraged to share it more broadly, I published it in eBook form through Kindle and Apple Books.

The Details

I started by scanning my fifth grade masterpiece, original artwork and all. Next, I edited the original manuscript for clarity. I ended up with an extra page in the process, and since book was designed to have artwork on every other page, I needed to produce an extra graphic that matched the original art style.

Then came time to create the cover art. I knew from the beginning that I wanted a depiction that echoed the climactic scene from the book: Fireworks just after sunset over a dense forest of dark trees.

In order to be accurate, I looked up a star map appropriate for the date, time, and location. I also researched the trees that would be most commonly found in that area and sketched them out. Sketching the trees turned out to be my favorite part of the project. I particularly enjoyed drawing black spruces, something about the tall thin shape with its sparse branches.

Since this was my first time self-publishing, I investigated the different eBook distribution platforms. I began with Apple Books because it appeared to have the most intuitive and straightforward process. iBooks Publisher’s integration with Pages made the process easy, as Pages has good layout and design features.

After testing landscape and portrait layouts, I decided to condense the book into a portrait layout with text and the graphic on the same page.

I imported the content into iBooks Publisher, purchased ISBN numbers, and published the book to iBooks. I followed similar steps to publish the book through Amazon Kindle as well.

To purchase my book, visit the links below: