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2016 shall forever forth be known as the year of colouring books. It’s been a wild ride, and over the year there have been many questions popping up again and again. I’m going to try and A some of these FAQs here.
How many colouring books do you have? Which ones are most popular?
It’s been an incredible year which I still struggle in some ways to comprehend, with my colouring books going into the hands of over 50,000 people! Yes, all those zeroes! My brain doesn’t even work in numbers that big!
I have 16 titles available now. Ten traditional outline/line art books, three greyscale books, and three mini sized compilations.
Mermaids is the overall most popular over the whole year, followed by Enchanted, but on any given month often the newest released title is the bestseller. Mermaids, Enchanted, and Gothic all spent a decent amount of time with an Amazon bestseller flag though, which was cool to see!
Why print two of each image in each book?
The answer here it two-fold. As I say in the books themselves- “When designing my books I decided to print them with two copies of each design, because I know as an artist there are always so many possibilities! I wanted to give everybody the chance of a do-over with every design. Try a different medium, or a different colour scheme. Or a chance to share the magic with a friend, child, parent, sibling. Because sharing your creativity and joy of color is the best magic of all.” As an artist, I also know the stress and pressure of “getting it right”! I see having two copies as a way to reduce this pressure.
Secondly, I chose to do 25 artworks in each book because it worked well for the themes I was planning, and the time I had to create them. Adding more designs would of course mean each book took longer to create. Some books I wouldn’t even have had more than 25 suitable artworks to fit the theme. So I settled on 25 designs. However, then I realised that the printing company I used were charging exactly the same price whether I printed a 25 page book, or a 50 page book. So I decided to try and add extra value for those buying by including two sets of the 25 designs.
Are there any options for better Paper quality?
Currently, all of my books are created using Print on Demand companies. These companies do ALL the work for me- they manage sales on Amazon and other stores, print the books, and ship the books. This is a fantastic service, because if I had to ship 50,000 books by myself, well, there’s no way I could have done that. That would be insane.
But their service comes at a cost- they only offer one type of paper for their books. Standard novel paper. I’ve tried the books out myself and feel that the paper is okay. It’s not artist quality paper by a long shot, but not bad for what people used to expect for colouring books. But expectations for colouring books are now much higher. I’ve been looking and looking for ways to improve, but haven’t found the right solution yet.
Why haven’t I published with a traditional publisher instead? I’ve had offers, believe me. More than a few traditional publishers have contacted me for the rights to my books, but the offers have never made sense either financially, or in terms of getting my books out when and how I wanted them.
But next year there will be more options! Nemesis Now will be producing a “deluxe” edition of some of my colouring designs, and I will also be printing the copies I sell direct through my website here on better paper as well- watch for an announcement on when they are in!
Why are the Faedorables so different, and will you do more?
Faedorables, in a way, was inspired by my daughter. Whenever I printed out proofs of my colouring designs, she’d end up with a wad of pages to colour, but she wasn’t really interested in most of them. They were a bit too grown up, or a bit too intimidating due to the detail.
But she knew what I was doing, and that I was drawing these things, so she started requesting I draw some just for her to colour. And when I had time I obliged, sketching out these little cuties as quick as I could. And she loved them, and I did more, until I had a reasonable collection.
I shared one on facebook to see if anyone else would be interested in them and the response was huge. So I went through and tidied up all my quick sketches and drew some more to get a full set of 25.
And they were SO much fun to create. I’d love to do more and already have lots of ideas for other Faedorable themes. So keep an eye out for another book next year!
How do you decide themes and what to include in each book?
At first it was fairly simple. I had hundreds of artworks I’d created over the years so I would browse through them and pick 25 images in a theme together that would make a good colouring designs. As I’ve done more and more books though, I’m starting to run out of designs, and needing to be more creative about how the artworks fit into themes. Even books like Goddess and Mythology, I had over 25 goddess and mythology themed works, but I didn’t feel many of them in their original forms were overtly “goddessy” enough. There’s often a lot of editing, additions, and changes that happen between the artwork stage and the final outline design.
Can you do a colouring book of… (Insert Theme Here)?
I love getting suggestions for new books, and I wish I could do them all! Each colouring book I create takes 2-3 months of SOLID work to complete. I’m talking 8 hours plus of outlining every work day, and sometimes in the night on family days, to meet the deadlines I set myself. I give priority to themes that I already have content available to base designs on- e.g. my finished artworks. If you’re asking me for a theme that is something I don’t have a lot of completed work for already that I can base designs on, then it will be a much longer wait, because of that priority, and also because creating the designs from scratch takes much longer than outlining my finished art- even when I add or change them. But do keep suggesting, I’m listening, and might get there some day!
What colouring books are coming next?
You can always check my Upcoming Works page to see what is on my to-do list for new releases. I try to keep it updated (although looking now I can already see a book or two missing from my plans!)
Does Selina colour her own work?
See above about creating the colouring designs based on my finished paintings. Generally I paint first, create the outline afterwards. For all the designs in my books which don’t have a finished artwork done first, many of them I’ve pulled from my sketches and unfinished artworks folders- so they may one day have a finished work based on them! But I really am more of a painter than colourer, and generally work in a more painterly (read: messy!) style than work with clean outlines. So if you’re looking for advice about what coloured pencils or markers are best to colour with, better to ask fellow colourists, like those in the Selina Fenech Coloring Love Facebook group 🙂
Got any more questions? Feel free to ask away in the comments!
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