New colouring book: Faces of the Zodiac
Please note: I did use to offer this as a free download, but I’m now offering a ‘pay what you want’ model instead, with a minimum donation of £1. You’ll get access to this sample page, plus 18 other colouring pages! Want to know why? Read more at the bottom of the blog post.
Behind-the-scenes of production
This book hasn’t been without it’s drama, and anyone that bought my first book Doodles from The Den, will know that I had a pretty rocky time with it.
For Doodles from The Den, I decided to take pre-orders so people could pay up front for the book and therefore allow me to cover the cost of getting the book produced. In theory this is a very logical tactic, however, my print production partner (who shall remain nameless because I’m nice like that) printed my books wrong. Twice.
Luckily for me, I had the support of the colouring community behind me and those that had bought the book were VERY patient and understanding whilst the problem was corrected. It didn’t stop me feeling mega guilty about taking their money though – I felt like a total fraud, even though I’d done everything possible to ensure a perfect book.
I wrote the misprints off as human error in the production and checking process – and to be honest, their customer service was faultless when it came to resolving the issue. Therefore, I committed to using the same company for my second colouring book Faces of the Zodiac.
They had recently released wire-bound books, and I knew that this was a must have for my next book after taking into account all the customer feedback from my first release.
I can’t emphasise enough how cautious I was using this company second time around. Countless emails were sent asking them to double check my files and page margins, and I repeated over and over that I didn’t want to have the same experience as my first book.
The Colouring Gods clearly weren’t looking out for me the day I pressed ‘Confirm Order’ on the Faces of the Zodiac print run because I had another faulty batch arrive at my doorstep! Arghhh!
Once again, the colouring community shocked me with their HUGE support and words of wisdom. Colourists told me to sell the copies regardless (which I felt reluctant to do because it wasn’t a true representation of the quality of work I like to produce) and that they’d happily buy a copy.
I compromised with my inner demons and offered them at a discounted price and within 48hrs the entire lot sold! Sending these colouring books to a home where they would be loved and cherished, rather than collecting dust at my house, was the best outcome I could have wished for.
I’m now super duper happy to say that I’ve got my hands on the CORRECT copies and I couldn’t be more chuffed with how they’ve turned out. The wire-binding means I can easily colour the pages without worrying about bending the book back on itself, and the soft touch lamination cover is honestly to die for – it feels absolutely divine!
With this release, I’ve also added my own personal story into the book so that colourists can get to know me on a deeper level. I really pride myself on creating genuine connections with fans of my work, therefore I like to be as transparent as possible. I’ve been blessed to make a lot of friends in the colouring community, and I strive to make even more!
Watch Colour with Claire’s official review of Faces of The Zodiac
WHY I’M NO LONGER OFFERING *JUST* FREEBIES
For a verrrry long time, month after month I would create free colouring pages for my newsletter list in the hope that if someone like my illustration style, they may go ahead and purchase something from my store in the future.
Of course, a few people have supported my journey as an artist from day one and I’m eternally grateful to those people. However, for the most part, people started to expect freebies from me and nothing else. There were a few months I missed due to work / life commitments and I actually had people complain or ask “Where is my freebie?” when I couldn’t find time to draw something and show up in their inbox – it was truly heartbreaking reading those messages!
Just to have my business “alive”, I have to pay website and domain hosting fees, Etsy fees, physical product costs, email list fees etc…as well as use all my free time around my full-time job to create colouring pages or products to actually SELL. Every single Etsy sale goes towards keeping my business running!
Also, I think we are guilty of freebie-hoarding and letting these files stack up on our computers and not actually taking time to appreciate and use them. I really want people to enjoy my work, and equally, experience the benefits that colouring can bring them. Ironically, the magic of colouring doesn’t happen if you just leave them in a folder on your desktop.
So, in order to try and keep the wheels of my business turning and not have to give up my dream of one day being a full-time artist, and equally to encourage you to ENJOY these colouring pages, I have switched to a pay what you want model with a suggested small donation.
This doesn’t mean I will never, ever offer freebies again – that would be silly! It just means that I am trying to shift the focus on my business to turn it into something sustainable, which in turn means I can continue to create beautiful artwork for my fans.