Things are moving on a pace at And So We Begin and we are busy making the final tweaks to the picture book layouts of Angel's Great Escape: A Christmas Story. Our lovely designer, Sarah Goodwin, has done a wonderful job of translating the words from app to page. I imagine this is a fairly unusual way of making a picture book as usually the book would come before the app. Or an app would be simply an app and would not be reinvented as a book. Do get in touch if you know of anyone who has taken on a similar project or you have done so yourself!
From app to book
The story is written in rhyming text and in the app version each couplet is displayed separately in a very consistent way. We can also have numerous couplets on one page by using the arrow mechanism to 'scroll' through the text. In the book, our space is more limited. Also the illustrations were designed to have the text at the bottom, as per the app and not to have text displayed within them, in the way that a picture book would be. Sarah has done a wonderful job of finding her way around this by tweaking the images and adding different backgrounds and layers to the spreads.
Here's an example of a layout from the app vs a layout from the book with the app version on the left. You can see that a white section and blue line have been added to the right of the main image for the book version to allow space for the text to be displayed.
One additional and vital step we've taken in the past couple of weeks is to have the copy for the book professionally edited. Again, an introduction through a friend was invaluable. It is amazing what a new pair of eyes can see! From capitalising words, to spotting missing commas, to suggestions for revised sentence structure and word replacement. I have lived with the story for so long that it is really refreshing to hear a new opinion of it and to learn how some very tiny tweaks can improve the flow. Luckily there's no need for a major overhaul (phew!) but we are making a few small changes for the book version, which, of course, means changes to the app too but I'm excited that we are getting to a place where both formats will be the best they can be. Now, it's onwards to plans for printing and spreading the word... But more on that soon!