E-Book (Indie) VS Physical Books; Writing and Illustrating E-Books

Indie books, E-Book and Physical Books, Which is better?

an e-book and a physical book Illustrated by Will TerrySince I’m a lover of both the physical and the e-book – I don’t have a favorite, but I think it’s always good to analyze them things for their advantages and disadvantages. So I have compiled a list of pros and cons below.

Pros & Cons for the consumer as well as the author/illustrator

I decided to list both pros and cons from the consumer point of view as well as the author and artist/illustrator point of view. As if I were to be working with a traditional publisher vs indie publishing an e-book. So if you like to purchase books, Illustrate or write children’s books, this list is for you. If I miss some points please help me by adding your insights as I know I’ll have a different list than some of you. So here we go…

Physical Books, Pros:

Having a tangible artifact; to hold and curl up with on a rainy day.
Larger format for illustrations; A nice illustration to look at, and more fun to paint.
Better legibility in strong light; Like out in the daylight.
Gift-ability; A tangible, 3-D present to give.
Developing a physical library; Looks good on a shelf.
Guaranteed advance against royalties; Cash is king.
Eligible for Caldecott and other medals; Like that’s going to happen to me.
Inclusion in school & public libraries; More sales and fame.
Can be signed; The fans love this, and it’s a pat on the back.
More prestigious; It’s a real book.
Edited by professionals; Fewer typos
Marketed by professionals; People that know what they are doing

Physical Books, Cons

Expensive to purchase
Expensive to print and to publish
Can get damaged and or lost
Hard to see in dim light
Heavy & unwieldy
Less Eco friendly
Limited to multiples of 4 page counts
Travel to purchase & wait for delivery
Can go out of print

E-Book, Pros:

Inexpensive to purchase
Inexpensive to publish
Disaster Proof; you download from your account
Reading in the dark
Light weight; Easy to carry thousands of titles; Moving day is a lot easier.
Eco friendly
Adjustable font size
Unlimited page counts
Publishing freedom & autonomy
Instant delivery
Quicker to market & royalties
Never goes out of print

E-Book, Cons;

No physical artifact
Comparatively small viewing area
Hard to view in strong light
Not as gift-able
Less pride of ownership
No guarantee of earnings
Not eligible for most book awards
Can’t be checked out at the library
Can’t be signed
Less prestigious
Self edited
Self programmed
Self marketed

Is the E-Book Better, or the Physical Book?

There you have it, a list of pros and cons but no definite right answer. I can only surmise, that both have their pros and both have their cons. E-Books are better for some occasions or personalities and real books are better for others. Like I said, I love them both. I do think it is cool that anyone can publish now with the invention of the e-book. See the process in a previous blog. You may also want to check out the blog where in my friend Kari Brimhall shares the how to create and publish your own e-book. See 4/22/16.



How to Price My Artwork; Am I being ripped off?

I am often asked how to price my artwork; Am I getting ripped off?

Pic of Wayne Andreason at drawing table.

Wayne Adnreason: Will work for food?

To price my artwork and to get ripped off are 2 different things. Getting ripped off is when one of the parties in the agreement, doesn’t deliver on their end of the bargain. That can does happen. And if that happens to you, then yes, you are being ripped off.

If you agree to paint an illustration for $10 dollars, like for a friend or family member, and you end up spending way too much time on it and it was harder than you thought it would be, and you ran out of pthalo green paint and ruined your moms carpet in the process, you might feel like you were under paid. And you were, but you were not ripped off. Well you were ripped off, but only by your lack of ability to negotiate a fair price. Even then, you gained some education so you may have gotten the better end of that deal too.

How can I avoid being ripped off, I mean, price my artwork for a fair price?

You can’t get ripped off if you have negotiated the price. In this case, you feel ripped off if you are not being compensated for you time and effort. So first of all, set the price where you would agree to do it. You can allow yourself to be under paid, but that is bad negotiation and you are only being ripped off by yourself. You should want to make money as an artist, so it is important to figure this out.

When i price my artwork, I like to identify my motivation.

  1. Is it a service project, like for a family member or a friend?
  2. Is it a job you want to do for the money? Hey, we all need money. Some people will say that that is a sellout, but that is for another discussion.
  3. Or is it for a portfolio piece. Every piece should be considered a potential portfolio piece. Until it just doesn’t turn out, then you can sneak it into the trash like most of my figure drawings.

Family and friends seldom understand the value of your art

If it is for a friend or family member, you will probably be under paid.  They don’t understand the time it takes and especially THE TIME AND EFFORT IT TOOK to develop the talent. You are not being paid for the time you spend on your artwork, but for the years of practice and learning and developing your skill, so you could create such beautiful artwork.

How can I price my artwork for family and not be ripped off?

First of all, before I even look at what they want me to do, I say, “you probably won’t be able to afford me.” Even in a joking manner that helps them realize that you probably won’t do it for free. And I like to say that I can do anything that they can afford.

Then I take a look at what they want and tell them I’ll get back with them. Especially if it is something I would like to do.

Then play the price my artwork game

I ask myself these kinds of questions. First, would I do it for free? Probably not.  Would I do this piece for free for a stranger? NO! Would I do it for $200? How about $500? $1000, $5000? One million dollars? Find the price where you would gladly do it. If it is a commission you know you are going to hate, the price should be higher. You may hate it but at what price would it be worth it?

Pad the price

Once you have that amount in mind, add 10% or 20% or even double it. This helps if you run into problems like running out of pthalo green or if you have to replace your mom’s carpet. And besides, you can always cut them a deal after you have finished if you feel you were paid too much. No one will be angry if you say “Hey, that was a lot of fun and it went smoother than I thought it would, and besides, I am Just not that valuable as an artist, so here is some of your money back.”

Now you negotiate with them for the final price

This can be the hard part, but it’s a crucial conversation and you need to get good at it.

So you say, “Friend, (or family member) I would do that for X amount of dollars.” Now they will probably think that they are being ripped off. Remember, you are not ripping them off if they agree to it. You may be asking more than they feel it is worth, but you are negotiating, not steeling. Let them know that that is what you do, and you need so much money to survive. Since you would be willing to do it for less, you can how negotiate down a bit. Give them the Friends and Family discount. Remember, you are negotiating here. If you have padded the desired amount you can come down if you choose, on the price. You can say, maybe we can simplify it, or something.  Let them know that you want to help them but it needs to be worth it for both of you. Win win. But you need to let them know you can’t afford to spend days working for peanuts.

Don’g Give Away Your Artwork

Only you can know determine what you would do a certain job for, or what it’s worth to you. Some would like the government to do make that decision for them, and mandate certain rules and laws for all of us citizens that should be capable of deciding for ourselves what our time and talent is worth.  That too is another discussion.

It is a good rule of thumb for artists, to NEVER give artwork to fam and friends. Because if you do, you will have set a price, you will have demonstrated that your artwork has no value. Let them pay a fair price for it, and they will know it has value and they will value it. It is more likely to be framed and hung up if it cost something too . Did I say never? Well there are times to give it away, so I didn’t mean NEVER, literally. Rule of thumb.

You may be working to learn, or just trying to build you portfolio, get published or maybe you love charity. In fine, you are not being ripped off, but you may be under cutting yourself.

~Wayne of Folio Academy, art lessons online.


Free How to Create Your Own E-Books? E-Book Over Achievers

Any one can create “your own e-books”

17 of Kari and Von Brimhall's e-booksSome close friends of mine, Von and Kari Brimhall have gone completely nuts on e-books! They are two of my very best friends from college and have always been into art and design. We had a conversation about producing e-books and they opened the flood gates on their creativity. Together they created 39 – YES! – 39 e-books in about 4 months but I’ll let them tell you more about that below. Von is a computer geek and has a great full time gig working for the chain saw company, Stihl, and Kari is a home schooler, storyteller, and artist and they have a gaggle of successful kids.

How to create and publish your own e-books

Before you read their letter you have to check out the amazing tutorial Von has made for anyone to download and make their own ebooks – he’s made it available for free right here – click to download. If programing your own e-books sounds scary you have to check out Von’s step by step tutorial – he makes it really easy for you.

Von and Kari are proving that if you have ideas, motivation, and hard work you can realize your dreams in this new medium. Have a look at their titles and read a little about their new journey.

Confessions of the e-Book dudes

We’ve been friends with Will Terry for years and avid fans of his art! When he posted his two awesome video series How to Illustrate Children’s Books and Digital Painting in Photoshop, we signed right up! Both my husband and I like to draw and paint, and I love to write. Just watching the video courses on Folio Academy’s website, opened our eyes to all kinds of possibilities.

Self Publishing our E-Books was fun and easy

We instantly pulled out a story that I had told for years to our children when they were young… and Von started drawing and painting–digitally! We couldn’t believe how fun and easy it was. Thus, our first eBook was born! Freddie Frog is Hungry was so exciting to share with friends that we decided to take the plunge and upload it to Barnes and Noble.com.

With e-books there are no boxes of inventory in the garage

This is not my first book, I have self published and still have copies of a fabulous book in the garage…just waiting for a market. Having Barnes and Noble sell our books is great. They take care of the money end of things and I take care of the marketing. Writing eBooks is very nice–the expense of self-publishing and printing, then marketing and working out prices, taxes, mailing to customers, and buying all the supplies that go with it, etc. is a thing of the past. With eBooks, you don’t have boxes in the garage of unsold books.

E-books available at a PC near you

All of our Nook E-Books are available for sale on Barnes and Noble.com. We currently have 39 eBooks for sale and hopefully more on the way! Our target demographic is 0-6 years old so these are all books that parents would be reading to and with their children. Besides being clever, our eBooks have an educational slant to them. They include learning basic colors, numbers, animals, seasons, the alphabet, etc.

We’re not selling large volumes like Will Terry yet, but we’re working on it. If you would like to see what our eBooks are like you can download a free a PDF version of our eBook ‘Who Says Moo?’ right here. If you are interested in how we make our eBooks, you http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifcan download a detailed PDF tutorial that my husband wrote at http://vonlogan.com/sunshine/indesign.html . It describes how to create illustrated children’s eBooks using Adobe InDesign.

Hope you enjoy it and go on to create your own fabulous eBooks.  ~Kari Brimhall



Figure Drawing? I’m done learning art and illustration

When can you stop learning your artist & illustration skills?

I’m so glad I don’t have to learn anymore! After all I’ve been a professional illustrator for nearly twenty five years now, and I think I’m entitled to a break from improvement!

figure drawing of a nude woman by Will TerryOf course I’m kidding. One of my core beliefs is that we can never stop learning and so I even started taking figure drawing classes awhile ago. I went nearly twenty years since my college days and it was painful. In fact, I have to say, I still don’t feel that comfortable figure drawing. Will teaching illustration I sometimes sneak into Don Seegmiller and Perry Stuart’s figure drawing classes at UVU here in Utah. Both are very talented artists and teachers and I have to admit I was a bit nervous because I’m supposed to be a colleague right? Now what I should do is post my first drawing I did in that class so we could see if I’ve improved at all, but I stuffed it into the garbage while nobody was looking. It was awful. I had that warm flushed feeling of shame and embarrassment. How could I be a college art teacher and produce something so poor.

I realized that I needed improvement

It was after that first drawing that I resolved to make it to their classes as often as I could to finally learn to draw the figure. I must say that not only has it been extremely rewarding to produce drawings that I’m somewhat proud of but it’s also helped my everyday sketching. So I encourage all of you to break out of your comfort zone and learn something new. Even if it’s figure drawing. You can’t go wrong learning to draw the human figure.

And remember, you can learn something new at our wonderful Folio Academy website. I don’t think we have a good figure drawing course yet, but we do have a good portrait painting course by J. Kirk Richards

Pop Culture Characters when they were Children – “LITTLE”

Little, Pop Culture Characters when they were young

ad & link to the kickstarter page for Little, the book of pop culture characters

Shameless ad we know, but we want Will’s book to work

Little is a collection of little or young, pop culture characters, or re-imagined pop culture characters as children, like when they were Little – printed in a collectible art book


the Book as it should look upon completion.

Will Terry has been drawing these little pop culture characters for about eighteen months on and off. At first it was just for fun but then it grew into an obsession.  After tabling at a hand full of “Cons” and selling hundreds of them – He realized he just had to put them in this book. You know, for the fans. How cute! they say. Folks love’m.


It’s fun to see if you can tell who they all are

a bunch of the little pop culture characters


Kickstarter is another way for artists to make money

an alien, a spider boy, and other little super heroes.

If you are an artist, and I hope you are, and if you love doing art, and I hope you do, you should be constantly thinking of ways to make money doing what you love. ART. Kickstarter is one more opportunity out there. Will Terry is giving it another try. Another Try? Yes, he didn’t make it last time. So, being the die hard that he is, and the persistent artist that he is, he is doing it again. We will probably write about the success, or failure of this kickstarte in the future, but right now we are hoping to get a lot of support and momentum so that Will will have to spend countless evening mailing books, prints and posters to all his faithful fans that supported him in this endeavor.


Thank you and if you like the project, and I hope you do, please share it, pass it on, contribute support etc

– and check out more of what Will is up to, he teaches art at FolioAcadmy.com too of course.



Illustrator Advice for Picture Book Artists

Illustrator Advice, Pointers and Tips for Children’s book artists from Michelle Bayuk

Picture of Illustrater advice girl Michelle Bayuk of Albert WhitmanMichelle Bayuk (Director of Marketing for Albert Whitman & Company) agreed to give us a few insights. Illustrator advice, if you will. Like advice for picture book Artist/illustrators and authors. She is NOT an editor but she publishing and specifically marketing in this crazy world of children’s books. Albert Whitman has been very good to their authors and Illustrators.  Will Terry has loved working with them over the years. He has illustrated a lot of children’s picture books with them. They have quite a track record from their early beginnings in 1919 they’ve seen their fair share of successes including the very popular “Box Car Children” series (which my mom read to me as a child and I read to my children as a mom, I mean dad).

Before coming to A.W. she served as the Marketing Director for the Children’s Book Council as well as marketing and publicity positions at several other children’s book publishers, including Millbrook Press and Scholastic.

To make money as an illustrator, Be ready to promote. 

Authors and artists forget that it is a business and they are the lead spokesperson. And yes, you are creating art, but in the end, you need people to buy it. So here is some more Free illustrator advice, Do tell people about your picture book, even if it seems awkward. Have your publishers information handy. Have your author visit information handy. Always have a business card with you. Of course, you shouldn’t become that person who can only talk about their book, but there is a happy medium. Most people you meet would love to know. Oh, and don’t get too caught up in reviews and Amazon comments.

You need to spend time on social media…BUT!

With so many social arenas open for self promotion, you have to find the best ways to promote and sell your own brand and identity. First of all, you do have to spend time preaching to the choir – especially when it’s a big choir. If you’re a new author or illustrator, the best place to build a fan base is with people who are already fans of your genre.
Don’t be afraid to use Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and other social media, promotion that artists don’t use as effectively as they could or should. If you’re established, your fan base needs to know when you have a new book. So, yes, you need to spend time on social media…BUT! You don’t have to do all of them and you shouldn’t be spending hours a day. After all, you do need to work on your next book. My suggestion is to start with one and see how it goes. All the various media have their own personalities and so do you. Find the one (or ones) that fits.

Authors and illustrators need to be out there.

You are the best spokesperson for you work…period. No matter how good a publicist is, they will never know your work better than you do. This used to be done through media tours and answering fan mail. Now, you can stay home more…but you still need to accept speaking engagements and go to conferences and other book events. You need to be part of the community, whether it’s online or in person.

The Ability to tell a story with your illustrations is key

If there is a single most marketable aspect of an illustrator’s portfolio, I’d say it is the ability to tell the story with your pictures. I know that character design, style, color and quality all work together, but is there ONE thing that floats to the top?

I know it sounds simple, but the ability to tell a story with your pictures. The best picture books have stories in both the words and the pictures. The illustrations are not necessarily literal interpretations of the text. If you haven’t already, go to the library and/or bookstore (preferably several and often) and take down 20 picture books. Sort them into piles of “doesn’t work” “almost works” “works” and “really works.” You’ll find a very diverse group of styles in each pile. Your job is to emulate the magic that makes the “really works” really work.

As for what I need as a marketer – a great book with eye-catching illustrations. And then, speed. Publishers like illustrators that meet deadlines.

Should you get an Agent?

Maybe, big maybe. Agents make life easier. It’s not always necessary, but it allows you to spend more of your time on the books, less on the paperwork. If you don’t have an agent, definitely have any and all contracts looked at by a lawyer that specializes in entertainment/publishing. You need to understand what you’re agreeing to and what you’ll get in return.

The majic of that Perfect Children’s Book, is hard to capture

My dream picture book, from a marketing perspective, has amazing illustration and text, and kids demand that it be read again and again—not very specific, am I? I think those perfect picture books are few and far between because magic is hard to capture. Artists should concentrate on finding and following a vision.

The easiest picture books to market…

– a new picture book by a New York Times bestselling illustrator or author! Other than author or illustrator name recognition, books with good hooks can be easier – back to school, holiday, cancer, bullying, etc. But there’s a big caveat, it still needs to be a good book and just because the topic is hot today, doesn’t mean it will be hot when the book is ready.

Marketing to the art director, the editorial staff or what?

Illustrators often send post cards quarterly or so to clients that they’ve worked with or would like to work with. But should they send them to editors or art directors? Does the editorial staff or the art director choose the illustrator for a project or is it more of a collaboration? It’s definitely more of a collaboration. Our art director here at Albert Whitman did a blog post that might help with this, you can find here

 Thanks and have a great day.

Ebook; from Idea to Publish to Prosper, I Hope

Ebook: Think, Write, Paint, Publish.

I released another ebook on Barnes and noble.com! My other books were really encouraging. And I wasn’t sleeping anyway. So behold, Pollywog to Frog.


Two Things I really like about Ebooks

1) I love to draw fun simple little characters

2) I like to be able to pay my bills.

Publishing my own ebooks in my “spare” time allows me to do both. I carry my sketch book everywhere and so if I’m not writing I’m sketching and vice versa. Pollywog to Frog was written in the few hours I have in-between the two college classes I was teaching and the digital paintings were done in-between assignments. And oh yeah, an ebook costs so little to publish. Now anyone can compete with the big publishers.

ebook graphic, a little polliwog, Flippy floppy little sprout,

ebook graphic, a little tad-pole, All his arms and legs pop out.

Ebooks: How to make money as an artist.

One of the best things we can do as artists and business people is develop passive streams of income. The ability to earn money while you’re sleeping, playing, or working on other projects is a really cool thing. I’m already working on my next ebook.

If you can’t write an ebook, find someone who can

If any of you feel comfortable illustrating but not writing and would want to work on producing an ebook, ask around, everyone knows someone who wants to write a children’s book. Find a friend or relative, (Can relatives be friends?) to work with. If that doesn’t work, I have a professional well known author who would love you to take one of his manuscripts and turn it into an ebook. And my buddy, also known as my brother in law is probably still available to take the finished jpeg files and produce the epub files necessary to publish your work. Just email me off list if you’re interested: willterryart@gmail.com

Stay tuned for some Shameless Marketing below

5 ebooks that I recommend

So my three little claims to ebook fame are: Monkey & Croc, Tickle Bugs and Pollywog to Frognone of which have made the New Your Times best seller listA young friend of mine, OK, Wayne’s daughter, has written two ebooks. I Love Chickens Eggs and Baby Chicks and When I Grow Up, I Want to be a Frog, and she is just a little girl. I think I told you this in my last post, but Hey! I want to encourage you.

PS Learn how to draw and paint, and other fun art skills at FolioAcademy.com.

E-books, Now Anyone Can Publish, Even YOU

E-books, A fun easy way to get published

E-books cover art, Tickle Bugs

Tickle Bugs e-book. Now in E-Stores near you

“Publish or parish” They used to say. Maybe they still do. E-books make it so much more possible. And it can be fun.

In a recent post, I said that illustrators can either complain, or they can become authors, write AND illustrate. They can write, illustrate and publish now. Self Publish. They/we can still complain too if we want. There is always something to complain about right? Isn’t that what Facebook is for?

I have been so busy lately that I haven’t really been writing and illustrating, or publishing any e-books. But a few short years ago. Well back in 20011, I was all over it.


E-books success with Monkey & Croc

My first e-book, Monkey & Croc was a lot of fun to write and more fun to illustrate. It wasn’t fun to publish, that is left brain stuff I am sure. But I had a buddy. If you don’t have a buddy, you should get one, or hire one. And that buddy was a left brain kind a guy, that, for a fee, would get my story and artwork all published as an e-book for me. Monkey and Croc still hasn’t found it’s way to the New York Times best seller list, but it did pretty well. So I made another e-book. In doing that i was moonlighting as a second illustrator – the one that doesn’t sleep. Sometimes I think I need to see one of those mad scientists like Michael Keaton did in the movie “Multiplicity” – I could use a few extra me’s around to get everything done.

Cute e-books Illustration of a small bug eating a leafCute e-books Illustration of a small grub with feet

E-Books in a Simple Form and for kids

Tickle Bugs was an attempt to explore a much simpler form of e-books void of backgrounds and complete with very simple characters. The audience is extremely targeted to the teething ring and diaper crowd. If you’re wearing pull ups and sucking on a pacifier you just might like Tickle Bugs. So if that is you, stop reading this boring blog post and get yourself a copy of my e-books, especially Tickle Bugs and read like the wind.

I aimed it for the younger kids because there just weren’t that many e-books out there that were for children ages two and under.

Chalese Andreason, a young lady and friend of mine, wrote an e-book or two as well, and she is just a little girl.

How To Draw, Paint, and do Art

PS Learn how to draw and paint, and other fun art skills at FolioAcademy.com.












It was so much fun to take an idea from concept to finished product and published!!! in less than a month!!!


Tickle bugs didn’t climb up the search ranking as fast as Monkey & Croc – I had a feeling that it would get progressively harder to get the same attention but I had to keep trying. The idea of author/illustrator as brand is way too exciting.

Tickle Bugs doesn’t wiggle but if the reader holding the toddler is on the ball the little tike will be giggling at the end. Tickle Bugs is available at Barnes and Noble – click here.

Art, Painting, and Drawing Should be Fun

Art should be fun, so Draw or Paint something just for fun

color sketch of a man, by Will Terry

A quick Color sketch I did Just to have some fun with my art

When you Make your money with Art, it can become a job

Art is my career and believe it or not, It gets boring, stressful and even difficult at times. OK a lot of times. It was so fun to draw and color, and take the heads of of Barbie dolls, as a child. And I was terrible at the three R-s, so I wanted to be and artist. But, little did I know, that when you are drawing, coloring, dealing with committees and art directors and other clients for 4-18 hours a day. (Deadlines can push you into overtime mode) It can get boring.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love being and artist, Art is my dream job and I feel very fortunate to be an artist. So there! All my teachers who discouraged me from being an artist. But some times you just need to sharpen the axe. Take it easy, and draw, paint, or sketch just for fun. Have fun! your an artist for crying out loud.

Pencil Sketch of a man with a mustache art by Will Terry

Black and white sketch of the art I did for fun

So I did some artwork just for fun

I decided to avoid working on the projects that pay real money and do something just for fun. I painted this in Photoshop last night sitting in our new recliner watching “The Thing” (1982 John Carpenter version) with my boys. I rendered it on my little netbook just to see how far I could take an image on that little $248 computer. Technology is getting really affordable for everyone.

Italian scene with an arch, photo

Background I took to slap into the back ground of the sketch I painted.

So I’m a copy cat, This is my art, for me, for fun

I combined the background photo (google images) with my rendering to save time. FYI I would never do this for a paying client – I don’t like confrontations, threats, law suits, etc. I don’t condone Plagiarism, but we all copy.

What I’m saying here is, if you are doing some art just for fun, sketching, drawing painting, what ever, go ahead and do what you gotta do. Borrow, copy, look to the masters.  Art should be fun, once in a while if not always. Besides, you are practicing, learning, sharpening the saw. So copy away, learn and have fun. But don’t plagiarize, that’s when you steel someone else’s work and try to pass it off as your own. Where was I? Oh yeah, HAVE FUN!   :)