Hi, Stef here. I’m the author/illustrator of the ABC See, Hear, Do books.
Many people ask me about the process of writing the ABC books– where do I come up with ideas and how do I do the illustrations?
The first thing I do is a LOT of research. This includes researching the way kids learn, the complexities of learning to read, sounds needed to read, and of course, various animals!
Once my brain is stuffed with all that information, I write the text of the book and send it through multiple rounds of revisions– with writing critique groups, moms who test it with their children, preschool teachers, speech-language pathologists, and my editor.
With the text complete, I start drawing. I started out with Sharpies and computer paper. You can see me draw the crab from ABC See, Hear, Do: Blended Beginning Sounds here:
I have now upgraded to an ipad and apple pencil, which makes revisions a lot easier. After my drawings are done, send them to my graphic designer, who adds color and formats each book for me. We bounce ideas back and forth and come up with plenty of revisions until it’s just right.
At that point, I send an electronic version of the book to my teams of critique partners, moms, and teachers again for even more feedback. After more revisions, my editor goes through it one final time.
Then I get a proof printed and test the actual book with children, watching carefully how they respond. When that testing is complete, I have a second editor go through the printed copy of the proof. Together we make more changes and order more proofs, until we’re ready for publication. For the first book, we ended up ordering three more proofs before it was just right. Yet as we’ve worked on sequential books, we’ve also learned what works and what doesn’t, making the process easier.
I publish the books through CreateSpace to sell on Amazon and through IngramSpark to sell to bookstores.
And as you can see, writing and publishing the ABC See, Hear, Do series isn’t just about me, though my name is on the cover. It’s a team effort, and I’m so grateful for the wonderful people who help me make it happen!
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