Portfolio Project Week 2 Update
During the month of August I have been working on an exciting portfolio project, that has as a goal to showcase how I created a storybook brand and how I used different software management tools for improving the efficiency of my tasks in the brand.
The second week of this month has been full of learning, frustrations, and much work. With all that, I have enjoyed seeing my storybook brand develop and get into the real world. Week 2 has been about creating a presence on the web, using tools for launching my product, so that customers can have access to it.
What I did this week:
Progress on my product:
-I translated a storybook I wrote to English.
-I worked with an illustrator on editing some drawings and texts of the book.
-Created an ebook using the Kindle Comic Creator app.
-I published my storybook as an ebook on Amazon.
Progress on my web presence:
-I created social media accounts for my brand
-I used Buffer for managing the social media accounts of my brand, and I created a video explaining how to use it.
-I used Canvas for creating content for social media accounts of my brand.
How I did it:
-I translated a storybook I wrote to English:
The products of my brand are storybooks for children. I already had some books that I wrote in Spanish, but I decided to start launching one book at a time for making sure that each of them is edited correctly. I chose the book The Space Mission Of Efrain Lobo as the first one of this collection, but it was necessary to translate it to English for reaching the USA market, and customers in other English speaking countries.
When I started the translation, I thought it was going to be an easy process, but it turned out more complicated than I thought. It was not just about changing a text from one language to other; I needed to keep the personality of the characters, the suspense, and the feeling of adventure. I noticed some of that had been lost when I finished the first draft of the translation. Fortunately, I reached to an editor that is an English native speaker who helped me to capture back the essence of the book using more appropriate expressions where needed. We went through the text several times, making sure that there were no mistakes.
-I worked with an illustrator on editing some images and texts:
Once the translation of my book was ready and I felt happy with it, it was time to adjust the new version to the illustrations of the pages and add the logo of my brand to the back cover. The English version ended up being a little bit longer than the original version, for this reason, it was necessary to edit the format of the text so the letters were not on top of the drawings and it could be read easily. For doing this editing, I contacted the same illustrator I worked with when I created the first Spanish version of my book.
-I created social media accounts for my brand, and I used different software for creating content and manage them:
Establishing a presence on the internet was an essential part of my work during week 2. I opened accounts on Instagram and Facebook, and I created an audience for them by studying competitor hashtags and content principles.
I used Canvas for creating rich content, and I used Buffer for managing the accounts and scheduling new posts. These tasks were time-consuming at the beginning, but learning to use Canvas and Buffer made my work more accessible and helped me to save time later. Check my video about how to manage social accounts with Buffer on this link.
-I published my storybook as an ebook on Amazon: Publishing my ebook implied to learn how to use different apps, including, Kindle, Kindle Comic Creator, Kindle Previewer, among others. Converting my PDF book into a version that was compatible with the direct publishing platform of Amazon was necessary. It took me a while to figure out how to do this, but in the end, I did it successfully! You can check my video about how to publish an ebook here.
Problems I faced:
Problem # 1: Unable to publish without a US bank account:
One of the requisites for publishing a book on Amazon is to have a US bank account, which I do not have because I am not a US citizen, and I am currently living in Colombia. I had to work with a US citizen that I trust. They agreed to have their account be a past through from amazon to me.
Problem # 2: Converting my PDF book into a recommended format:
I found out that books in PDF usually do not have a high resolution on Kindle, for that reason, it is better to convert them to one of the formats that Amazon recommends, people can do that using some free apps that Kindle provide. Taking into account that my product is a Children’s book, I thought that the best option would be to download Kindle Kid’s Book Creator, so I did. This app has fantastic tools; for example, it lets me add pop out texts so kids could read the documents in bigger letters when they click on it. However, when I tried to upload the book on the Kindle direct publishing page, I could not do it. The platform did not accept the HTML version of the book that this app created. For this reason, I decided to try Kindle Comic Creator instead, and the results were great! It gave me the option of converting my PDF book into a Mobi document, which allowed me to upload it to Amazon in some minutes.
Problem # 3: Communication troubles with a collaborator:
Communication with delegated works was crucial; the illustrator did not get some parts of the task correctly at the beginning. Some words run into images, and it was hard to read the sentences, but after explaining to her very correctly the small parts in which it was necessary to move the text, she did an excellent job following instructions. The final results were remarkable!
What I will be working on week 3:
During the third week of my project, I will work on the creation of a website for my brand. I will keep working on creating content for social media accounts and increasing the number of followers. Besides, I will learn to use some software for managing budgets, and I will create tutorial videos/blog posts showing the best features of the finances management software that I used.
During Week 3 I will see my brand more consolidated, and I will be able to test how valuable has been the content I create for social media, and whether or not it has helped me to gain clients for my product.