Today I finally launched my new Art Book "30 Shades of MerMay" based on Tom Bancroft's Mermaid- Challenge on Instagram.
A MERMAID MONTH FULL OF HARD WORK IS OVER NOW
It's been my second year fully participating in MerMay! I enjoyed last years mermaid month so much and had to do another one! However this year was crazy hard for me to finish a painting every day. I started working full-time freelance since April and I literally had no time for any other personal work. Well, I had to free up some time, so I chose to use the 1 hour per day I spend in the train. Luckily there was the iPad Pro and Procreate, which made it possible to work out of the office!
DESIGNING AND PRINTING THE NEW MERMAY ART BOOK
After MerMay 2019 was over, I started putting together my Art Book. I used Adobe InDesign to create a PDF file which should be sent to the print shop later. Everything was planned out really well, so it didn't take me long to do the design. My Art Book was supposed to be just a picture book. I didn't wanted to have any text included. People should focus simply on the mermaid art.
I already knew before MerMay had started, that I wanted to get my book printed at Flyeralarm Germany. I've worked with them quiet a lot in the past and I knew from experience that their products are always amazing in terms of quality and prices. So I basically designed my Book PDF strict to their rules. After the design was done, I ordered a prototype, just to make sure there are no major mistakes. I checked the test printed book and couldn't find any issues. Colours are amazing and I was totally satisfied. So it was time to order all the 25 copies.
WHY ONLY 25 COPIES THOUGH?
Well, the answer is simple! I knew I wouldn't make it to pack more than 25 copies at a time. I pack and ship products myself and since I always put a lot of effort in packing my orders, it would have been too much work to do more than 25 orders.
THE BOOK SELLS
I did the Book marketing via my Instagram Account. As soon as the listing was up on my Etsy shop, people started buying the book. Everything went so fast. The book was already sold out within a day! I knew I would sell more than 25 copies, but as I mentioned earlier, I wouldn't make it to pack that many orders. Since the post service changed their rules in terms of shipping goods at the beginning of 2019, I was also scared about making mistakes about the shipping rates. So I first wanted to start with a little amount of copies- just to make sure things will work out properly.
HOW I PACK MY ORDERS
I started packing right before the weekend had started. I expected the packing to take a day... but honestly it took me 1,5 days! Packing is so much work! Basically the main reason why I don't want to sell more books at the same time. First I needed to buy new stiff envelopes in Din A4+ Format- just in case people order two books (what some actually did!). I needed to make sure I can ship two books in one envelope. I also ordered some new clear bags to cover the books with. I don't wanted the books to get damaged by rain when being shipped. My Art Books are always hand signed. This time I put in lots of effort for the first 25 people ordering my book: I didn't just sign it with my signature - I also drew a little sketch and wrote a little message on the first page of the book. People were also able to add a personalisation when ordering the book, so they could let me know what I should write on the inside.
Obviously, this extra effort took me crazy long... thinking that I did only 25 copies really made me happy that I didn't order more books at once. My goal was to ship orders on Saturday, but unfortunately the post office closed at 12 PM and I couldn't manage to finish all orders. Getting the stamps and labels for each order is not as easy as it was all the previous years. Now you have to do all the stuff online, in case you want to ship goods international.
Anyway, I had 4 orders left that couldn't get shipped on Saturday, but I will ship them on Monday instead. Bringing all these book orders to the post office was quiet hard. The books were super heavy and I'm glad that the post office is in walking distance. It also took quiet a while until the post employees had scanned all my orders.
WHAT'S INCLUDED IN THE BOOK ORDER?
My book order comes with some nice extras! I added a limited edition Din A5 print of the rainbow Mermaid. This print will only be available in my MerMay book set. I also added a cute mermaid sticker with a beautiful holographic rainbow effect. Buyers will also receive a MerMay 2019 Thank you Card. Last but not least I added a test sheet of my new Mermaid ToDo lists which will be on sale in my shop soon!
IS THERE GOING TO BE A 2. BATCH OF MERMAY 2019 BOOKS?
Most likely YES! I want to make sure that everything works out, so as soon as the current orders arrive in a good condition without any issues, I'm planning a second batch. But again: I will limit it to 25 copies, as I'm not able to do a larger workload at the moment. So if you are interested in a copy, be fast and keep an eye on my Instagram stories!
BY THE WAY: I filmed a VLOG for my YouTube channel while I was packing my orders. So the VLOG will be about how I pack my shop orders and also as a little special: how I do the linocut prints on my envelopes, which I use for shipping the products.
So stay tuned for that!
Thank you to all of you who supported my book! I'm so grateful to have such an amazing community on my Instagram. Please let me know how you like me book, once received and feel free to tag me in a post or story!