Illustrating a Children’s Story, Part 6


Whew! After starting this back in FEBRUARY, I’ve finally gotten this project done! I’ve received lots of good feedback – I could have tweaked and tweaked this forever, but I decided I’ve got to stop somewhere and send it out already…

In case you haven’t followed along with this project in my other posts, here is the entire series:

The Cover

3pigs6 Cover

This is the cover illustration I created for the booklet. I like how I was able to keep it simple, yet it still seems powerful and introduces the characters well.

Other Additions

When you first open the booklet, there is an introductory page with my contact info and a little about me. I stuck one of my earlier sketches on the page at the last second. It was just for decoration, but I like how it ended up acting as a small introduction for the rest of the story and the following illustrations.

3pigs6 Inside

The back cover has my name and website. The little sketch was another last minute addition, but again it adds to the story contained in the booklet. I like the cute little surprise ending it creates.

3pigs6 Backcover

Print, Staple, Cut

The booklet’s size is 5″x7″, so I printed the pages as spreads on both sides of letter-size sheets of paper. The pages were then stapled down the center, folded in half, the edges cut.

3pigs6 Printing2

To print it this way, the pages have to be reordered and rearranged so that they print in the right places. I used InDesign to create a PDF that I could easily print repeatedly to make multiple booklets.

3pigs6 pdf

Once the mechanics were figured out and the files created, each booklet takes only a few minutes to put together.

3pigs6 Printing 3pigs6 Staples
3pigs6 Folding 3pigs6 cut


Because the booklets are thin and small, they are pretty easy to mail. Just stick them in an 6″x9″ envelope with a two-oz stamp. I designed it this way from the very start of the project. If I had made a big, complicated promo that was difficult and expensive to mail, it would have been a waste of my time and money.

3pigs6 Mailing

Final Thoughts

A Few Advantages

  • Productivity. It gave me something to work on when I didn’t know what else to do.

  • Artwork…that I can use in my portfolio.

  • Practice. Working in a series, creating a story, using the book format. etc.

Some Disadvantages

This kind of booklet is probably not the best for my main source of promotion; it takes a lot more work than a postcard and I can only put together about 50 or so at a time without it straining me mentally and financially.

So, my mailing list for this promo is not very big. However, it is a very specific, targeted list that covers my main job goal: picture books. The booklet does a good job of showing how I would treat a picture book, and the extra effort (I hope) will grab the art director’s attention and will not be so easy to throw in the trash.


A few pointers if you’re inspired to create your own promo booklet:

  • Keep it simple. Make great artwork, but don’t get carried away in the details. If it gets too complicated, frustrating, or time-consuming, you’re more likely not to finish the project at all.

  • Keep it small. You need it to be easy and inexpensive to print/mail.

  • Remember the goal – to bring art directors to your portfolio. Plaster your web address onto it and make contact info easy to find.

The End

I’ve made a mental goal to start producing one or two of these booklets per year. They are fun and educational, and are a good supplement to the normal postcard mailings. Have any ideas for my next one?

You are welcome to leave any further comments about the cover image, the interior, etc., but at this point the booklets are in the mail and on their way to art directors. Can’t make much changes now. We’ll see if it catches any attention. I’ll keep you updated if anything happens…