Craig Nordeen, author of Giraffie
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Picture books have been a part of Craig Nordeen’s life for as long as he can remember. A designer and illustrator by day, Craig channeled his passion for creating bedtime stories for his young kids into a children’s book for all to enjoy.
See what Craig had to say about his experience bringing his book to life with the ALC.
When my first child was a toddler, I made up stories to tell him at bedtime. He had a beloved stuffed giraffe that he always slept with, and I would ask him where he would hide it if it were real. I continued this after my second child was born, and we would create story after story about where you could possibly hide a giraffe. I realized that there’s a special connection between kids and their stuffed animals, and I knew these stories would appeal to other kids and their parents, so I started writing them down. Then I did my own illustrations. It took me about three years to write and draw everything, and then it sat on a shelf until I figured out how I wanted to publish it.
I needed help after the writing and editing to make the book a success, so I watched videos and listened to podcasts from the experts on the ALC site for marketing advice. What I appreciate is that I can trust the ALC to give me insight into what should I be doing and not doing. I want to spend my time and money on trusted sources. I’ve now done book readings, have a social presence, and given a TV interview, and Giraffie is in pretty much all bookstores in Minneapolis. In addition, I’ve started another children’s book and hope to be finished in the next few months. I have more realistic expectations of the process for this book.
My advice to others who want to publish a book is to just go for it. It's not going to be easy the first time around. From the creation to publishing to marketing, it's all a new world and you can't expect to know everything. But that shouldn't scare you from getting your book out in the world–because once it's finished, the sense of pride and accomplishment is huge.
Giraffie is a stuffed toy. He spends all his time with a special little boy. One day, the boy wishes with all his heart that Giraffie would become real. That very night a fairy casts a spell that brings Giraffie to life. What a big surprise! Giraffie tells the little boy that once he is seen by a grown-up, he won’t be real any longer. How can the little boy hide a full-grown giraffe from his mom and dad to make sure Giraffie stays real for a very long time? Let the adventure begin.
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