I wrote, illustrated, and published two children's books, following an iterative design process and using project management principles to ensure a successful execution. ​​​​​​​
Design Process
Create a Project Plan 
For the first step in this project, I established goals and made a plan. I thought through the story I wanted to tell, created a timeline, and crafted a rough marketing strategy based on personal goals.
My #1 goal was to complete the project and deliver it to my niece and nephew while they were still toddlers. 
I also wanted to include friends and family in the process in a fun way, and launch the book in time for the holidays.
Sketch Out a Prototype 
With a plan in place, I started to create a loose first version- with just enough detail to convey the message. 
I typed up a draft of the story, and then sketched out some artwork ideas with pen and paper. 
Present Prototype to Subject Matter Experts 
For this step I presented my work to authors, parents, and kids themselves. 
Toddlers make great Subject Matter Experts for pure, honest feedback- if they lose interest in the book they will simply leave the room or stop listening.
Based on the feedback from these tiny experts, I split my book into two more digestible shorter stories.
Launch a Marketing/Communications Plan 
My target audience was small and niche, and my marketing strategy reflected that.
Based on my project goals, I decided to leverage social media and email to share communications and progress updates with family and friends, using my past artwork as content.
This pre-release marketing plan had the benefits of both generating excitement and creating motivation and accountability.
Create the Artwork
To create the artwork I used pen and paper, a Wacom drawing tablet, and Adobe Creative Suite tools.
I created an author account with Kindle Direct Publishing/Amazon to test formatting and create early prototypes. 

User Testing and Design Iterations
In the latter stages of the project, I gathered additional experts for more testing, making sure to gauge the audience’s reactions and fine-tune the final product. 
To prepare for publishing, I sought outside help to perform a grammar and spelling audit and to review the material for any issues I may have overlooked.
Close Out the Project and Celebrate
After finalizing the last of the edits, I published Miles Above the Clouds and Miles Above the Earth on Amazon, with enough lead time to mitigate any last minute glitches. 
As with any large project, it was important to close out the marketing campaign with a launch announcement, and then throw a fun party to celebrate the accomplishment, and to acknowledge and thank everyone who contributed.
Final Product 
By request, I filmed and edited an author reading during the pandemic: 
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