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  • Dennis DeRobertis

Prototyping a Little Brown Spider Book

Decreasing time to market the second time around (and eliminating guesswork).

Stacks of paper representing the early stages of the first two Little Brown Spider books
Prototyping the first two Little Brown Spider books (hey, who's that sitting on the right?)

I always planned The Little Brown Spider as a children's book series. Even though I created the friendly, little arachnid some 20+ years ago now, I knew he'd be part of something bigger. So when I was ready to finally take him from story and sketches to shipping product, this mindset guided many of my decisions.

Now, I would have dedicated the same amount of time and effort getting my first book done whether it was part of a series or not. However, knowing there would be additional LBS stories, I paid particular attention to, and would often be pedantic about: book size, page layouts, front cover layouts and designs, back cover layouts and designs, book front matter, back matter, fonts, colors, story length and everything else in-between.

A great way to eliminate guesswork and to get a good idea of what your book will actually look like, is to do some prototyping. You really don't want to go through all the effort and expense of creating your book only to be disappointed with the final, printed version. The tools and technology are available to get as close to the final printed product as possible (along with a dash of creativity).

In the picture you see above, the prototyping for the first Little Brown Spider story, Which Way to Go?, is on the left. This includes everything from individual pages to entire books with simulated bindings, hardcovers and paperback covers. The stack on the right represents the prototyping for the second Little Brown Spider book (available August 31, 2021).

Since the majority of the work was done on Book 1, prototyping Book 2 went a lot quicker and a lot smoother.

And that's definitely a plus!

- DennisD.


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