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  1. How to Make a Coloring Book: Where to get art and my design ideas

How to Make a Coloring Book: Where to get the art and initial design ideas

1. Review competing coloring books on Amazon. Get an idea of what I want to do. I decide to make a square format book. Still open about illustrations on one side or both

2. Look for art. You can draw art or purchase it. I decide for this book to purchase art from I also talk about a couple of places that I get art. Be sure to read the license section of the stock photo sites to be sure they allow you to use them in books.

3. I show you the coloring book templates that are available at For this exercise, I will be using the 8.5” x 8.5”, 80 page plus cover InDesign templates. We are making a print-on-demand paperback book through CreateSpace/Amazon. In black and white this book is not available through their Expanded Distribution program. I am not worried about it. The regular distribution through Amazon is just fine. I wanted to go with a different size.

4. I go through several different things I can do with the art on the page. This is the exploring design stage. I am just trying some different ideas that I can then use when I create the book. We look at cropping, squaring off the art and adding words or phrases to the pages. I kind of like that, I haven’t done that before.

Creating art for Coloring Books
There are lots of ways to create your illustrations for your coloring book

• You can hire an illustrator, Fiverr is a good place to look

• You can license it from a stock photo house like ShutterStock, Dreamstime, Pixabay. Look above for links

• You can draw it yourself using pen and paper, scan it, clean it up in photoshop
- Use a WaCom tablet connected to Illustrator or Photoshop
- Use a art/drawing app like Symmetry Lab on your iPad or tablet. The cost is minimal and the tools are powerful. Here is a quote from on of the members of my How to Publish Your Book Facebook group:
"I use a stylus on my ipad - much easier than using Wacom. there are so many art/drawing apps - I use Symmetry Lab - you can get it free or the paid version, which is like $1.99 or something ludicrously cheap. Well worth the spend for the expansion of what you can do with it. I set it to draw one iteration and do my thing, save it to Dropbox, and download it to Photoshop, where I modify it and tweak it. saves me so much time! I did 7 coloring books in 3 months - never could have done that drawing on paper!

Symmetry Lab also allows you iteration functionality - draw one line, get 2,3,4,5,6 or 7 more aligned lines, like instant mandalas." —Angela Treat Lyon

Wacom Intuos Draw CTL490DW Digital Drawing and Graphics Tablet
There are many different kinds of tablets, WaCom, Huion, Ugee

• Symmetry Labs drawing app for iPhone, iPad and Android, check your App store
Article from Digital Trends, The Best Drawing Apps for the iPad Pro