It’s been a while, hasn’t it? The last couple of months I worked incredibly hard on one of my biggest projects to date: my comics book Volwassen worden is optioneel.
For over six years I have been making little comics and doodles about my life. What started as a personal project in my sketchbook, blossomed into a book with beautiful pink stitching and end papers I drool over.
But in Dutch?!
I love books, and making your own book is so special. When publisher Blossom Books contacted me in March 2018, asking if I wanted to make a book of my comics with them, I was excited and not sure at the same time. I’ve been making my comics in English from the get go and this would mean I had to translate everything into Dutch (which is my mother tongue). I always dreamed of having my comics in a book but I actually never thought about it to do it in Dutch.
I didn’t have to think that long: Blossom Books felt like the perfect fit. They’re a publishing house with young people, they understand my readers, they’re marketing-savvy, they’re incredibly passionate about the books they publish and they believed in me. That’s all an author can ask for.
Work it like you never worked it before
So in October, November and December of last year I worked incredibly hard on the book. I already had many comics ready but I still had to translate everything to Dutch. And sometimes it’s hard to get the joke across in another language. I also wanted to add new comics, re-do old ones and more serious topics. For example about body positivity, how to handle criticism and more.
I wanted this book to be perfect as it’s the first book I made together with a publisher that is written and illustrated by me. I illustrated books before for publishers but never had I gotten the opportunity to do it all.
It was sent to the printers in January and now we had to wait. And plan a book launch party! It was so much more work than I thought. I decided to create a limited edition for the book launch, which consists of a tote bag, button, sticker sheet, washi tape, a signed and numbered book, cards and a numbered and signed limited edition print.
That amazing feeling
And then, February 27, the day of the book release! Slowly I got messages from people who pre-ordered my book at bookshops and it felt so weird as I still hadn’t held my book myself. Two days later I visited the publisher and I could hold it myself. I had self-published books before but this was a new level. Like I had bumped a question-block in Super Mario World and got a mushroom (sorry for the non-geeks that have no clue what I’m talking about).
And then more images came from people on Instagram, that found my book in book stores all over the Netherlands and Belgium. From Haren to Brussels. Goosebumps on my arms.
After that the first reviews came in and they made me cry. A good cry, mind you 😉
And now, celebrate!
Last Sunday was the book presentation. It’s common here in the Netherlands to host a little party for friends and family when a book comes out. But I decided to do it a bit different: I invited everyone who wanted to celebrate this with me! We had tickets for the event and the limited edition sets. In total about 85 people came to the book launch party which was bonkers! I’m not one to host parties, I even skip my own birthday, but this felt special. And I was eager to meet the people that enjoy my comics and that I know from Instagram.
It was amazing! I cried when I got home because I am so incredibly grateful for the support I get from others. I can’t even describe how that feels. Thanks to everyone who was there and all the people that are supporting me and my work.
All photos by Yvonne Hop
Me, giving a talk about how the book came about and pointing out to Myrthe, my publisher (in the red dress), how we first made bags and wallets with hand lettering on it, as our first collaboration together.
Of course there were snacks!
Esther brought her little dog! How cute is he? Or she?
My friends Lois and Emily were there too!
Renée and Rozemarijn reading my book.
I love this picture, the girl with the denim jacket holds the book so sweet in her arms.
I’m not sure what was up there but I bet it was cool 😀 Also, me, signing the books!
I felt bad that people had to wait a while before they got their book signed but at least they had a book to read 😉
I got some really sweet gifts!
Gwen made an amazing drawing of the day. Kudos to her for getting over her fear to draw in public!
From March 16 until April 12 I’ll be travelling the Netherlands and Belgium for my book tour. I will be visiting bookshops to sign my book and have a chat with people. You don’t have to buy a ticket, you can just show up!
Here are the dates:
16/03 | Zwolle | Waanders in de Broeren | 14.00 uur
17/03 | Groningen | Van der Velde | 14.00 uur
24/03 | Antwerpen (BE) | Buchbar | 14.30 uur
06/04 | Den Haag | Paagman (Centrum) | 11.00 uur
06/04 | Rotterdam | Donner | 14.00 uur
07/04 | Middelburg | De Drvkkery | 14.00 uur
13/04 | Haarlem | De Vries Van Stockum | 14.00 uur
14/04 | Maastricht | Dominicanen | 14.00 uur
14/06 | Rotterdam | Animecon
15/06 | Rotterdam | Animecon
16/06 | Rotterdam | Animecon
Buy my book
Can’t attend one of the dates but want a signed copy of my book? You can buy it in my webshop!
I hope you enjoyed this blog post and until next time!