Coloring Book for Adults: "Wise Words from Shakespeare"

Those who follow publishing news will be well aware that one of the big stories of 2015 has been the phenomenal success of coloring books for adults. That’s not “adult” in the rated-X sense (though those are being published, too)–but in the sense of an appeal to grown-up people who have discovered the benefits of sitting down with colored pencils or gel pens and coloring in an image on a page.

As an April 2015 CNN feature reported:

Here’s a new entry in the field:

I’m a lifelong Shakespeare fan and also enjoy making pictures, so this was a natural fit. My draftsmanship is nothing to brag about, but I love composition and fiddling about with bits and pieces of our visual cultural heritage. It was fun to find actual pieces of advice in Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets (as opposed to his peerless observations and descriptions). Finding appropriate historic artwork that matched the advice was an enthralling pursuit (and one in which I relied heavily on Wikimedia Commons).

This book contains 42 pages of my pastiche art to color, each page having one image to a sheet. (Many of the been-around-for-years examples of coloring books for grown-ups, particularly the Dover series, had images on both sides of a single sheet of paper. As more people have gotten into the pleasures of coloring it’s become apparent that blank-backed pages are more satisfactory.) There are 21 pieces of advice rendered on poster-like pages, and 21 illustrations, complementing each pithy adage.

In the artwork, gray lines have been used (instead of black) to facilitate color blending, and to produce a more natural-looking result. Introductory matter and credits bring the page count to 96.

All ages may enjoy this book, though the fine detail of many of the drawings may be challenging for very small children. Despite the presence of the word “adults” in the title, all elements of the book are suitable for family viewing.

The book may be viewed at two sites:


Unfortunately, there’s no way to get a look at any of the art. Do you have any representative samples I could look at? I kind of like the idea of a “grownup” coloring book.

Two ways to see some of the pics: First, the back cover does show four of them, and on the Amazon link (bottom of my opening post) you can click on Look Inside and see the back cover in fairly large format. Second, if you sign in to Amazon, click Look Inside and then Surprise Me, you do get to see two more of the inside pages than you can see on Look Inside when not signed in.

Admittedly this is rather annoying of Amazon (making people sign in, in order to see more of a book’s content). But of course ‘that’s business,’ from their point of view.

For more pages: I have a few minutes free, now, and will upload a couple more pages to my pic-hosting site, then make a post here showing them.
ETA: the Surprise Me does seem to show a different two additional pages each time you go back to the page. I suppose you might eventually see the entire book’s content that way–and I remember now that I’ve seen that fact complained about on the CreateSpace authors’ message board. (!)

I color in adult coloring books. It’s very relaxing and enjoyable.

Yes, that seems to be the most popular selling point: that coloring can be a helpful break from daily stresses. To quote from the introduction to my book:

Here are two more (miniature versions) of the book’s pictures:

The first one, in part, shows a well-known engraving: the 1888 “Flammarian” picture of ‘medieval cosmology.’ It’s the one picture in which I blatantly ‘quote from’ an existing work, but I liked the way it came out and decided to use it. The other pictures are a combination of my own translations of oil paintings into drawings, and bits and pieces of period works, also translated into drawings. It took me, quite literally, hundreds of hours from the beginning of the project to completion.

I like it. I’ll put it on my wish list. :slight_smile: But then, I love Shakespeare.

Cool! I think you would like it (and it’s a nice holiday gift). :slight_smile:

Now to figure out how to put out some feelers to see if Mom would like it as a Christmas gift. She colors for the stress relief, too.

Of course I won’t try to talk you out of that. :slight_smile: But seriously, I was pleased with the way it came out. It’s large format and the cover is scored so that it bends back nicely for ease of use. The printer did a great job, I think.

I just looked over this thread and noticed that in my opening post, the link to the Amazon page on which my book is available has been changed----by whom???----to a link to an eBay page. It’s really annoying because the eBay person is charging a LOT more than I’m charging on either Amazon or CreateSpace.

Possibly I need to report the post…has anyone encountered this sort of thing, before? How could that link have been changed?

Here (I hope) is the correct link:

(Here it is as text, I think: h t t p://—eta, only way to do that was to insert spaces in the first bit. )

I guess we’ll see whether this one gets hijacked, too…
ETA: Truly bizarre: the link in the OP is back to being Amazon. How did the eBay person do that?!?!?

It’s eBay now.

Yeah. That is really annoying–and disturbing. I just reported my own OP, and explained about the hijack.

ETA: it seems to flip back and forth.

I assume that it’s viglink that is modifying the links. I’ve reported the problem.

Small world! I have purchased and mostly completed your book!

Thanks for that. (I’d had no idea that viglink could do that…yikes!)

That’s great to hear! (So you found it some way other than by reading this thread?.. just curious. :))

I ordered one - I’m torn between giving it to my sister and keeping it for myself !

Order another one! (Just kidding. Sort of. You understand…:))

General observation, speaking of ordering: I hope no one is being fooled by the eBay thing. Why pay nearly $10 when you can get it for $5.99 (at CreateSpace or Amazon)…and know that it’s a legitimate copy? The eBay ones could well be pirated, and the print quality might be rather poor.

ETA: If anyone feels like posting a review—good, bad, or indifferent—of course I’d be gratified. Reviews do help (even if they aren’t glowing).

Oh i almost certainly will order at least one more :slight_smile:

That’s good to hear. And don’t hesitate to offer constructive criticism: I’m hoping to make this a series, and am willing to make changes in upcoming volumes, that people think would result in a more enjoyable experience.

One thing I’ve found is that the printer—while doing a great job, in my opinion—does tend to overcorrect the grey-line drawings to make them darker than in my original files. There may not be a way out of that, as I’m not able to communicate with them directly, but I’m looking into it.

Got it :slight_smile: