Wow, it is amazing how fast a month and a half goes. Sarah is now back (Congratulations on your wedding Sarah!) and we’ve had our first meeting to discuss the storyboard and characters.
The most exciting part of the meeting was having my first look at the cover. Sarah has brilliantly captured the photo of the canal that I had sent to her and the shadow of Nana and Ellie looking like a duck is, to me, a stroke of genius. I was so happy with it but will again have to digest it over the next few days, run it past a few people, and try to look at it with a less excitable eye – will it sell? Is the new Nana right? Is there anything that I don’t like about it?
After talking about the drawings and having lunch (because food is a very important part of my process) we headed back to my parents’ house so that Sarah could meet them and my daughter. I thought it was a good idea for Sarah to meet the inspiration behind my characters to enable her to portray the essence of them. This is a definite advantage of working with a locally based illustrator. I hadn’t told my parents in advance and it couldn’t have worked out better because Grandad was cooking in the kitchen with his pinny on, just like the Grandad in the story!
(For any non-UK readers, a pinny is an apron – it came up as a spelling mistake so I thought I may need to clarify J )
We’ve talked deadlines and we’ve agreed that we’ll try to have the finished book ready for the start of October so that it is available for people buying Christmas presents. At the risk of stating the obvious, that is quite soon so we both need to get cracking. I’m compiling lists of people to contact for possible marketing and selling opportunities (newspapers, bookshops, local libraries) and am researching self-publishing in lots of detail. I’ve also started looking for a printer.
The other new thing we talked about was that I have decided that I need to raise funds for the printing and marketing of Nana Duck. If I can raise some money towards costs, I will be able to sell the book at a more reasonable price and therefore (fingers crossed), sell more copies. So… I’m going to run a Kickstarter project in August. Even if it fails it will hopefully generate some publicity and interest in the project but if it succeeds it will really help to get the book printed – my main fear at the moment is that we will have a wonderful children’s book and no money to get it out there.
I’ve been giving myself a crash course in Kickstarter using their website and online tutorials. I’ve talked to Sarah about some of my ideas for rewards as some of them involve her and I’m now going to draw up the list. The worst part of doing a Kickstarter campaign for me is the idea of the video. Most successful projects have a video so it isn’t really optional but being on camera will be a first for me and the very idea of it is terrifying. I’m an accountant not a movie star! This was always going to be a steep learning curve – another one for the life experiences tick box I guess. Maybe I will discover that I have hidden talents, Hollywood here I come?!