two little birds is a hybrid children's book imprint created by author/illustrator Rebecca Emberley and publisher Deidre Randall.
We are so excited to be here on Kickstarter to kick the two little birds out of the nest with the first title for this imprint, The Itsy Bitsy Spider by Rebecca and Ed Emberley! We decide rather than us talking, we'd show you the book. The artwork was created with cut and torn paper, then scanned and finished digitally. And that's Peter Black on the soundtrack!
Why would two celebrated author/illustrators like the Emberleys, who have published successfully (and will continue to) with trade publishing giants like Scholastic, Roaring Brook Press, Little, Brown and Simon&Schuster want to create a new publishing model for themselves? There are several reasons.
1. The face of publishing is changing so rapidly that sometimes you don't see it happening until it's over. We want to diversify, explore lots of options.
2. We are big believers in the printed book. So we want to print some! We are also believers in technology and think that they can exist hand in hand without one replacing the other. We are lucky to have partnered with an amazing app developer Night & Day Studios and they will be creating the inter-active e-book app (cross platform) of Itsy Bitsy Spider for release at the same time as the printed book! We are very excited about that!
We are also lucky to be a family of musicans and have Rebecca's daughter Adrian Emberley, and her husband Peter Black as well as publisher Deidre Randall, all talented singer songwriters, so of course, we will be recording our version of Itsy Bitsy Spider to use with the book and the e-book. The final version will have 3 verses, one slow enough to read by, one jazzed up for finger play and a third just for dancing to the Itsy Bitsy Spider! Trade publishers sometimes don't have the resources to do all of these things.
3. Sometimes you have more ideas than publishers can publish and sometime those ideas are outside the realm of of their expertise or they have another book with similar subject matter on their back list. There are lots of reasons to do this.
A bit about the book - the idea for the Emberley's to do Itsy Bitsy Spider came from one of their editors to whom the book is dedicated. When they saw how many people around the world identified with Itsy Bitsy, they decided to try and give it their special touch. Because the melody is so strongly attached to the rhyme, they chose to say true to the original text. Unfortunately when presented to the publisher, they could not come to contractual terms and their editor gave them his blessing to fly with it. We don't want to let him down, we're flying. We chose this title for Kickstarter because of it's universal appeal, making it easier to pre-buy.
The final piece of the puzzle is the buy a book - give a book aspect of the imprint. Two years ago Rebecca had the chance to donate some books and met Jennifer Frances and Bess the book Bus
Jennifer works tirelessly to bring books to kids in her yellow bus. Working along side Jennifer, Rebecca got to see the joy that owning a real book still gives to children, and always will, so she chose Bess and Jennifer as our first giving partner. As the imprint grows we will choose other giving partners as well, and we will be setting aside some copies of Itsy Bitsy to go to schools and libraries devastated by Hurricane Sandy.
So, essentially we will be pre-selling the book here on Kickstarter along with some other fun rewards. The money from the pre-sales will go toward printing costs for Itsy Bisty Spider and some other pre-production cost. If by some wonderful chance we are overfunded, we will print more books and give away more books!
Phew! That's a lot of stuff for one project! You can read more about all of us in the bio section.
We so appreciate your taking the time to hear about what we doing. We know you are bombarded all day with news and requests. Our sincere thanks for everyone who supports us every day.
Risks and challenges
With any new venture there are risks and challenges. Changing the way things are done sometimes meets with resistance, but we are a team, each of us highly skilled in what we do best. That will make it easier to meet the challenges head on. Target marketing and publicity can often be a challenge in the beginning, so we are grateful to have Blueline Publicity working in conjunction with us. Also on board will UPNE distributing the book for us.
From marketing to distribution, we will all collaborate to get this first book, followed by many more, out there in the world and into the hands of children.
Another challenge for us could be the balance of books going out and books coming in. Making sure we have a continuous flow of books will take practice.There is always a risk the the print run will unsatisfactory or that weather or customs could delay the shipping from overseas.
With a combined 50 years in publishing, "two little birds books" will work diligently to anticipate issues and deal with them effectively!
No. Here on Kickstarter we have factored in shipping and handling, a couple of dollars for initial pre- production, as well as the 10% that Kickstarter & Amazon takes. Itsy Bitsy Spider will retail for $12.95. Larger picture books will retail for about $1 above average @ $17.95. Other books that are not picture books, such as activity books, will vary.
Our imprint is a hybrid of traditional trade publishing and subsidy publishing in which the author/artist owns the book and all the rights and both parties are monetarily and physically invested in the book.
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