So why should you still back this project now we've hit our target?
Well, as we explain below, we have lots of other exciting things we would love to do with Frankie the flamingo and her gang. And things we have thought of since such as more books for more school pupils, badges to go with the story, downloadable pictures to colour in and small mysteries to solve as teaching aids for the schools, a year's supply of prawn flavoured ice-cream in the FID offices, a pink flamingo touring bus... The list is endless! So, as well as getting great rewards you can be sure your money wont be wasted! So thank you in advance.
And now back to the original story...
When I was expressing doubts about crowd funding this book and whether anyone would sign up, Warren (a friend) said that he was told years ago (in the days before the web even existed!) that it should be a JOY, a REAL JOY, to ask people for money for a project you are passionate about.
So here goes ...
We have this wonderful book we want to get published and we need YOUR help! We are most of the way there but a little extra money will ensure that Frankie can be free to be a water detective all over the world.
£3,000 will allow us to put the finishing touches to the illustrations and for the book to be published. Find a breakdown of where this money is going at the bottom of the page.
What if we raise more than £3,000?! Like £1,000,000?
Well I checked that out with Frankie the flamingo and her investigating sidekicks and Clarence got very excited and said we could sort out the poo on his head problem once and for all. I pointed out that sadly that would be billions of pounds. So Frankie decided we would make apps and games all about how brilliant water is and cool ways to use less of it and then the FID would go off and solve 'The mysterious case of the frog in the toilet cistern!' and 'The mysterious case of the elephant that forgot!' Oh, and of course we'd make an ebook and a film of 'The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo'!
What we have achieved so far:
- Frankie has solved the mysterious case of the sinking flamingo!
- Cath has written about how she did it!
- Jon Evans has done loads of fab illustrations!
- We are poised ready to print once we have the funds!
- We have a sample print of the book! It looks excitingly readable. Its definitely going to be a great book to take home!
At one level ‘The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo’ is a book about water efficiency and the perils of combined sewer overflows. ‘So far so boring’ I hear some of you mutter. And hardly likely to get me (the erstwhile author) on the shortlist for children’s laureate. So let’s talk about the other level where it is the amazing adventure of an inquisitive flamingo, a persevering dragonfly, and a crab who doesn’t like pooh on his head. Ah that’s better. Who wouldn’t want to fund that? So here is your chance.
Jon Evans (by day a member of Her Majesty’s Secret Service - well Her Majesty’s something - and by night the industrious and imaginative illustrator) is working away at the drawings. This is where some of your money comes in, to fund the final pieces of magical illustration.
I can chat to 5 and 6 year olds for 10 minutes about how their school uses water and what they can do at home and at school to save water.
I can talk until the cows come home to older primary school pupils about toilets, the four minute shower challenge and detecting whether they have a leaky loo.
I can even teach secondary school pupils about rainwater harvesting and weird and wonderful designs to get adolescents out of the shower,
BUT... I am far too nerdy to spend 40 minutes talking to 30 expectant 6 year olds about water, without losing them completely. What I needed was a book but there wasn’t one out there. So I just had to write it myself!
(And Mu, my mum, has always wanted a book dedicated to her and who am I to refuse such a request?)
To date we have read the book to over 830 pupils in 26 classes. They all really enjoyed hearing how Frankie solved the mystery and found out all about how water gets to her zoo from Sameera's river and then how the dirty water from the zoo goes to the sewage treatment plant and why, if its raining, Clarence gets poo on his head.
The teachers loved it too! "The children loved the characters and wanted to help Frankie save water. Lovely resources. Accessible and fun for the children."
The super fans
Kamari (and his mum Simone) who star in the video! Sasha, Samantha, Cici, Mimi and LisaMu who never miss an opportunity to pose with Frankie the flamingo or her book! Evie who made Colin read the book to her over and over even when it was just text on his phone!
The book has been given amazing support from several fantastic organisations already: Waterwise, Drainmarkers, Treebox, Regenmedia and EC1 Bathrooms. So a big thanks for believing in Frankie and getting us this far!
Where is the money going?
- The main cost is to print a whole pile of books. Some we will give away to you guys, our fabulous supporters! Some we will give to the schools we work in. And some we will sell. We are printing the book in the UK on FSC paper with environmentally sustainable dyes. It will be 21 by 21 cm, we will be selling it for £5.99 (if we have any left over) and has 31 pages of colour illustrations.
- Jon is doing the all the artwork for a crazily low price. (I think he sees it as a way to escape from the incessant intrigue and glamour of being an international spy.) We have already paid him some of what we owe him with the money from our corporate backers.
- And then there are other ancillary costs. The rewards, kick-starter’s commission, book design, distribution costs, etc.
ech2o will fund some of this (and we've already put in loads of free time) but we cannot get any further without you.
Lets get Frankie published!
Follow our progress using #frankietheflamingo
Risks and challenges
Its certainly been a challenge to get this far.
It was a risk that I wouldn't be able to find an illustrator and the book would be full of my stick drawings of Frankie, Clarence et al but then Jon Evans popped up from nowhere!
It was a risk that the kids and/or the teachers wouldn't enjoy the story, but now we know that they love it!
It was a risk that the the finished book would look too amateur but we have found a great printer and the book looks fab!
So we think we have pretty much met all the main challenges and now, apart from being hit by the proverbial bus (Cath), eaten by a shark (Jon Evans), crashed and burnt with the sheer excitement of starring in her very own book (Frankie the flamingo) the main risk is that not enough of you will think "Hey we definitely want to get 'The mysterious case of the sinking flamingo' out to the world."
Therefore, we are confident that once we hit our target of £3,000 we will be able to get your wonderful rewards out to you and Frankie out to the world this autumn!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)