The snow was falling, the leaves were rustling, into a clearing a young girl ran.
“Here is the spot mum, this’ll be the best place, I’m going to build a snowman, as BIG as I can!”
A Bit Of A Back Story
Two years ago Helen, a children's drama practitioner and aspiring author, and Sophie, an illustrator and animator, collaborated on a creative Christmassy workshop involving a snowman that glowed. As a result the story of The Glowing Snowman was born. This wonderful tale was just begging to be made into a book. After some initial research looking into publishers, they got a bit disheartened. There were too many rules, too many prerequisites, and frankly too many other people wanting to take a slice of the pie!
'Hang On!' they thought, 'why don't we just do it ourselves!' Thus the seeds of Sojo Publishing Mouse were sown. One MA, and one small human being later (2016 was a busy year!), Helen and Sophie were ready to get this book out to the world, and start a revolution in publishing with a mighty squeak!
The Book Itself
Written by Helen The Glowing Snowman is a children's picture book and tells the tale of a snowman left alone in the woods, wondering if he is special enough. The girl who built him has run off home, and the animals around him seem to ignore his presence. That is until he has a small accident with a firefly! In suddenly becoming the talk of the forest, our little Snowman has a moral dilemma on his hands...
Should he let the firefly go? Or keep it there, and keep his glow?
Beautifully illustrated by Sophie, this story has already been heard by a small handful of Nottinghamshire school children who have helped create and inspire many of the images in the book. We're excited at the thought of sharing it with them, and many more, which is why we'd love your help to get us there.
The book will be sold online through our website and other channels, but we are currently in conversation with a couple of bookshops local to Nottingham, and hope to have one or two on the shelves out there too! We'll also be stepping out to a Christmas Fair here and there with the books and some fun creative workshops. Whilst most of our backer funds will pay for the print costs, there is a small portion assigned to help boost our marketing campaign once the run up to Christmas starts in earnest.
Looking ahead for Sojo Publishing Mouse
This project really is the kick-starter. We want to create more and more children's books which break the rules and push the boundaries of children's publishing, which we feel has fallen into to a bit of a predictable cycle.
Living in Nottingham, which proudly holds title of one of only 20 'UNESCO City Of Literature' statuses in the world, we're excited by the scene here, and the potential of talent we have to tap into. Each project we work on, we intend to involve and engage with local youngsters, getting them fired up with ideas and seeing how a book can come to a finished product.
Once we've gone local there's no reason we can't go national, seeking out the marvellous and wondrous tales and curious characters that may be hidden down the back of the sofa with the lint and old pound coins!
If you're all super lovely
Obviously we hope you like our project enough so we reach our target. But what if you're super lovely and we go over and beyond? Well, if there's a little more money in the pot it'll mainly be used to increase our marketing budget for a more comprehensive campaign so we can spread the word about the book to more people. After that, more funds spare and we'd like to spend that on a little more merchandise to go along with the book. Extra bags, T-shirts, and Christmas cards, and Helen is dying to get a cute Snowman pin-badge made up! We can take these along to the Christmas Fairs to go alongside the books.
If the generosity is way beyond what we've aimed at we can afford a bigger print run, so EVEN MORE books, and this lonely little snowman can find more friends to share his story with.
Risks and challenges
We both run our own businesses in other areas of the creative industry, but we are new to the publishing world, and it has been a learn-as-we-go scenario thus far.
Happily there are so many pools of information and help out there in the mass of search engines. We are also happy to have made connections with the folk at the heart of Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature team, who can point us in the right direction and connect us to people in the know locally.
Also, Helen does love a good Excel spreadsheet!
This is a ready-to-go project. The book is finished, and we have our printer lined up. We just need that first boost of investment to get going and shout about it on social media.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (21 days)