Fisherton Press is a new London based independent publishing company producing books for children that adult readers also enjoy.
Because we are a new company with limited funds, most of our books are going to be published on a royalty only basis - so authors and illustrators will start to make money once the book does. Where these books are commercial books, we are confident of selling enough copies through conventional means that the writers and illustrators will get paid.
However we also want to produce books that we think should exist, regardless of how commercial they are. We want to produce a book that parents and teachers can use to help them explain democracy. So when a child sees a poster urging you to support a party or a candidate or when they hear the word ballot, or when their favourite tv programme is taken off air by election broadcasts, and they start asking what an election is and whether political parties come with party bags, this book can be a starting point for discussion.
Although we think that in an ideal world every household would own a copy, and in an almost ideal world every nursery, pre-school, primary (elementary) school and library would have a copy, we also understand that a fiction picture book about elections aimed at toddlers is not the most commercial idea. As such we would like to be able to pay the illustrator that we choose an advance, so that regardless of sales they receive some money for their work.
The story is a story of two children who live on the same street, whose parents support different parties and display different posters in their windows and how, despite this, the children stay friends. It's fun, age-appropriate and, we promise, not too earnest. It supports no particular party, works internationally wherever free elections are held, and promotes no ideology beyond democracy, participation and friendship.
Given voter turnouts are frequently low and young people are often criticised for being apathetic, we want to contribute to democracy by helping normalise participation to very young children, so that by the time they are able to vote doing so seems the obvious choice.
Image: 'Voting' by David Castillo Dominici from www.freedigitalphotos.net
Risks and challenges
There are three main challenges to this project.
The first is finding the correct illustrator for the project. To some extent this depends on how much money is raised as the bigger the advance the more choice of illustrator we have. Great illustrators aren't always the most expensive however and we want to open up the search to include people at the beginning of their careers as well as established illustrators. The illustrations must be fun, accessible and original as well as tell the story and work for an international audience.
The second is ensuring we get the story right, so the message is important but the story also works just as a story, as well as an educational tool. We don't want a purely earnest moralistic tale that is no fun for the reader.
The third is marketing the finished product to achieve press coverage and sales. We are confident in our ability to generate press coverage as the Director of Fisherton Press is a journalist and because there is nothing similar on the market. But we need to ensure this translates to sales. There is no point having a great book without readers. Nevertheless we are confident in our ability to market the book to the teachers, librarians and booksellers necessary to help achieve this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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