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A Better Place: A beautifully illustrated children's book

A beautifully illustrated full colour book designed to help children come to terms with the bereavement of a loved one.

A Better Place: A beautifully illustrated children's book

A beautifully illustrated full colour book designed to help children come to terms with the bereavement of a loved one.

£3Delimiter962
Pledged OfPledged Of Goal
112
Backers
31Days Time To Go

All Or Nothing This Project Will Only Be Funded

About

A Better Place

A book to help children deal with the beareavement of a loved one.

Hello everyone and welcome!

My name is Alyson Marsh and I am the author and illustrator of my first ever book, “A Better Place”. I am so excited for you to see the book and find out more about it's evolution from a very sad time in my life, so please read on.

This is the cover art of the book

How it all started

Thirteen years ago my father passed away.

Michael Wild Snr - 1947–2005

At the time I was four months pregnant with my first child, Eidi. I was left feeling empty and confused and felt I wanted to grieve as I missed my father so much but I was conscious that I had my baby growing inside of me. I started to think about where my father could have passed on to and it was this trail of thought that led me to begin to draw a magical world, “A Better Place”.

Who am I?

I am first of all a mother of two beautiful daughters, Eidi and Peggy. I am also an Art teacher with 22 years experience in teaching Art and Design. I am married to David Marsh who is the creative director of his own Graphic Design business ‘Artomattic’. I am a big family person and love spending time with my immediate family, we do lots of things together and we are extremely close.

About the book

A Better place was written to try to help me to come to terms with the loss of my father who I was very close to, it was also written to help me to try to be positive in my times of sorrow. I began to think about how difficult it must be for a child to understand death, the concept and the unfairness of it all. With this in mind I wrote the story of a young girl named “Thora” whose father had passed away. 

Thora

Thora is based on the faces of my beautiful daughters Eidi and Peggy.

Peggy and Thora

The father in the tale was based on my husband David.

David and the Dad character from A Better Place

The book takes the reader on a journey through the eyes of young Thora who believes that her daddy has gone away to “A Better Place” where he can do lots of things he wanted to do while he lived. The book was created to allow the reader to take ownership of where they believe their lost person has gone to and to provide some hope in the fact that although they were destined to part their loved one will always remain in their heart. 

The Book is a gift

As a culture we don’t tend to talk about death, especially with children. I believe that my book will encourage this necessary discourse to take place and hopefully provide the person left behind with some hope. The book also acts as a personal gift to the reader by allowing them to draw onto pages their own better place where they believe their loved one has gone to.

Interactive pages where the reader can create their own special Better Place

At the back of the book there is a frame for the reader to place a picture of their loved one so it also becomes a keepsake that they can keep returning to and adding to, to keep their precious memories alive. On every page there is a robin, this symbolic little character is there to reassure and guide the reader through the pages and he seems to be the little chum of Thora’s daddy so she also can see that he is not alone. The message here is clear but managed in a very subtle manner.

Interactive photo page for the picture of your loved one
The father character and his sidekick the robin in the garden
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The book appearing in the video is a 75% actual size mock up produced digitally at our printers, this was a test pressing to check we had specified the correct paper for the look and feel we wanted to achieve. The actual book production we are Kickstarter fundraising for will be 48 pages of full colour loveliness sized at 250mm x 250mm.

Kickstarter fundraising budget

We chose Kickstarter as it was the best crowdfunding site for our purpose, it was very clear, straightforward, trustworthy and there were many successful campaigns similar to ours highlighted on the site. Below you will see what we are fundraising for and the amounts we have budgeted to reach our aim of producing and marketing the book - A Better Place.

  • £4000 - to print the books
  • £1500 - to purchase the rewards
  • £750 - to produce print ready artwork and rewards artwork
  • £200 - to purchase ISBN and barcode
  • £100 - to licence the use of the typeface
  • £888 - Fees to Kickstarter
  • £1462 - Tax and, contingency

Timeline

I have planned this timeline with plenty of extra time taking into account manufacturing delays and any other potential factors that may cause delays. It is possible that the books will get to you sooner than the provided estimates.

  • November 2019: Kickstarter campaign begins
  • January 2020: Kickstarter campaign ends.
  • November - January 2019/20: Illustration continues and book is made print ready.
  • February 2020: Book printing begins.
  • March 2020: Books are in my hands.
  • April 2020: Books and rewards are in your hands!

Shipping

  • All shipments will be carefully and securely packaged in high quality packaging.
  • Backers are responsible for any import taxes or fees relevant to their country.

 Messages from people who have seen the book during it's development and loved it… 

Tricia Lloyd - Bereavement councillor: Alyson Marsh has created a beautifully illustrated book that will help the young reader on their journey through the process of grief. The book enables a child to access their own memories of their loved one and in doing so helps them to realise that a loved one never leaves you as you carry them in your heart always. 

Jo Lowe - Head teacher, The Kingsway School, Stockport: Thanks for sharing your book Aly. It is really beautiful to look at and to read. You should be really proud of it. Well done, and good luck with its future.

Kristen Knowles: A better place is a beautiful book with stunning illustrations offering comfort to the reader. By following Thora's thoughts around her father's death the book lovingly encourages the reader to explore their own feelings and thoughts. I am confident the book will help and empower many children affected by loss.

Daniel Cruz - Primary teacher: No one can take away the tears or sadness when you lose a loved one and this book does not try to do that, it won’t answer all the questions. Instead it helps you cope with the grief and it also shows that a smile is still there because no one was like the person who has passed. Alison reveals a way the reader can find hope from their own memories and she shows that happiness, hope and love can last forever.

Joel Sadler - Head of English at The Kingsway School, Stockport: This book is not only well crafted and well produced but most importantly, it comes from the heart. Alyson has produced something vital that will help many young people process loss and grief in their own way.

Dr Vanessa Higgins - Senior Research Fellow, University of Manchester: This beautiful book is illustrated and written from the heart by a talented, creative artist and writer. My seven year old daughter loves it and I hope it gives many, many other children the same comfort. I highly recommend this amazing book.

Mrs Gillian Kay - Executive Headteacher and National Leader of Education: A Better Place is written from the heart and offers a pathway of soul searching for dealing with bereavement. It's a 'must' read and essential resource to support the emotional wellbeing for both young and old. The beautiful illustrations really do compliment the essence of the book.

Mike Wild - Art Lecturer: This is such a important gift for those who have lost someone special in their lives.The illustrations are beautifully drawn and verse poetically written from the heart. This book also gives the reader the opportunity to express loss in a very unique and creative way.

 We believe in A Better Place

Friends and family members began sending me videos of their support and the hashtag was born, #webelieveinabetterplace, below are videos sent to me from Charlotte Parry and her daughter Matilda, the daughter's of Kirsty and Ian Edgerton, Betsy and Vanessa, Ben, Ellie and Trish and Alma and her daughter Halima. Thank you all! x

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Risks and challenges

We have experience shipping out large numbers of orders from my husbands online graphic poster business so I feel as though we are well prepared and organised in terms of doing our part in shipping your items safely. I have done my best in preparing and planning to minimise any potential risks, however, there are some factors that are simply out of my control. Some factors that I cannot control include delays in manufacturing and delays on the postal services part. I have prepared myself for these delays by allowing plenty of extra time in providing shipping estimates.

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Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About US$ 13

    The Digital Reward

    Get two digital wallpaper .jpg images of the book cover and one of the pages within the book, you can use these as wallpaper on your smart device or computer, they are lovely bright images that should brighten your day.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £20 or more About US$ 26

    Level One Reward

    Get an official pre-release copy of the A Better Place book straight off the printing press, this copy will be signed by Alyson. Three full colour character button badges featuring Thora and the Robin. A full colour double sided laminated A Better Place bookmark.

    Includes:
    • Official pre-release signed copy of A Better Place book
    • I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards
    • A Better Place full colour double sided bookmark
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £50 or more About US$ 65

    Level Two Reward

    Get two official pre-release copies of the A Better Place book straight off the printing press, these copies will be signed by Alyson. An ethically sourced tote bag printed with a full coloiur image of the cover to one face. Four I Believe in a Better Place A6 full colour postcards. Six full colour button badges depicting Thora and The Robin in the garden.

    Includes:
    • Official pre-release signed copy of A Better Place book
    • Canvas tote bag printed with a full colour image of the cover
    • I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards
    • Full colour character button badges featuring Thora and the Robin
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    About US$ 65

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £80 or more About US$ 104

    Level Three Reward

    Get two official pre-release copies of the A Better Place book straight off the printing press, these copies will be signed by Alyson. One limited edition full colour signed print of your choice. Four I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards. One enamel Robin in the Garden pin badge. One ethically sourced canvas tote bag printed with a full colour image of the cover to one face.

    Includes:
    • Official pre-release signed copy of A Better Place book
    • Limited edition full colour signed print 250 x 250mm
    • I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards
    • Enamel Robin In The Garden pin badge
    • Canvas tote bag printed with a full colour image of the cover
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    0 backers
    £
    About US$ 104

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £100 or more About US$ 130

    Level Four Reward

    Get three official pre-release copies of the A Better Place book straight off the printing press, these copies will be signed by Alyson. One limited edition full colour signed print of your choice. Eight I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards. Two Enamel Robin in the Garden pin badges. One ethically sourced canvas tote bag printed with a full colour image of the cover to one face.

    Includes:
    • Official pre-release signed copy of A Better Place book
    • Limited edition full colour signed print 250 x 250mm
    • I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards
    • Enamel Robin In The Garden pin badge
    • Canvas tote bag printed with a full colour image of the cover
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    £
    About US$ 130

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge £150 or more About US$ 194

    Level Five Reward

    Get four official pre-release copies of the A Better Place book straight off the printing press, these copies will be signed by Alyson. Two limited edition full colour signed print of your choice. Ten I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards. Two Enamel Robin in the Garden pin badges. Two ethically sourced canvas tote bags printed with a full colour image of the cover to one face.

    Includes:
    • Official pre-release signed copy of A Better Place book
    • Limited edition full colour signed print 250 x 250mm
    • 10× I Believe In A Better Place A6 full colour postcards
    • Enamel Robin In The Garden pin badge
    • Canvas tote bag printed with a full colour image of the cover
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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    2 backers
    £
    About US$ 194

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge £450 or more About US$ 582

    The Original Artwork Reward Level

    Get an original hand drawn full colour illustration of Thora replicated from one of the images used in the book, plus a signed copy of the A Better Place Book with a personal message of your choosing.

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