"Once upon a time there was a beautiful princess who was rescued from her evil stepmother by a handsome man". If we asked you what story that was a summary of, there would be a lot of right answers. Too many in fact.
There are an abundance of books that share that tale. Many others include fathers who go to work in a suit and tie and come home grumpy, stay at home mothers cleaning, girls who play with dolls and wear dresses and boys who get muddy and like cars. We’ve all read it before, time and time again.
But when was the last time you read a children's story where:
- the mother ran her own business
- the father was the primary caregiver
- there were children in wheelchairs
- there were multi-racial households
- there were same-sex parents or single parents
- a cheeky girl dug for worms
- a nurturing boy loved nothing better than a cuddle
I am confident that it was a long time ago or perhaps never before, and that’s what I want to change by introducing Alex.
The aim of this project is to raise enough capital to fund the first print run in The Adventures of Alex series. The story starts with Alex, an inquisitive child with red hair and the courage of a lion. Along the way, we meet her friends, their parents and the people in their lives. To a child, The Adventures of Alex series are fun, entertaining stories. To an adult, they’re an important and easy way to entertain children without subjecting them to the stereotypes often found in children's literature. The world is diverse and so are our stories.
Each book is beautifully illustrated and designed to be read in around 15 minutes, the perfect length for a bed-time story.
I (Amie Lockwood) am studio manager at a publishing company in Cardiff called Five Simple Steps (www.fivesimplesteps.com), an independent publisher of practical design books for web professionals. Those books are very different to the ones I want to publish here, but I hope to use my contacts to make The Adventures of Alex series the best it can be. I can easily access editors, illustrators, designers, printers and distributors, so there’s no need for months of endless enquiries - hence the quick turnaround of the book when the funding goal is reached. The reason for using Kickstarter is to reach new audiences with the children’s books.
The first story is already finished, so the £6000 is to be spent on:
- Hiring a designer to get the book ready for print and ebook publication
- The first print run
- Packing & distribution
Hiring an illustrator to finish the illustrations for the first book
I hope that this is one small step towards the end of stereotyping in children's publishing.
I’d love to have you on board by backing this project and helping me to bring The adventures of Alex to children everywhere.
Since the launch of the project, many people have asked to see sketches of Alex. Though the character isn't fully formed yet, I'm really happy to share the initial sketches from the illustrator with you.
Through conversations with the illustrator Alex has already changed a few times - and in reality she will probably change a little more by the time I am happy with her. It's really important for me that Alex doesn't always wear pretty pink dresses, but equally it is important the she doesn't fit the stereotypical 'tom-boy' image either. Sometimes Alex will be in skirt, sometimes she'll be in shorts, sometimes she'll be in a dinosaur onesie. It depends on what adventure she is having that day!
I'll keep updating the page with images as I receive more - I hope you are as excited to see Alex as I am.
Thank you for your support.
Risks and challenges
Illustrations are vital to the success of this book and I've already found an amazing illustrator who I have worked with in the past. He has done some initial sketches and we have agreed prices and timescales.
Editing the first story. The story has been written and trialled with children and adults, the feedback has been astonishingly positive. Still, an editor needs to do some final checks to make sure Alex and her friends leap off the pages and into your children's imagination.
Printing the books is the expensive bit, but it's not the most difficult bit. After a designer has got their hands on the book and made it perfect, I know a great book printing company who print to very high standards. They will make sure that the book is something that will sit on bookshelves for years to come, maintaining its quality no matter how often it is thumbed.
Worldwide distribution is something I am very familiar with because of my current job in the publishing industry. I plan on using the same third party distributor as the company does, as these have been tried and tested. The usual problems that UK companies have when distributing to the US and beyond for the first time (customs declarations, US entities etc) shouldn't be a problem here - as I know the ropes pretty well.
If you have any other questions, suggestions or concerns then please, please get in touch. I promise to reply to every email.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (20 days)