Coming Soon

It has been a long time in the making but my new book is coming soon. It is an illustrated story for approximately 3-6 year olds.

The Thirsty Flowers coverI first wrote this story in the late 1970’s as a bedtime story for my nephews who were living in Nigeria at the time. We used to send cassette tapes backwards and forwards (yes tapes, no Skype in those days) and it occurred to me that it would be nice to have something specially for the children to listen to. My husband read it on the tape. I then looked for something else to do with the story and submitted it to the BBC for their ‘Listen With Mother’ radio programme. It was accepted and  broadcast on 26th April 1978, under my maiden name and with a repeat at a later date. Unfortunately this previously daily programme is no longer broadcast as children’s TV has taken over.

After that I gave the story very little thought until, a couple of years ago, a friend of mine paid an illustrator and published a story she had written, mainly to sell to friends and relatives. She followed this up with a sequel. This set me thinking about my old story; surely I could do the same. I have to say it took me some time to find the story as I have changed computers several times since then and couldn’t find a print-out. Happily I did eventually find it on an old floppy disk, from my ‘Word Processor’ days (between typewriter and computer), after ‘borrowing’ the technology from my local IT shop to see what was on the disk and retrieve it! I have brushed it up a bit for this first printed version of the story.

My two previous poetry books had been entirely self-produced and all the net profits from the sales I donate to children’s charities. I also want the net profits from this book to go those  charities. I had done most of the black-and-white illustrations myself for the poetry books, but this book was different – it needed to be well illustrated in full colour to a standard that I felt was beyond my ability. I knew my friend had paid quite a lot for her book to be illustrated, virtually wiping out any hope of profit and this I wasn’t prepared to do.

So I placed an appeal on my local community Facebook page, explaining the situation and appealing for an illustrator. I had several responses and amongst them was a very talented young lady called Kerrie Mccauley, who hopes to be a children’s illustrator. She seemed to understand what I wanted and was also happy to do the work as part of her CV for her University applications – this was round about a year ago and she started University this autumn. We have had some ups and downs along the way and it has taken rather longer than I had hoped but it has been a learning curve for both of us as I had never produced this kind of book before either.

At last we are on the final straight, there are just one or two minor tweaks to be made to a couple of pages then we should be all set to present it to my local printers. I had done a lot of research on printing costs for the book, which were bound to be more than my previous poetry books, and in fact my local printing firm (which was where my friend also had her books done) proved to be the most reasonable. With a bit of luck the book will be ready in time for us to benefit from some Christmas sales so watch this space. A soon as it is finally at the printers I will set up a pre-order system.

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. julespaige
    Oct 10, 2016 @ 13:39:22

    Oh, how wonderful! I wish you tons of success. I have a few collections I would eventually like to publish. But I haven’t even started the how to do so process. One is a collection of Elfje that I thought would do for children.

    Another local gal in my area basically had to become her own publishing house… but can only publish her own works. And I don’t think there was any room for colored illustrations.

    I guess I need to do some more local networking. But getting published…in poetry or children’s lit. is a guarded community. At least according to another gal I know who is actually a children’s author.

    Reply

  2. Libby
    Oct 10, 2016 @ 15:14:21

    Thanks Jules. I am actually my own publishing house too, but for only my own books (my website is http://www.silverburnpublishing.co.uk but I have yet to update it with this book!). Your Elfje collection sounds like a good idea – go for it! Getting into mainstream publishing is indeed difficult these days, whatever the genre, but there are other resources out there.

    Reply

  3. elaine patricia
    Oct 11, 2016 @ 19:39:24

    Well done Libby

    Reply

  4. The Weekly Day
    Oct 12, 2016 @ 03:42:14

    Oh, that sounds like the right age group for me 🙂 Good luck!

    Reply

  5. purehaiku
    Oct 14, 2016 @ 13:40:28

    yay! 🙂

    Reply

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