Just a short while ago, we were sitting at Bewick HQ, with a nice cup of tea and a biscuit, ruminating on how we could turn our lovely children's story Bat Dog's Forever Home into a real-life printed book. We knew we wanted to achieve three very important things:
It had to be an enjoyable read for both adults and children.
It had to be aesthetically beautiful – the kind of book you want to stroke because it's so lovely (or is that just us?!)
It had to donate a significant share of its profits to charity.
We started by researching illustrators, admittedly knowing very little about picture book commissioning, and soon realised that if you want top-quality artwork you should expect to pay a decent sum. One illustrator very kindly broke down how many hours it would take her to create the drawings for each page, and what this meant in terms of an hourly rate, which brought everything into rather sharp relief. So, that was cost number one.
We then set about sourcing quotes for printing & distribution, factoring in marketing and editorial costs, and all the other bits and pieces that come with making books. The figure we were left with was way above anything we could afford – shy of winning the lottery or taking out a second mortgage.
And this was how we came to the decision to use Crowdfunder.co.uk. It seemed perfect – essentially, crowdfunding would allow our customers to commit to buying the book before we produce it. The catch, however, is that if we don't reach our target we receive big fat zero! So, it really is an all-or-nothing venture.
We are on day four and, so far, we have raised 12% of our target. In all honesty, we just can't predict whether the ball will keep rolling, or whether it will grind to a halt. We are hoping the campaign will gather momentum – that all the dog-lovers out there who believe in our cause will band together and say, 'Hurrah! We need to support this project!'
So, we're doing what we can to spread the word: we have reached out to our Facebook friends; we've contacted rescue charities who have loyal followers; we've been Tweeting 'til our cyber throats are sore; and we're offering everyone who pledges the chance to nominate their own favourite charity to receive the 10% royalty donation.
The campaign will draw to a close in just 24 days and we need to raise a further £6570 in order to reach our target!
If we achieve this, several things will happen:
We will cry, and jump up and down, and whoooop so loudly the ceiling will shake.
£500 will go straight to Accolade Hounds, a charity very close to our hearts, to help them continue their amazing work.
We will be able to print 2,000 copies of Bat Dog's Forever Home. From these copies 10% of profits will be donated to charity.
We will, hopefully, be able to reinvest remaining profits into continuing our series of charitable children's books. We have lots of ideas for beautiful stories with subtle social themes, and we'd love to see these as Bewick Press' key product line in the future.
So, keep your fingers and toes crossed for us! And – even if you can't pledge – do consider sharing Bat Dog... with your friends and family.