I am very honoured to support this project of my dear friend and fellow creative Mel Irvine who has invited me to via skype to an International Literacy day in Botongon. It’s been quite a journey since we met at a song writing workshop in Far North Queensland, a place where we both shared the power of music and became friends.
Mel says, “International Literacy Day is held on 8 September every year and this year I’ll be celebrating with the children of Botongon as well as some accomplished artists, writers and musicians from Iloilo City. As a special treat, my friend and children’s author Dr June Perkins will be joining us via skype to engage with the children about the subjects closest to her heart: family, the natural world and the importance of going to school. And you can join us too, LIVE via YouTube or Facebook.”
Nearly one year since our successful kickstarter and there are now many copies of Magic Fish Dreaming ready to find homes for. I picked up our full print run Tuesday this week!
Since our launch last October, nearly 300 books have headed out to the public and are now doing their magic; this has been from: kickstarter preorders, library supplier sales, the launch, individual direct orders, and one bookshop appearance.
We have had a review in Reading Time with CBCA (children’s book council), and have sent the book for review to several others and so we should see those in coming months, and I continue to search out more places for reviews. Sometimes these take a while to hear back from.
In the meantime the truly hard work begins; we strive to reach more schools and libraries, bookshops, and obtain even more reviews, and locate conferences, festivals, potential sellers, and events that will help put the word out about Magic Fish Dreaming.
Last week I received the exciting news about participating in a festival in April(I sent out a query straight after the kickstarter and it took a while to hear back) and in March, I am chatting with libraries and environment centres to see how I might work on something to share the book in their spaces.This is so exciting and can’t wait to share with you the outcomes of these discussions.
I am about to put in some proposals to other places but am on the eagle eye look out for opportunities to share a product our team are very proud of.
Whilst distributing this book, I am polishing up a number of picture book manuscripts with my invaluable writing mentors, a new poetry collection (sequel to Magic Fish Dreaming), writing a novel, and continuing to work as a tutor in the Keystones program for Indigenous students at QUT. I am not sure if these new works will be self published, or if I can find traditional publishers for them.
I have been totally inspired by the feedback we are receiving from our kickstarter sponsors about the journey of the book. We have readers from Philippines, Canada, New Zealand, France, Papua New Guinea, and the United States. We don’t yet regularly distribute in these countries but feel blessed by the response our kickstarter supporters there have given Magic Fish Dreaming and would love for it to continue to reach a global audience when we work out the best way to do this.
We know the book has made it into Australian libraries and schools in two countries through our kickstarter buddies and we thank them so, so much for the love! Presently I am doing some final edits on our educational materials and notes relating to the book especially for teachers and parents.
An unexpected blessing, was Helene having an artist card with AVANT CARD and it mentioning the poem that inspired it and title of the book and featuring one art work from on it. This is all over their stands now, and if you find ‘River Song’ do let us know. We’d love to know where the card appeared.
As a self publisher I have a few more things to work out in this learning by doing especially in the distribution journey, but thank you for following and supporting.
In Australia you can order the book directly from me as well as presently obtain it from bookshops in Brisbane, Townsville, Kuranda, and the Gold Coast. If you live in the area of one of the shops best to buy it there as this will save you postage. Libraries can obtain it from Peter Pal.
You should know bookshops will often only stock any book for a limited time, 3-6 months, and the sales of the book determine if they purchase more stock and keep it on their shelves longer.
All queries regarding Magic Fish Dreaming can be made to email@example.com
Just letting you know that Helene Magisson’s illustration for ‘River Song’is now on the Avant Card stands.
Keep a look out for it, and do pick one up as they are free and lovely to put on the wall.
Helene said to avantcardmedia: This illustration was inspired by the poem ‘River Song’ from the children’s poetry book Magic Fish Dreaming written by @gumbootspearlzpress (2016). When I settled down in Australia a few years ago, I was fascinated by the beauty and the lightness of the stars and the night sky. Also the moon seemed to me so perfectly bright, round and huge. When I read this poem, it immediately reminded me of this splendid image of the moon I saw here for the first time.
It is a contemplative and whimsical poem and I wanted to highlight this sense of magic here. Exaggerating the size of the moon, adding this…
So, so exciting! Super, super busy! I think I need a pair of butterfly wings! Flap, flap.
Above is our second last sneak peak of the enchanting illustrations by Helene before the launch. Just one more reveal! No poem to reveal, as you’ll see that in the book. Wow, our caterpillar book is about to fly! No more cocoon. . . so very soon our book will fly into your hands.
It’s final editing of the manuscript time – the point where the poet is not allowed to tinker or fine tune the metre of any more lines, but has to finally be satisfied for the line edits by Matilda.
We have some magical people, in children’s writing and poetry, writing something about the book as we speak. Can’t wait for their feedback ! They are the first, other than the team, to see butterfly emerge from its cocoon.
Our design wizz Heidi will soon be doing her stuff, taking the manuscript and the art and putting it all together. Ah the decisions on font and so forth will be taking place.
I’ll be off to see the printer to make some final decision before that. Papers, binding, and other mysteries to hide from you all a little while longer. Ah for the mysteries of the cymk that will make the colours Helene has put into her art sing onto the page.
As for launching and so on, there’s still some research to be done, before we fix dates and places. Maybe we will make a trailer? We dream of flying or road tripping North to share our book in the place where the poems were born.