It's been a year since Bear With Me Books crowdfunded for our first title, Warblegrub and the Forbidden Planet, by Andrew Barlow. After a year we're looking back at our story so far and wanted to share some of the highlights.
At the end of January 2108, we had successfully raised funds for a print-run of our very first book, and prints of some of Andrew's amazing illustrations. February and March saw us put the final touches on Warblegrub and confirm our eco-friendly printer. Being environmentally conscious is super important to us - and it's the idea we want to express through all our projects.
In April we had many boxes of books delivered. Then we had many, many books and prints to send out to Bear With Me Books' crowdfunders - the first investors in our dream! (Thanks again to all of our crowdfunders. We couldn't have done it without you. Thanks for all the kind words and for letting us know what you thought of the book. And keep letting us know!)
Through June and July we started promoting, and managed to get Warblegrub into the top 100 list in its category on Amazon. (Whoop, whoop!) By the end of July, Warblegrub was also accepted onto the shelves of three independent bookshops. A little dream come true!
September was the month we took a breath and started planning again. We selected a number of passages from Warblegrub and Andrew started practicing for his first ever public reading for the madeinroath festival in October. After a great reception in our host bookshop, we decided to try our luck at markets and fairs in the run-up to Christmas.
That's where we met people with an interest in local produce and products. So many people stopped to talk to us about the mission and message behind Bear With Me Books and Warblegrub. It was great to see how many creative businesses come to fairs and markets, and we had a really nice time chatting about ways to make our small businesses and products more eco-friendly.
Now we're looking ahead at 2019 to see how we can promote more ideas to build stronger environmental understanding and community. Bear With Me Books has a number of projects in the pipeline this year. One we can mention at the moment is an eco-fiction writing competition. We think stories about our relationships with the environment can influence positive change and the more stories we share, the better chance we have of creating that change. So, if you have an environmentally-themed story in mind or know anyone who does, keep an eye out for more competition details coming soon.
In other news, Bear With Me Books will be attending Cardiff's first Illustration & Indie Publishing Fair in April, where we'll be showing off Warblegrub & the Forbidden Planet.
You'll be able to find us at other creative fairs throughout May and June too.
We're also working on the sequel to Warblegrub, and hope to release Book 2 in the second half of the year.
Finally, if you had a moment to go to Amazon and leave an honest review for Warblegrub & the Forbidden Planet, that would be amazing and super helpful. Reviews really do help other readers to find independent books and publishers.