Well, what a month it’s been, launching our first book, Motivate Man! It was worth the wait and by the end of this month we will have distributed over 350 copies AROUND THE WORLD! The feedback we have had has been superb for a few reasons, which I will list later on.
First, though, if you haven’t had a chance to look yet, we have updated our website and you can now order your copy directly from us! Just click on the ORDER BOOK link HERE or in the menu later on. We love the book and everyone who has read it thinks it’s great too. That’s important for Andy (who illustrated it) and I – since it reinforces that what we thought (and hoped) would work actually turned out well!
Did you know … ?
Did you know that we have hidden an EASTER EGG in the book? Now, I’d better explain, as we did have some customers at the school book fair looking for a real Easter egg! An EASTER EGG is a term used by filmmakers, often animated films, and also game designers, to describe an object that they have inserted into the film or game. It’s usually an in-joke or an item that doesn’t belong or has relevance outside of the film. So we have one and it’s very hard to find. In fact, maybe we should run a competition to see who can spot it!
We realised that we hadn’t named our Siamese cat in the book. The cat appears on nearly every page, which was an idea we added in later, since it (I have to stop myself saying her name!) does love people and is always talking (when not sleeping). So we have her talking and sleeping throughout. That’s another investigation the kids can have (the answer is out there in social media!)
We have plans to create a newsletter and perhaps a Motivate Man Fan Club as well, so watch this space! It’s all designed to engage kids around the world with Elijah and also to encourage reading and develop skills and ways of thinking which can help them.
So what has the feedback been like?
Amazement – Elijah’s friends get quite a surprise when they see that he has his own book. Elijah IS ‘Motivate Man’ so they think that’s cool. With that his social standing gets a lift … not that he needs it as they are so supportive anyway, but it all helps.
‘Well done‘ – we pulled it off and created a decent book. The cover, the title, the theme and concept, the pictures and the rhyming storyline – it all came together really nicely to create a book which people are saying, “I love it!” about. The question always comes up in an author’s and illustrator’s mind, “Will readers like it?” and there is that fear of failure which we have to battle against. With it being considered good, we gain credibility with libraries and schools, so the book will reach more people around the world and have more of an impact.
Appreciation – those who have experience of writing, illustrating or publishing a book (either self-publishing like we did or going through a publisher) know what it takes. They appreciate the hard work and late nights, stress and obstacles which have to be overcome. It’s amazing to meet so many people who have already walked this path and the connections are continuing to be made.
Interest – in addition to the above, we are engaging with people who would like to produce their own book. They say it’s really motivating to see that WE DID IT! So we offer our advice and experiences or knowledge about how it was for us and encourage them to give it a go. It seems to be on a lot of bucket lists, so if we can help others to tick it off, that will be awesome.
Unspoken – we know we are making an impression, so we know that we don’t even need to hear feedback to know that we are making a difference. It’s the way someone says ‘Thank you’ to Elijah when he has written their name in the book they have just bought since they can see how he makes such an effort to write those letters. It’s the smile they give when they see Elijah showing his friends how Crumpet works. It’s the way something is said, like ‘Oh, you’ve got business cards too?!!‘ or ‘Can I have a sticker?‘ These are all moments which lend weight to what we are trying to achieve – recognition of the ability for Elijah and all people with Down syndrome to live a valued, successful and happy life when we surround them with the right love and support.
Supportive – everyone we talk to is so supportive. Supportive of the book (by buying a copy for themselves, or even 10, as some people have, to distribute themselves as gifts) and also supportive of Elijah and what it means for him. That support means a lot – Thank You!