Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Here Be Dragons Actually Here

I feel like I've gone back in time:

Right, this is an unboxing video.  I'll just stick the blurb in from the vid:

Have you ever wondered how dragons fly and breathe fire, what life is like in Atlantis or who designed aliens? Answers to all these questions and many more can be found in this book, which seeks to help you learn real-world science through mythical animals and urban legends. Readers are invited to add their own illustrations to the ones already present.

Order it here.

The idea behind it is considerably different from how it started out.  The initial aim was to produce a book with home edded children about mythical beasts which enabled us all to learn through the process, in a multi-disciplinary way.  For instance, as well as the angles of mythology and science there's history, geography and drawing, and the process of publishing a book and making it look good.

It didn't quite go according to plan because it was unusual for children to turn up to the sessions on a regular basis and so I ended up doing almost all of it on my own, which was fine because of my control-freakery.  It also meant that since my time as a home edding parent was coming to an end, I was able to channel my energy into something else which was worthwhile.

However, I was also concerned at motivation and bad energy, so I set myself a deadline of 30th November 2012, after which I would no longer be adding to it and I would just shelve the project.  I also wanted people to illustrate and proofread it, in return for which they would receive free copies of the book.  I couldn't afford to pay anyone of course, since that would involve the assumption that the book would be bought.  Anyway, this didn't happen for some reason, so instead of including lots of illustrations I decided merely to include a few and a lot of places where people could add their own.  Since it was a home ed-oriented book aimed at children, this seemed to make sense to me.

It came unstuck when I missed the deadline.  I decided that in order to motivate myself to finish other projects, I would have to make missing it devastating, so I resolved not to publish when that happened.  It was like the nuclear option which would persuade me to get on with things.

A couple of years passed, during which the catastrophe ensued.  Then, a few weeks ago I realised my NaNoWriMo freebie book publishing thing for my novella 'Unspeakable' was about to run out, so I joined Create Space to submit it there, only to find that the code they offered for a free book was invalid, so that remains unpublished.  By then, I'd chugged through the IRS thing - they expect you to pay tax in the US on books you publish there, which had previously put me off - so I thought I might as well submit it too.

So here it is:

...and this is me "reading" it:

Four years is a long time in home ed due to childhood being so short, so I'm not sure who's still involved who was at the time, but if they are, they might be gratified to know it came to fruition in the end, even if nobody ends up buying it.  It was worthwhile doing it in itself, but then what isn't?