Postponed, not cancelled

ScaredyCatsIt became quite clear to me that my Scaredy Cats Kickstarter campaign was not going to reach it’s target in time. Fellow author, Dan Metcalfe, Suggested that it looks better on the Kickstarter platform to cancel rather than fail.

I decided to pull the plug and come back soon, with a revised offer.

I learned a lot while the campaign was running.

It’s very hard to determine how much to ask for, especially when you are an author and not a marketing and finance wizard. I’d worked out how much time I’d need and how much the physical costs were and come up with a figure.

I realise now that a Kickstarter project needs much more work put into it. Ideally, the book should be almost ready for production. Publishing is a high risk business and it’s for me to take that risk, not my kickstarter supporters.

I was also relying on a social media following that are not necessarily interested in children’s books! Marketing is an alchemical pursuit, but there are certain definite rules. One is to aim your book or product at those who are like to want it!

I shall be doing some thinking over the next few weeks and shall return with anew Scaredy Cats Campaign. Watch this space ūüôā


Why are my Kickstarter backers mostly in the USA!

image of frankenstein's cat on operating table

Image from the story, Frankatstein.

Well, that is interesting. Most of the backers of my kickstarter campaign are in the USA – followed by Japan, then EU countries.

Why do I have so few UK backers?

The large majority of my Youtube audience (I have around 200,000 subscribers) are in the USA. Many in the past have asked how they can support me and my drawing channel.¬†They get what it’s about¬†and understand that I’m doing a heck of a lot of teaching and motivation for free. Now I’m giving them the opportunity to further the relationships we have built up over the years.

Americans also understand about business. They realise that it costs to make stuff and that there is no such thing as a free lunch. That business is about trying to provide good service and working hard to make an independent living.

Americans applaud enterprise – my YouTube comments box is full of good wishes for my current campaign from US viewers.

In the UK the internet has descended on us as this great free thing – just there for the taking. Brits don’t see the need to¬†pay for the all the incredible value it provides – either at source or in kind?

Kickstarter logo

click to see my campaign

And Kickstarter – What the heck is that?

Americans get it instinctively – the idea of being self-sufficient and making your own way comes with mother’s milk and is learned on the sidewalk with¬†childhood lemonade stalls and bake sales.

So what is Kickstarter all about?

Kickstarter is a way for creative people to reach and meet their audience, offering unique opportunities to support creators, to fund projects that may be too small or left of field to be of profitable interest to major publishers, manufacturers, film studios etc.

Backers help to¬†bring projects¬†to fruition, while being involved in¬†the¬†whole creative process. It’s fun, exciting and a good Kickstarter campaign has a series of compelling and unique rewards to attract support.

The good Kickstarter creator not only gets to make their book, movie, art or whatever, they include their supporters in the process through updates, insights and events.

However, if the creator is just a penny short of their target, they get nothing! That adds a certain frisson to the whole process.

Scaredy Cats

Scaredy Cats is my Campaign to make a new book of Classic Scary stories

My campaign¬†is raising¬†funds to create the¬†Scaredy Cats¬†book in the way¬†I always intended it¬†–¬†bringing together the stories from a series that¬†is now out of print. (To be a series it had to be written in a way I was never quite happy about.)

Scaredy Cats are Classic Scary stories, retold as cat stories – scary, but not too scary for children – funny even. The¬†Kickstarter edition will be a collector’s limited edition and there are all sorts of rewards available. You can even have me read one of the stories in your home¬†over Skype!

The campaign ends on May 31st at 6.00 PM UK time

If you are reading this and you live in the USA or or Japan, bless you for understanding! If you are British, go on… be bold –¬†follow the link and see what it’s all about. You might even enjoy it! There’s even free P&P in the UK.

How to Draw The Scarecrow of Catkin Farm

The are now only 7 Days to go in my Kickstarter campaign Please check it out by following this link

This video shows how I draw the Scarecrow mom Catkin Farm which comes from one of the stories in the book. I read a bit of the story in the video, but you’ll have to get a copy if you want to find out how it ends…(not good!)

The wonderful backing music is from the amazing Chris Wonfor of the Cleffernotes Channel and will be used on my audio and video versions of the stories. He is a genius with music – he wrote my video intro music that you hear at the start of all my videos as well as the music on my Shoowaii channel.

How to draw Scaredy Cats

In this video I show you how I draw my illustrations freehand straight out of my head.

I’m also going to let you hear the Scaredy Cats song that I wrote, which has wonderful backing music from the amazing Chris Wonfor of the Cleffernotes Channel РHe is a genius with music Рhe wrote my video intro music that you hear at the start of all my videos as well as the music on my Shoowaii channel 

My Kickstarter campaign has about 9 days to go. Please check it out by following this link 

All books will be individually signed and numbered by me with your name or the name of the person you choose, so these books will make an excellent gifts for someone you love. You can even have me come and read you a story over Skype in your home! lots more rewards to choose from too

Woolas and Lydnya – A very sad love story

This is the true story of how the Forest of Dean came to be

This is a desperately sad love story that I wrote with the children of Woolaston and Lydney Severnbanks schools back in 2007. you can get a copy here: 

It was part of a European Comenius project to create fairy tales based on our localities.

There used to be a a sculpture in the Forest called the Giant’s Chair. It became unsafe and has been pulled down and turned into charcoal now, but it used to sit high above Coleford. Made of Giant Oak tree trunks, it was our starting point for the story. Who was the Giant that sat on that chair? The story grew and grew.

I hope you enjoy it. If so, why not watch another school created story РOtis, the Laser Bunny 

How to draw a Black Cat

To celebrate my current Kickstarter project to make a book of scary stories for children which is called Scaredy Cats¬†I’m going to show you how to draw a black cat.

Some say they are lucky some say otherwise! follow these easy instructions and you too will be drawing a black cat – maybe for halloween or some other scary event?

Make sure you check out My Scaredy Cats KickStarter to buy a copy of the book plus some really great rewards.


Win a class set of Scaredy Cats books for your school

Scaredy-YT-CoverAre you a Teacher or know a school that would like a class set of my new Scaredy Cats books and have a free Skype virtual classroom list too?

Let your class join in the fun of a KickStarter project and learn that writing a story is one thing, but publishing is a whole different game! Will I reach my target? How many Supporters will I get. is there a median dispersal graph to be made from the number of backers and what they choose? Can I make the books and send them out before the end of term?


I’m making a new book from my old Scaredy Cat series and I’m looking for support on Kickstarter with lots of different rewards available.

I’ll be making regular¬†school friendly¬†updates of how the whole project is going, both the campaign and the production, so your children can really get involved. Feel free to ask questions too.

Join my special KickStarter campaign mail list by filling in the form below and you will be put into a draw for a classroom set of five copies of the book, signed with your class name written in each book in Scary Writing Рplus an A3 Scaredy Cats Poster and exclusive Scaredy Cats Bookmarks Рsigned and numbered Limited Edition Postcard with personal message of thanks to you plus All Nine Audio Scaredy Cat Recordings on an Exclusive Memory Stick and Desktop Wallpaper Рall worth £30 Plus all the stretch goal rewards and a 30 minute Skype classroom visit so your children can ask me anything they like РI might even read you a story!

The draw will take place as soon as the campaign reaches its target, which I hope will be earlier than the campaign end date. I’ll be making update videos of the campaign and of the making of the books which will be of interest to classes who want to see how a book get’s made.

This is only for Entrant s and schools in the UK

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