I was sort of interviewed for a little piece in Publishers Weekly, you can check it out HERE.
Or you can see my bit right now:
The Woodcutter and the Most Beautiful Tree by Robb N. Johnston
As an English conversation teacher in Japan, Johnston felt inspired by the picture books he was using to teach Japanese children. He decided to take his love of art and illustration, combine it with a simple story, and create a book that would be his contribution to the world of picture books. About a tree that must outwit the woodcutter’s ax, the story is complemented by Johnston’s own illustrations. Listed as a top-five book for Earth Day by BookTrib, the title was the recipient of a starred review in Kirkus Reviews and the product of a successfully funded Kickstarter campaign. It’s sold out of its first printing due to promotion on the author’s website, word of mouth from Kickstarter and the author’s artist community, and positive press.
“Despite being unable to secure a traditional agent or publisher for my work, I’ve had an overwhelmingly positive response to The Woodcutter,” Johnston says. His second independently published book, Lelani and the Plastic Kingdom, is an adventure tale about marine plastic pollution and is close to being ready for press. “If you put your absolute best work out there, it will resonate with and enrich people,” he says. “There are so many avenues and opportunities out there for independently publishing your work, and there are just as many pitfalls and traps for getting scammed. Research your options and talk to people that have been there before.” Johnston credits the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators as a useful resource.
A couple of things to clarify: The Woodcutter and The Most Beautiful Tree was not funded, promoted, or in any way supported through Kickstarter. I really wish I had thought of that back then...but c'est la vie! It wasn't until my current book, Lelani and The Plastic Kingdom, that I threw myself upon the mercies of the crowd-funding masses :) (Love you guys!!!!)