We had the book launch at Selborne School this weekend and it was just wonderful. A photographer from the Alton Herald came along to take pictures of the children and their book. Ian Troup from Hampshire Inspection and Advisory Service came along to join us as did our editor, Rosemary Lanning, who helped with our blurb and gave it the ‘puff’ it needed.
Rosemary used to work for Blackie and Son (later bought by Penguin) and also freelanced for Dinosaur Publications in Cambridge (Althea Books) and North-South Books, an international publisher of picture books. As an aside I have just found out that my accountant who lives in New Zealand used to work with Rosemary’s husband. My accountant said ‘I know a Lanning who now lives in Selborne. His name’s Mike. Any connection to Rosemary?’ Well there is a connection. It’s a small world isn’t it?
The wonderful Guy Nicholson came and joined us for the photoshoot and stayed to sign copies of the book. He had worked with the children on their design for the front cover (Louis’ design) so it was a real pleasure to have him come and sign books. He’s a very talented illustrator indeed and designs all the madaboutsnailbook covers.
The children looked lovely in their Roman costumes during the photoshoot and didn’t seem to mind the camera waving around in front of them. Many thanks to all those children for behaving so beautifully and for looking just the part on the day. The book has a Roman theme which is why we had asked them to dress up.
Talking of cameras, we should be on ITV Meridan News this week. The lovely Rachel Hepworth came in and interviewed staff and children all about the book. She made everyone feel so comfortable and we look forward with immense excitement to the screening of our two minutes this week!
Mrs. Janet Knott, the Headteacher at Selborne School added a really interesting dimension to our session with the ITV News crew. Before they left she asked them how they had got into the jobs they had chosen and what they had had to study to get into television. It was fascinating hearing their replies nd I’m sure it was an added bonus for the children.
I was also on Delta Radio on Friday and yesterday, but I never got to hear it which I must chase up. For those of you who’d like to go into radio, it’s a lot easier ‘appearing’ on the radio than on the television because you don’t have to worry how you look. I was much more comfortable speaking to someone down the telephone and had had about a minute’s notice that I was going to be on air.
210 copies of The Secret Scroll have been sold and we now have some forty orders waiting to go out: that’s 250 books gone out of a print-run of 500. How wonderful for the children to see their books ‘flying off the shelves’.
They are already talking about the sequel. We have four titles to choose from and there is interest in producing a board game called The Secret Scroll. What do you think? If you’ve read the book and you think it would lend itself to a board game then let us know. We’d love to hear from you.
And if you haven’t read the story? I’d get a copy pretty quickly. The first £1,000.00 from book sales will go towards the next project at school, by the way, whether it’s for the sequel or the board game. We’d like to open up things a little bit to attract some new children to Newspaper Club from the school, so it’s an on-going initiative we’re trying to develop. You don’t have to be great at drawing or writing. You might just have great ideas, be good at making connections on paper, or just want to have a go at designing a board game. Come and join us.
Hurry if you haven’t bought your copy of the book …. they’re disappearing fast. Order through Selborne School on 01420 511213, by email through firstname.lastname@example.org or by ‘phone 01420 587351 (local delivery is free within five miles of Selborne).
Congratulations to Selborne Primary School, to the children who stayed with this project for so long, and thanks to everyone who has bought a copy of the book or who helped us along the way.