An indie publishing adventure
At Stargazy Books, we believe that it's ok to start small but dream big. We wanted to create a picture book. A proper one. So we set out on a mini adventure.
Where did the story of Cloth Monkey come from?
I read an article which was discussing an experiment on attachment theory, which is quite famous, but heartbreaking. The Harlow Monkey experiment. Harlow wanted to test if a baby monkey would respond to stimulus just based on where its' source of nourishment came from, or if it would prefer some kind of mother substitute. He was shocked to discover that the monkey's who were given a mother substitute - a simple wire frame with fabric wrapped around them, would choose the wire mother with no food, rather than a steady food source with nothing to comfort them. They needed something to love and attach themselves to. I could not get this story out of my mind. I wanted to give the monkey in the experiment, something to love and a different ending. The monkey started out as a Rhesus Monkey, like the one in the experiment, but morphed into a snow monkey, because Japan seemed to be the perfect backdrop for a picture book. As the pages turn, spring begins to bloom for Little Monkey and the colours get brighter to reflect his blossoming heart.
Breaking into publishing
Indie publishing has changed a lot in the past few years. Now, at last, thanks to technology and some truly excellent freelancer websites (without Reedsy, a freelancers website that only allows publishing industry professionals to advertise their services, this book would not have been made), it is possible to produce a bookshop quality picture book. No more cobbling together images and preset text boxes, with only one font. No more amateurish front covers.
I chose our talented book designer through Reedsy, tracked down the right scanners, printers, animators (for the promo video) and we set about turning Cloth Monkey into a reality.
We now have a book, with a beautiful linen cover, with gold foiling and we value every single customer who chooses to give Cloth Monkey a new home on their bookshelf. Thank you.