Almost one month, yikes!

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Has it  been almost a month, already?! You know what they say “how time flies when your having fun” and that I have, maybe even too much!

After the final push for pre order sales and working on the marketing of the book I unashamedly took time off, yes I know this is when I should be working harder, right? Well I didn’t completely take a break, I did a few bits and pieces behind the scenes but family time is precious time in our household and far more important with “daddy” being away so much of the year.  Anyway I am back and feeling more creative and enthusiastic than ever!

Splish Splash In a Bath has been doing well both in the UK and US which is awesome news, having now sold a couple of thousand copies! (Not too shabby, right!) I also have a few book readings coming up here in Australia, which is exciting and something I am looking forward too! We are stocked in a few of the local bookstores now which is also nice, although sadly in this day and age most people tend to buy online, which is where my focus is due to the worldwide reach. However if you are a Sunshine Coast local pop into The Bookshop in Caloundra as well as Collins, both on Bulcock Street for your very own signed copy.

Thank you once again for buying Splish Splash In a Bath and I hope you will continue to recommend it to your friends, family and work colleagues. Reviews are everything in this day and age, if you are reading this and purchased a copy if you would kindly leave me a review that would be awesome!  Thank you for your continued support.

Ashley

 

Quick Update

Wow what a week!! We have gone global with the hardback the hard work is paying off! We also managed to secure shelf space in two local bookstores which is pretty awesome! The local library have also been gifted a copy of Splish Splash In a Bath as well as the local school and Kindergarten too which was really important to us all.

Pre-order sales are exceeding our expectations, so thank you to everyone who has already secured a copy for August 1st! Thank you also for all the encouragement and support it really means a lot, genuinely.

We have some book readings coming up shortly at local schools and Kindergartens too, which I am really looking forward to.

Ashley

 

Splish splash, I’m having a blast!!

 

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What a few weeks its been here at Splish Splash HQ! We finally uploaded the EBook which is now available on the kindle store at Amazon. I have had so many messages of support, encouragement and positive feedback which has been reassuring as I navigate my way blindly around the publishing industry!

We also received our paperback proofs to check over for colour, quality and layout etc. I have to tell you, it was really rather special to receive this parcel. Six months of plugging away at a long time goal to write this book. I am overjoyed and indeed grateful to have been given this opportunity. As I sit here and type this I have two copies in my peripheral vision which I casually remind myself, are actually mine and not the usual random offerings from Dr Seussy or whatever you call him, pftt! 

Working alongside my illustrator on different continents and opposite time zones can be hard, but worth it. Conveying my ideas and aspirations for each scene and the overall feel for the book was also challenging to say the least. As a perfectionist by nature it was hard but I have to say good ole Gaurav pulled it out the bag! Thank you ! 😊 I really wanted to be present and involved in every stage of the process and learn what each stage entails and I feel that I have achieved this and obtained a wealth of knowledge and information in the process. 

So where am I at now? Well we have also just ordered the proof copies for the hardback editions from Ingram Sparks who are also a worldwide distributor. On their arrival and approval, we can go ahead with printing and distributing. The aim is to reach online stores and high street independent books shops as well as local libraries initially and then take it from there.

What next you ask? Well my advertising and marketing campaigns have already started, so this is the stage I guess where I literally ram my book down everyone’s throat and insist that my family mainly, endure it for the foreseeable. (sorry Dave and the kids!) 

N.B. I have achieved my goal now, which is why it’s such a sweet and poignant moment for me on a personal level. I have now dropped my legal deposit (copy) with the National Library of Australia, so its officially in the history books. To publish it, is naturally the next stage of my journey. I do hope you will join me on this next part.

Top 5 good reads for young children.

So here it is, our top 5 good books for young readers. I say “our” as I have called upon the younger more accomplished readers of the household and asked for their sound advice and expertise in this area also.

So finally after much debate and quarrelling we have made a decision on our top 5 and here they are.

At number 5 the Gruffalo is definitely on the list. As little mouse outsmarts the larger would-be-predators in order to survive, including the Gruffalo! Clever mouse is fearless! Beautifully written and captures the imagination with excitement.

In at number 4 we have Kitchen Disco.

“At night when you are sleeping there’s a party in your house, It’s a pumping, jumping, funky bash when all the lights go out.”

Kitchen disco is a great book to introduce and engage children with, as it’s such fun for both parent and child to read together.

This book is an all dancing, rhyming party affair! Clare Fogle’s second book Bathroom Boogie is also worth a mention here too, which also involves more partying as the title suggests, again well worth a read.

At number 3, The Hog the Shrew and the Hullabaloo. Harry the Hog and Candy Stripe Lil, (the shrew) star in this gorgeous book of lyrical language and wonderful illustrations. This one is a page turner as we aim to discover, just what is that noise?

Our number 2 has got to be The Day the Crayons Quit! Just narrowly missing out on the number 1 spot!

It’s all kicking off in crayon world! Some are overworked, others abandoned and some just plain angry, at the injustices going on in their box! It’s funny, it’s sad and you can’t help but feel sorry for poor beige and brown crayon! Yes, really!!

Finally, we all agreed the number 1 spot goes to… (drum roll!)

We’re going on a Bear Hunt!

It’s a classic and it just gets better with each read. The rhythm and rhyme is perfect and the kids love the repetition of “we’re not scared!” as well as a few more phrases.

The book tells the story as the title would suggest, of a bear hunt and the adventures and obstacles the family must go through. On finding the bear the family then have to go back the same way they came. Through long wavy grass, a deep cold river and the thick oozy mud and so on.

This book has been played out so many times at home, at the park and even at the beach, yes the beach!! Where according to my kids there are lots of bears. Anyway it’s definitely the sign of a good book.

I have to say though, it always leaves me feeling stumped, as to why they never closed that front door…

Why did I decide to write a book and what was the concept behind it?

So many people have asked me why I decided to write a children’s book and the answer is this. I wanted to create a book for both my sons first and foremost. A book that they can identify with and appreciate, a book that will spark their beautiful imaginations further and deepen their relationship and love for books more. Of course the fact that “mum” wrote it should help my cause, right?

Seriously though, I wish for them both to continue to develop a healthy appetite for books. An appetite that I believe will enrich their lives so much more as they grow and develop in today’s world.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads, lives only one.” George R. R. Martin.

What’s more poignant is my eldest son has recently just learned to read and is whizzing his way through every Dr Seuss and Julia Donaldson book with hunger and excitement. So its time to buy him his first book as a fully fledged reader and to officially welcome him into the “book club” Yay! Now to decide what that book will be, hmm?

Splish Splash In a Bath was aptly named after the boy’s splish splashing in the bath. (most likely them and every other child.) Although we actually called it “splisha splasha in a batha” in our house, for rhyming’s sake! Bath time is time for them to play together in perfect harmony (kidding of course.) and to use their imaginations as they splash around in the water, with their bath toys, playing games. Not forgetting their singing amplified by the fantastic acoustics that the bathroom lends itself too. Bath time was definitely fun time in our house until of course it was time to actually get washed. Nowadays we stick to showers…

 

Young Readers

As a mum to two young boys and having a great passion and enthusiasm for reading books myself, it was only natural for me to want to share this with my sons.

Why so?

Well the more you read the more you understand, right? When we read we are learning, learning about the world around us and how it functions. We can read about different countries, their cultures and values. We can gain new knowledge and insights, facts and figures or statistics and data on pretty much any topic. Ahh, but to have access to all this information one must of course have the ability to read!

Reading promotes and boosts our imaginations and creativity. So you enjoy art and in particular oil painting, you go out and buy a book on oil painting. You begin to read it and what happens? It has given you an idea, you try it out and in turn you get better and you improve on your existing skills. You get more creative! You get the jist? Aren’t books just awesome!

It develops the mind and in particular those young minds, which are like sponges, soaking up all the information available. A person who can read and comprehend the information has the ability to educate themselves in any area they wish. That in itself is pretty amazing! Most importantly however words whether spoken or written are key components in life, so its important that we teach our children as early as possible the importance and joy of reading in order for them to thrive in this vast world where communication is even more vital than ever.

Even more wonderful is the fact that reading is truly magical, especially when you can escape into your new world of unicorns and rainbows. A million miles from planet earth, turning every page with gusto as to what will happen next on your enchanting adventures! Your never wanting the book to end because you dont want to get off the adventure train but you know its your stop soon… but wait! Whats that?! The sequel…

Expand your mind… Read!

 

“Its really simple, if you want to learn and broaden your horizons, open your eyes and your mind and read!! Books are gifts, gifts of knowledge and insightfulness. They offer us escapism, adventure and a break from normality. Books are precious items to be adorned with love and care, for they offer us so many opportunities, we may never have had otherwise.”

 

– Ashley Sharples 2018

 

expand your mind read