Once upon a time – not so very long ago – four electrik inklings sat around a café table in the magical city of Bath Spa. It was an unusual October day, hot as summer, and so to stop themselves melting away, they ate ice cream in the shade of a big purple umbrella.
While people filled the café, laughing and drinking, the pool of purple shade buzzed. The inklings were excited. They chatted about children’s books and telling stories, which was what they were especially good at. Then, just as they were puzzling over how best to bring more stories into the world, a piece of magic happened; a moment of electricity, a zap of collective energy, an inkling of a grand idea…
We realised we had everything at our fingertips to do the job ourselves. With years of publishing experience between us, advances in digital technology and the new social media, why depend entirely on the old publishing framework? A tiny power shift had taken place; the formation of a new team involved in professional independent publishing.
The point of the story, however, is in the name. What would we call this crack ‘PIP’ team? People have assumed that ‘Electrik Inc’ refers to the fabulous new technology which has given writers more control over the publishing process. But for we four storytellers, there was another more significant meaning. ‘Electrik’ is about that magical moment of creative energy when the story comes alive, the inkling rather than the ink. It’s about imagination. Without that there would be no publishing.
High-quality storytelling – whatever format that might take – was our focus, we decided. And where we could, we’d remain dedicated to physical as well as e-books, as with Kim’s forthcoming series.
The switch of the ‘k’ and the ‘c’ wasn’t just a fun trick. It carried a message too. The ‘inc’ for incorporated expresses our collective nature, the joining of creative forces. We’re professional editors with marketing and production experience working on each other’s stories. As such we’re growing an exciting new hybrid in the children’s market, taking the best of traditional publishing (high quality) and self-publishing (agility) and blending the two.
On the day we were formed someone big in the world died. It’s interesting that his company, Apple, (a giant compared to our tiny Pip!) is also stirring up the publishing world and taking on even bigger giants. When we were writing our manifesto we included some of his words:
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” ~~ Steve Jobs
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