A new publishing company has teamed up with PopJam to allow children to help create assets for its upcoming picture book, WatAdventure in Australia.
Before creating its first book, Manchester-based start-up WatAdventure created a channel on PopJam, a social network for children, and asked its followers to make a halloween cartoon. The pilot was so successful that the company decided to ask its followers to help decide what to put into its picture book, from asking them to choose between fish images to asking them to design boomerangs.
The best 10 boomerangs will be used in the book, as will a flag created by a girl called Lola Dulson, who has also been made the main character in the story.
Creative director Richard David Lawman told The Bookseller: “If you want to immerse kids in a story you have to increase interactivity. We’ve now just hit 41,000 followers on PopJam and our fans our not only from the UK but also the US and Australia. Our audience is growing quickly and is much overseas as over here.”
The picture book is “just a precursor” to what the company actually wants to do, he added, because there are also plans to launch a YouTube channel, chapter books and online games. Everything will be stored on an online WatAdventure platform to unite the WatAdventure story, he said.
The company is also working with The Literacy Shed, which has created free school resources based on the book.
“We will always involve our audiences in everything we do. Our way of doing things isn’t a classic route to publishing, we are taking a holistic approach to storytelling,” said Lawman.
WatAdventure in Australia will be published on 2nd August, priced at £7.99, and is written by Lawson, with illustrations by Katie Williams. It will be sold via the WatAdventure website and online retailers.