Ben Farmer Work Ideas About

Mard

Mard is a childrens' picture book that I wrote, illustrated and self-published in 2017.

Writing
Illustration
Book Layout
Cover Design
Marketing

Concept

Mard was initially written by my brother and I to surprise our friend Max on his birthday. We based it on old jokes, stories and the fact that he looks a bit like a polar bear.

Execution

After a weekend of telling it to each other over and over, to refine the story's rhythm, we drew up a flatplan and I went about turning it into a book.

To make the birthday surprise even richer, I also built a digital presence for Mard. Launching the e-book the weekend before in order to get some initial reviews, I ran an Amazon giveaway publicised through independent children's author networks and mums' groups on social media. This was supported by a website charting the Birth of Mard.

Outcome

When his birthday finally came around, the big reveal began with an inconspicuous Amazon parcel arriving for Max in the post containing a book based on him.

Mard was reviewed on a number of KidLit blogs and featured in an A-Z reading challenge. I did a small tour of in-school readings. As of 2022, I regularly sell the occasional copy.