We don't need to remind our loyal bookworm readers that books are magical. But we will. Because we were reminded of that when we discovered Tatay's Gift, a book that has all the magical ingredients a book needs to have: words that will melt your heart and beautiful illustrations. Today, we meet Tatay's Gift makers, Brad and Krystal Woodward and chat to them about how it came about.
How did Tatay's Gift come about?
Back in 2005, Brad moved to the Philippines and lived there for two years. He learned the Tagalog language and grew to love the people that lived there. When Typhoon Haiyan it was hard feeling like there was nothing we could do to help. With the help of a close friend, we came up with the idea of writing and illustrating a children’s book. We had wanted to do this anyways for a while now, but never had a good excuse to put client work aside and make it happen. It probably wasn’t the smartest move to ditch client work for a few months when we just started running our business full-time, but it sure felt right.
Our goal with the book was to not only raise funds, but to raise awareness as well. When disasters like these arise we always offer some type of tangible aide to those affected. That is why we are donating funds after publishing from the Kickstarter campaign to Waves for Water, to help get clean water to those in need. But we wanted this book to serve a bigger purpose.
Its message of kindness for kindness sake really touched our hearts here at Anorak. Was this driven by a particular episode in your and Krystal's life?
Typhoon Haiyan made such an impression on us because of the connection we have with the people and culture there. Understandably, not everyone in the world was as motivated as we were to help the Filipino people after such a tragedy. We help the most when we feel connected to the event in some way or another. Our hope was that through sharing this story of a Filipino boy and his father, or tatay, kids and their parent’s will feel that connection. It helps to see that other cultures may seem very different and foreign on the surface, but underneath we have a lot of similarities. There are universal morals that transcend culture.
Ultimately, we created this book for the benefit of our 2 year old son. These are things we want to teach him, and we hope other parents want the same for their children. Becoming parents is the most amazing job we have ever been given! We hope this book can be a teaching tool, but also just a really fun book to read and stare at!
What's next for Tatay's Gift?
That is a great question! First off, we are hoping to get the book in a bunch of bookstores around the U.S., and hopefully do some book readings as well. A percentage of each book sale is going to help get clean water to Typhoon Haiyan victims. That will change as different needs in the area arise of course.
But hopefully, this is just the start of something really neat. With the same goals and philosophies that went into creating Tatay’s Gift, we are now in the process of starting an entire series of children’s books. We want to create books that take place all over the world, and aim to teach kids to be accepting and giving towards one another. We will also continue to donate a percentage of each book sale to a cause related to the story’s message or location. Stay tuned!
Any thoughts/advice on those who are looking to self-publish but are too shy to do it?
The biggest thing we learned is that you have to just go all in. Rarely is anyone just going to come hand you your dream job. Start off by having a good product to publish. Then do your research. You are going to be paying a company to print thousands of books, so you better believe they will help you learn the process. Making the book isn’t the hard part. You can find amazing deals to get your printing costs down. The hardest part is finding ways to sell and distribute your book. Don’t be shy, reach out to blogs, walk into bookstores, ask to do book readings, etc. Lastly, own and love your work. That way you will have no regrets no matter what the result.
Thank you Brad and Krystal! Wishing you the best of luck with Tatay's Gift. To get hold of a copy of Tatay's Gift, simply click here.