This is the story of a book and its creation:

About a month ago, when I saw that my anarchically drawn short story for German learners found such positive feedback, I decided to try something a bit more refined.

From the beginning the idea was to create a children’s book, something that was highly visual and expressive without too many words. I needed two things: a) a character that was simple enough for me to draw repeatedly and b) a topic. People and animals were out of question from the start: anatomically too difficult. So I started looking for dead-simple inanimate objects.

One day when I was doing the dishes (good place to get ideas) it came to me: books.

I was going to create a character who is a book and make the narrative about the changing role of reading in the 21st century.

From Grey Matter To Digital Device

Once this understanding was in place I started sketching with pen and paper. Over the course of the next four weeks these drawings would get revised, scrapped and redone. When I was content with a scene, I picked up a 0.4 black fine-liner and started tracing the outlines. Finally, I scanned all the drawings and colored them digitally while limiting myself to a fixed set of colors to give it a coherent feeling from the first panel to the last.

After that, the digital “book binding” would begin. What binding does an ebook have, you ask? Well, none. But the technical details are relatively boring and I’d rather talk about something else, instead.

Paper Vs. iPads

The newspapers and blogs these days are full with debates whether ebooks are destroying the book culture or revitalizing it, whether paper or e-ink screens are the best way to read, whether a book needs to have a scent to be enjoyed or not, etc.

I’ve written extensively about these topics myself (see at the end of this post for links) and many times what I read about the topic seemed somewhat…childish, in the sense of obstinately clinging to the status quo. Also, I think the word “childish” is unfair because children often make a lot more sense than adults and we should maybe create a new word: adultish.

In that sense, Brian The Book is a children’s book that tackles the prejudices of adults. By working mainly with images my hope is that the book’s narrative will fly under the radar of logic and encourage alternatives ways of thinking about the subject.

All You Can Read: Get A Free Copy!

As usual, we’re kicking off the publication of Brian The Book with a free promotion, which means that you won’t just get a free sample or a brochure, no: You can get the whole book as a free download, no questions asked from Thursday, Apr 19th, 12am to Friday, Apr 20th Monday 23rd 11:59pm Pacific Standard time.

How does it work? Click here to go to the Amazon Kindle Store. And don’t worry, you don’t need a Kindle to read this. There’s a variety of reading apps for every device from iPhone to Android.

Since this is an independent publication and I don’t have millions of dollars to throw to the wind for advertising, I would like to ask you for help. There are many ways in which you can assist, and most of them will just take up a few minutes of your time but will help Brian The Book to soar into the minds and hearts of readers worldwide:

  • share this article with your friends
  • Click “like” or “tweet” on Brian’s Smore page
  • write a short review on Amazon
  • download Brian The Book, make a photo of how it appears on your iPhone, Android, etc and share it here in the comments or on our Facebook page
  • tell your friends about Brian
  • etc.

Thank You!

UPDATE: just received an eye-opening feedback from an 8-year old through Reddit.

watch the trailer or visit Brian’s Smore page now