Engine House Publishing is a new and exciting independent publisher with a story to share. We asked Jessica McEvoy, Founding Director, to tell us more about their debut title and the vital Kickstarter campaign needed to launch the book.
Theseus and the Minotaur will be Engine House Publishing’s debut release. Tell us how Engine House Publishing came to be and what your mission is in terms of the books you want to publish.
A career in publishing has always been something I saw myself pursuing, having always been hugely passionate about books. When I was made redundant from my previous job in aviation it felt like the perfect time to move into an industry I really cared about and Engine House Publishing was born. The mission from day one was to create the kind of company I would love to work for. A company that works hard to create beautiful, valuable books while making the most positive impact possible philanthropically, environmentally and ethically.
A unique feature of the book is the dart system embedded in the text. Alongside the beautiful illustrations, it sounds like the perfect book for parents/carers to use to support children through the current educational climate and as a tool for schools and home educators. What are your hopes for Theseus and the Minotaur and why do you think the dart system makes the book so special?
I hope the families who read Theseus and the Minotaur together will find it to be an engaging and valuable tool for at home learning, whilst being a fun and exciting story.
Parents/carers are under more pressure than ever to be active in their children’s development and I hope that Theseus and the Minotaur will allow families to spend time together and let dart do the hard work for them! dart is entirely unique - no book like this currently exists on the market. Stories with comprehension exercises are not unheard of, but what makes this book special is that incorporating the prompts and questions into the story itself makes for a very natural flow of conversation between a child and their parent. I like to think of it as chopping up vegetables into tiny pieces and hiding them in your child’s dinner - children will be learning and actively developing comprehension and analytical thinking, but it won’t feel like learning.
Engine House Publishing currently has a Kickstarter campaign in progress to fund the project. Why is the funding so important and how can our readers get involved?
Engine House Publishing is a brand new, independent publishing house meaning we haven’t got access to capital from outside investors. Launching our debut publication allows people excited by Theseus and the Minotaur to fund the production of the book by pre-ordering their copy! It is a great way for start-ups to generate excitement around their projects.
The Kickstarter is vital to our launch. If we are unsuccessful in reaching our goal, we will not receive any of the funds and will not be able to publish the book. As a company, we are dedicated to making reading resources more accessible and are pledging to donate one copy of Theseus and the Minotaur for every copy bought - this means producing a lot of books! The Kickstarter will fund everything including printing, packaging and shipping costs, the production of the exclusive Kickstarter rewards such as bookmarks, stickers and colouring books, but will mean we can also commission artist Alex Tillbrook to illustrate the book.
There are a number of ways to support the launch with the first one being to pledge on Kickstarter and pre-order a copy of Theseus and the Minotaur. We are also offering School Classroom Kits which can be sent to a school of your choice or donated to a school we recognise as needing our support. If people aren’t in a position to donate, the next best thing is to help us spread the word! Showing the campaign to friends and family and sharing the Kickstarter link on social media will help us reach more families and make this project possible.
How have you found the last few months launching Engine House Publishing amidst the stunning scenery of Cornwall and what else does 2021 have in store for you?
I was extremely lucky to grow up in Cornwall, and even luckier to be back here to launch my company. Creating Engine House Publishing has been the steepest learning curve of my life, but also the most fulfilling journey I could imagine. I won’t sugar coat it - it has been a really challenging few months, learning as I go and navigating the industry in a pandemic. But I am very fortunate to have incredibly supportive parents, friends and a partner who have played a huge role in making the last few months less daunting and more exciting. I’m excited for the world to meet Theseus and the Minotaur and to work with new authors to bring their stories to life!
Engine House Publishing need to raise £60,000 before the ‘all or nothing’ deadline on Thursday 18 February 2021. Follow the link to get involved!
Where to find Engine House Publishing