Sunday, April 05, 2015

Sharpen Your Crayons

A lot of people have told Johanna Basford that they secretly colored when their kids were asleep. That’s probably the reason Basford, a Scottish illustrator, is currently killing it on Amazon with two titles. Both Secret Garden and the recently released Enchanted Forest (both from Laurence King Publishing) are, you guessed it, coloring books. And, at time of writing, they are one and two on Amazon, respectively.

Basford’s drawings are intricate and beautiful… and were given a bit of a push through social media. From The Guardian:
Basford’s intricately drawn pictures of flora and fauna in Secret Garden have sold 1.4m copies worldwide to date, with the newly released follow-up Enchanted Forest selling just under 226,000 copies already. They have drawn fans from Zooey Deschanel, who shared a link about the book with her Facebook followers, to the South Korean pop star Kim Ki-Bum, who posted an image on Instagram for his 1.6 million followers.
“It’s been crazy. The last few weeks since Enchanted Forest came out have been utter madness, but fantastic madness,” said Eleanor Blatherwick, head of sales and marketing at the books’ publisher, small British press Laurence King. “We knew the books would be beautiful but we didn’t realise it would be such a phenomenal success.”
But the real secret to Basford’s success is very same one you hear from most mega-sucessful authors: the author created the book that she wanted to see.
The illustrator, who lives in Aberdeenshire, has been astonished at the reaction since she released Secret Garden in 2013. “I had a kids’ book commissioned and I told them I would like to do one for grown-ups. It really wasn’t a trend then. I drew up the first story and they thought, ‘Let’s go for it’. I was thinking simply that people like me would like to do it. My intention was just to make a book I would like to have. So it’s been a real surprise, to see the category bloom.”
You can see The Guardian piece here.


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