The Flying Fish

To publish a wonderful illustrated childrens book, the Flying Fish, in aid of the Marine Conservation Society, protecting marine wildlife

We did it!

On 24th Jun 2016 we successfully raised £5,560 of £5,000 target with 133 supporters in 28 days

New stretch target

I've reached the initial target amount!   I'm now seeing how much more I can raise to help MCS and fish! Thanks to all those wonderful people who have already responded so generously.    For those who have not, please have fun looking around this site and then pledge an amount in exchange for one of the rewards.   At least £5 from every £10 raised from the book rewards will go to MCS whilst almost all money from the 'adoption' rewards will go to MCS.

The summary...

  • Backers receive a reward for pledging to support the project.

  • Rewards are based on copies of this great book, in multiples of £10.

  • The objective is to raise at least £5000 in pledges.

  • If the project does not meet its target then all money will be returned to the backers.

  • If the project meets its target then the books will be printed and dispatched.  Printing will take three months.     £5 from every £10 will go to the Marine Conservation Society ('MCS').

  • If I exceed the target then I can print more books and send more to MCS!

If this book is successful then I can perhaps bring other old poems back to life!


The book...

... is about strange birds that fly over the sea and strange creatures that live in it.  No creature is more surprising than the one that is half fish and half bird and hunted by all the others – the Flying Fish!    

This project was inspired by my love of the sea and by similar magical books that have lived with me since childhood.   I’d like to think of backers sharing this book with a child, introducing them to poetry and using the book to talk about the sea, the creatures that live in and around it and the importance of looking after it - and then the child treasuring the book for life!

The illustrations are full page and were commissioned via the web, based on my rough designs.    The text is an extract from a poem, famous in its time, by John Henry Gray (who was said to be the inspiration for Oscar Wilde’s character, Dorian Gray).     The book has been typeset locally.


The background...

I came across the poem whilst sailing in seas full of flying fish - and the birds and fish that eat them.   I love poems and I like cartoon-style illustrations and have always wanted to bring the two together, particularly to bring under-appreciated poems back to life.

But what really motivated me to publish the book now was a recent report that the number of fish in the sea has HALVED since I sailed in the seventies; and the number of big fish has fallen by THREE QUARTERS!!  

Here are the statistics from the World Wildlife Fund's 'Blue Living Planet report (Sep 2015)


The charity...

 I can’t do much about this myself...but there is a UK charity that can.  

The Marine Conservation Society, or ‘MCS’ for short, champions the need for Marine wildlife protection, sustainable fisheries and clean seas and beaches. Their vision is to see our seas fit for marine life to thrive in and for people to enjoy. 

 In the UK MCS run 'The Good Beach Guide' and 'The Good Fish Guide' as well as lobbying and advising on EU Fishing Policy and the new Marine Conservation Zones.  Internationally MCS is involved in coral reef management and education, ensuring local communities understand how to preserve their local reefs.



I have paid for the colour illustrations, the royalties and design so this project does not need to cover these.  I will not be making any profit myself but will be passing it on to MCS for their invaluable work.  

So this project only needs to cover hard-back printing, postage and crowd-funding expenses, meaning that £5 of every £10 pledged can go to the charity, MCS.  

Here's how it will work:

  1. Backers decide how much they want to 'pledge' in return for a reward.  These are described in the grey boxes to the right. The basic reward is a copy of the book.
  2. Backers click on their chosen reward and are taken to screens to capture their name and address (for delivery) and to make payment by credit/debit card, PayPal or bank transfer (the cheapest payment processing is bank transfer, then credit / debit, then PayPal)
  3. Payment will go into a holding account (to which I don’t have access).
  4. When I reach my funding target the money will be released to me and I can get the books printed. If I don’t reach my funding target the money is returned to the backers.  If I exceed the target then I can print more books and send more to MCS!
  5. At least three months later (yes, it takes a long time!) I will receive the books back and dispatch them.


The full book is here       



This is a good book and MCS is a good cause.    I'd love to bring other neglected poems back to life.    So please make a pledge now and help make this project a success!



 PS  The video was kindly created by Nigel Schermuly of Bandaloop Productions in Chalford!

 This is a sample page from the book











Got an idea like this?

Start your Crowdfunder