John Arthur Nichol

Sascha Martin’s Format Change


Sascha Martin, Landfill’s young inventor, first saw the light of day in a picture book called Sascha Martin’s Rocket-Ship. The verse is funny, I think, but the illustrations by Manuela Pentangelo brought something really special to the party.

The second book in the series, Sascha Martin’s Time Machine, and the third, Sascha Martin’s Super Ball, were also picture books, illustrated in colour all the way through by Manuela.

In the ebook of Time Machine we also experimented with all the amazing features of EPUB 3, but I don’t think the world was ready for half the stuff the new specification makes possible. It still isn’t. Most ebook retailers simply don’t support it. So that was a bit of a disaster, in terms of time, effort and money devoted to a spec that nobody seems to want to use or understand.

With Super Ball we went back to a simple ebook format alongside the paperback.

Now, Sascha Martin books are changing their format again, and they won’t be picture books any more.

The stories are getting longer, so they’re less and less suited to 32 pages of fixed layout ebook and full-colour paperback. And really, they’re big kids’ books anyway - you know, older children, grown-ups - so from now on they’ll appear in normal paperback format. It’s a familiar size that big kids like to read, and the ebooks will be similar.

The new branding is Sascha Martin Books: Adventures in Verse, for the Discerning Child, where discerning child includes grown-ups who haven’t forgotten how to laugh, and who can still have fun with language and imagination.

The interiors will have black and white spot illustrations instead of full colour pages. But the drawings will have all the fun of their predecessors, because they’ll still be done by Manuela. Her colour palettes have been put aside, but she’ll bring them out again for the covers.

The first book to debut in the new format will be Sascha Martins Christmas Eve - see the post on Creating Sascha Martin's Christmas Eve.

But you can get a feel for the new format in Sascha Martin’s Pitchy Witch and Sascha Martin’s Zombie Dust. It’ll be their turn to be illustrated after Sascha Martin’s Christmas Eve, but for now they’re text only at Leanpub.