Publishing opens a new avenue for Perth writer

A HOBBY stemming from a lifelong ambition has led to the establishment of a new publishing house in Perth.

Urchins International was set up to publish the children’s book series Humin Family Adventures, written by Urchins co-director and founder Steve Robinson.

Mr Robinson decided to turn to writing to achieve a lifelong dream and, after approaching some publishing houses, decided to start one himself.

“I asked a couple [of publishers] and then thought, well, I’ll have a look at self-publishing,” he said.

“There’s a lot of info out there from the Australian Publishers Association.”

“It was at that stage when I floated the idea to some mates of mine, which eventuated in them putting some money in.

“When I had a look at the economics, I though, well it’s worth having a go.”

While the company itself was not hard to set up, it was learning a new trade that took the most time.

“It’s more just getting the time and the wherewithal to do all the content.

“That’s probably the toughest bit – learning what you need to do to produce the book.

“Especially as it’s just a hobby. It’s not a full-time job at all. ”

Independent publicist Gemma Tognini has been responsible for the marketing side, and the strategy has focused on making the books recognisable.

“We are approaching [the bookstores] but we are certainly working on the publicity side before trying to push that more,” Mr Robinson said.

“Gemma is basically contracted to work on that side for us as a publicist agent, so there is no real maintenance aspect of the company.”

Ms Tognini said because the author was an unknown quantity, the marketing process was really just about making people and retailers aware of the books.

Mr Robinson said the actual writing of the book was relatively easy.

However, the initial drive to write the book came from family, particularly his six year old son Keith, who has cerebral palsy.

Mr Robinson said other authors had approached him to enquire about publishing their material.

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