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Benji's Blog!

Welcome to our blog! This is where we like to keep everyone up to date with the latest news, tips on how to have lots of fun with the kids, and share little tricks for creating more time to spend together. Come in and enjoy, we'd love to hear any of your comments as well so don't be shy!!

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Follow Your Dreams

With love in your heart and belief in an Idea anything is possible. This week’s blog is about how Adam's books came to be.

As last Monday was my birthday I would like to start out by saying a big huge THANK YOU for all the beautiful birthday wishes I received. But some of you may not know that it was also Adam's 5th year Anniversary and the day that Adam’s message of love, laughter and play in the family hit me like a bolt from the sky with crystal clarity and what I needed to do to make sense of what had happened and survive the wreckage.

Exactly one year later, in an attempt to remember Adam, spread his simple message and help parents develop a strong loving relationship with their kids, 'Before You Sleep' was published.  So to create a small distraction for myself this week I thought I would write a bit about how Adam's books came to be.

Getting a book published by a main stream publisher is quite simply like winning the lotto.
For many different reasons I was desperate to have Adam’s books published, not because I wanted to be an important writer but because I felt I had something important to write.

I Initially tried a couple of publishers to see if they were interested in my book but quickly received very polite rejection letters if any at all.

I could not handle the fact that an entry level editor trying to make their name in the publishing industry had the power to decide my fate and the fate of Adam’s books so I decided to take control of our destiny and go for it myself.

So, with the help of a friend who had some experience in the publishing industry I identified 3 key things a publisher does that I would have to do myself if I wanted things to work out.

1. Finance my book
2. Gain distribution for my book
3. Market and promote my book

So off to the bank with a business plan and box number one was ticked.

Distribution was a bit more of a scary prospect.  However with the help of a great friend I got an introduction to the key buyer in a large distributor who believed in what I was trying to do and gave his full support. I contacted a second large distributor with no introduction and they also were very supportive and agreed to take the books in. Box 2 ticked.

With a desperate need for everyone to see Adam and know about how wonderful he was I got on the phone and started ringing TV and radio stations, newspapers and magazines and told them my story, and followed up with a press release and photos of Adam. The response was amazing and word quickly got out about a beautiful book parents could read to their children before they go to sleep.

TV3 were the first to invite me on to Ireland AM, (you can see this interview below, sorry about the quality), and more appearances followed on the Late Late Show and BBC Breakfast.  You can see all of these in the media section on the Adams Cloud website.

A few months later “Before you Sleep” was nominated and against all the odds won the Book of the Year at the Irish Books Awards. An amazing night that I will never forget, but oddly, in hindsight, was just something that was always supposed to happen.

Of course there is a lot of detail behind the scenes but self-publishing Before You Sleep was not about the book as much about dealing with the loss of Adam and a way for me to remember some of the fun times we had together. You may be interested to read the first ever book I wrote. It is as yet unpublished but I thought I would post the unedited version here for you to read to the kids.  Just let me know if that is something you would like to see, I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

Of course none of this would have happened without the support, belief and encouragement from Jackie as she nursed our new baby Molly that changed our lives, and from Harry and Robbie who have demonstrated enormous strength, love and character over the years.

So I guess the message this week is that no matter how bad, desperate or impossible things seem with your family around you, with love in your heart and belief in an idea anything is possible, you just have to have the courage to make the change and make it happen.  Follow your dreams.

Lots of love, hugs & kisses,

P.S. If you are interested in self-publishing and would like any information or advice then just drop me an email at

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