i just released my first picture book in over 3 years. it's called RIBBON & ROBIN and it's about a bird and a skunk who are best friends and go on adventures and shit. i'd love to know what you think. it's only 24 pages (and about 100 words) and is free to download on Amazon for the next couple of days. would majorly appreciate it if you could check it out and review it or whatever.

https://www.amazon.com/Ribbon-Robin-Adventure-No-201-ebook/dp/B01LSZUOWO/ref=la_B006R44YLO_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473546552&sr=1-7

so yeh. feel free to ask me about anything

proof: http://i.imgur.com/r9nlE8u.jpg

Comments: 269 • Responses: 71  • Date: 

aMANescape117 karma

just me in here. cool.

hot__sauce__50 karma

I'm here too

aMANescape65 karma

how the fuck are ya!? how bout we do a thing where I ask you anything... what is your favourite animal that has fur?

hot__sauce__37 karma

I guess wolves. How about you?

aMANescape55 karma

probs sausage dogs. do they count?

hot__sauce__36 karma

Sure.

aMANescape49 karma

ok. ok. so next question. what is your darkest secret?

aMANescape56 karma

too soon?

hot__sauce__40 karma

Definitely too soon.

aMANescape50 karma

tomoz?

CerealKillerOats22 karma

I ate a cat placenta

aMANescape2 karma

mama?

hot__sauce__18 karma

I can't think of any dark secrets I have.

What's your favorite food?

aMANescape30 karma

my mum makes this pea and ham soup which is offffff thhheeee ccchhhhaaaartts

ok. you have to be gay for one celebrity. which one and why?

Hubcaphotdog5 karma

Whats it like being Australian? How does it FEEL? Do you ever wish you were Welsh? Or Maybe Peruvian?

aMANescape1 karma

call me a racist and a bigot all you want, but sometimes i wish i was antarctican.

hot__sauce__78 karma

Ok, real question:

How'd you get into writing children's books?

aMANescape81 karma

rock and roll. well. when i was little, roald dahl books made me smile and laugh. his stories made me happy. and I guess I wanted to do the same. and silly, shitty little stories is the best way I know how to make people slightly chuckle. and if a stranger can slightly chuckle to one of my stories, I will die a happy happy man. thank you for the question man.

rabidpinetree26 karma

So... rock and Roald?

aMANescape3 karma

fuck ye

seedymexican10 karma

but you never answered his question

aMANescape3 karma

sorry. rambled there didn't i. fuck.

ok. well. i just started making up stupid stories to amuse myself. after doing this for a while i was like - im going to try and make a book. then i stumbled on to createspace online. it was like stumbling into paradise. i always had a dream of writing a book (so I could be just like Successful George McFly) and yeh. I was able to realise that fairly quick :)

aMANescape68 karma

side note: ok. so. i fell in love with this girl named robyn. i haven't met her in real life yet. but. i love her with my whole heart. and yeh. RIBBON & ROBIN is for her. if you get a chance to read it. i hope it makes you smile all the way to the sky

RacingNeilo62 karma

Classic smosby

aMANescape2 karma

textbook

TheBigDrumDog8 karma

How did you get to know Robyn?

aMANescape2 karma

we met on milo yiannopoulos' facebook page. it was love at first friend request.

aMANescape65 karma

hey rob. why are you such a loser?

aMANescape83 karma

probs because I jerk off too much and comment on my own questions

aMANescape38 karma

fag

aMANescape29 karma

(thank you) MAGA

ducksaretoohappy14 karma

I wish people would stop blaming masturbation as though it were a negative thing. No man or woman has ever not enjoyed masturbation in my opinion. Even those videos I've been told about, with forced masturbation, they always, apparently, smile a little during the masturbation. How could one not. Masturbating is the key the success, Masturbating in my wife's dress, No one comes in, To myself I grin, Masturbation is the best.

aMANescape26 karma

well said dad. it's all about moderation.

ducksaretoohappy12 karma

...so like 3 times a day son, like I showed you.

aMANescape19 karma

you showed me so good dad

ducksaretoohappy7 karma

Ok man, we've bonded, I trust you now.

What part of Aus are you from? Do you make an actual living from selling your story pictures??

aMANescape13 karma

hahaha. thank fuck. i was having all types of bad imagery there. i grew up in sydney. now living in newcastle. i don't make a living from this. it's a hobby and a passion and im really just making these stupid fucking stories to amuse myself at this point. but man. if one other person ends up reading my story and having a slight smile to themselves, well then fuck me. i will die happy. where are you man?

ducksaretoohappy9 karma

Haha yeah I just have like 0 filter for my brain, I don't mind but you know that look of shame the missus gives you at parties and such. Moment in Germany, I'm English, met my German wife in the South-West in Margaret River so have a huge soft spot for Aus. I enjoy drawing and story telling but I'm totally block creatively I can't even connect the two and make anything productive out of it. I will be sure to check out your stuff later on.

aMANescape6 karma

rock and roll man. fuck. i hope it makes you smile. also. germany.... right on

ducksaretoohappy4 karma

Is it hot in here or are you just pleased to see me?

aMANescape6 karma

i'm pleased to see you. dehr :)

aMANescape50 karma

i need sleep. so im going to do that. i'll get to every question as soon as i wake up. please don't vote this AMA to the front page or some shit while im sleeping. spk soon X

aMANescape43 karma

oh. also. one of my books was recently in an cool fuckn movie called anesthesia. my 15 minutes of fame - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6a-mFKhed4

philparma18 karma

How did you end up getting that there? Did you know someone on the crew? Did they randomly pick it up?

aMANescape1 karma

they did randomly ask me. after googling kids authors they might have come across me... and yeh. i signed a release form and it was in :)

philparma39 karma

On a scale of 0 to JK Rowling, what's your expectation of revenue from this one book?

aMANescape113 karma

0

Boel_Jarkley23 karma

In my experience as a picture book author/ illustrator self-publishing on Amazon, it's not profitable. I even tried using their advertising services that basically only advertises to people looking at similar products and spent about $5 dollars with no purchases. It's an even bigger bummer when I take into account that I pay $600 every year for Adobe Creative Cloud and making children's books has basically become a really expensive hobby.

aMANescape2 karma

but fun as fuck :)

Qbert133724 karma

Have you considered writing children's books for parents, like 'go the f*ck to sleep?". Judging from your replies it would come pretty naturally :)

aMANescape23 karma

hehe. not really (although i hope on some level parents can enjoy the stories ive written). no. i just like swearing because im on the internet. one of the reasons i love the internet. you can swear and do whatevs. but normally i don't swear that manies

CoRo_yy9 karma

But what if you become (even more) famous? All those nazi journalists will dig out the shit you wrote and post stuff like: "Rob Towner swears to parents on the internet"

aMANescape16 karma

fuck it

peteroh92 karma

Easy come, easy go.

degjo2 karma

Will his publisher let him go

aMANescape3 karma

i am my publisher. so. maybe.

thisispants16 karma

What books did you love as a kid?

aMANescape25 karma

oh. mr men. grug. all roald dahls shit. i thought THE TWITS was the most amazing collection of words to ever happen. I held that book in higher regard than any other book on earth (including shakespear and the bible)

mainly as a kid, i loved playing gameboy. i know it wasn't really a book. oh, and he-man. sorry. got a little off topic there.

what was your fayv book man?

thisispants8 karma

The Paul Jennings books were awesome..... Also space demons, kinda young adult I guess. Good times!

aMANescape13 karma

paul fucking jennings! round the twist everyday!

thisispants5 karma

So good!

aMANescape8 karma

so many slight chuckles

RadiumGirl3 karma

Grug is everything.

aMANescape1 karma

Grug is love

insert_topical_pun12 karma

Anything to say for yourself regarding your shoddy delivery on a promise here?

https://www.reddit.com/r/pics/comments/4smjfd/it_was_all_over_so_quickly/

aMANescape16 karma

i would like to offer a formal apology for not showing my dick. deep down though, i think you and i are both better off that i didnt

sometimes, in life, and on reddit, you make promises (not knowing about your true capacity to fulfill those promises) you can't keep

aMANescape11 karma

but... for all the kids out there... if you want a step by step guide on how to make sweet sweet love with a chess board, here's a good place to start...

  1. cut a hole in the board

mpkud111 karma

Hi Rob, Just wondering how you appeal to the children reading your books? Is it more to do with the words and the way sentences are constructed, or is it more to do with the picture?

Also, do you have any kids of your own? If so, has writing picture books helped you be a better father?

aMANescape14 karma

thanks. nice question. to me a good children's book has a mixture of nice, complementing colours, badly drawn pictures and basic, flowing sentences.

i personally don't have any kids of my own, but i don't know. maybe on some level i am now a better father as a result of making up stories. but im a father with no kids. which, in my opinion, is the best type of father to be.

but really. the type of language i typically use in children's books is less child like and more like the kind of adorable banter you might have with your girlfriend when your friends aren't there. example instead of saying little, say widdle.

mpkud13 karma

Yep that makes sense. thanks for the speedy reply and answer :) i have also seen toy channels employing this technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T4r91mc8pbo

aMANescape6 karma

hahaha. what in the cunt licking fuck did i just watch?!

mpkud13 karma

hahahaha that was my first reaction

aMANescape3 karma

im in the wrong business :)

fartblasterdeluxe11 karma

Rob, fellow Aussie here mate. Was the book self published or through a publishing company?

aMANescape20 karma

just self published. piece of piss :)

CoRo_yy7 karma

It was always my dream to write books for kids but I never actually found the motivation to do anything close to that. So you better give me some fucking great advice right now on how to change and be the next Michael Ende or J.K. Rowling but with less tits. Oh and also I can't illustrate at all.

So, you disgustingly pretty piece of author.. watcha saying?

aMANescape14 karma

listen to me right fucking now. i'm going to tell you the secret to creating a great story. you get off that sweet arse of yours and pick up and pen and put that pen in your mouth. then what you want to do is get in your car and drive to the closest beach next to you. then, with pen in mouth, start doing a naked rain dance (it helps if lots of people can see you). after that, you want to cover yourself in fish meat and drink 5 beers. IN THAT ORDER. after that you need to make up a story in your head. then. go home. stand on top of a large sheet of paper. and shake off the rain and fish meat. and spit of pen on to the paper also. take that paper to a local shoe salesman and whack him across the face with it. Are you still paying attention? whack him hard. 5 times. and scream in his ear "I AM EATING BROCCOLI FOR DINNER!" do this until he retaliates in some way. if the pen stays in the paper, it will be a masterpiece. if it falls out, start again.

CoRo_yy4 karma

Instructions unclear. Masturbated 5 times to fish meat in front of a shoe salesman with broccoli up my anus.

aMANescape5 karma

how long did you do it for though? usually it takes a few months

CoRo_yy2 karma

I'm masturbating for 19 years now. Thanks for asking.

aMANescape7 karma

that must mean an incredibly great story is coming very soon!!! you are going to have so many publishers chasing you

Fox_Magoo7 karma

Real question - children's books often contain some seriously dark scenes and I remember as a child the illustrations being pretty intense to go along with. Nowadays, not so much - do you think there's something that's been lost?

aMANescape8 karma

children's stories always should get dark. i love dark and think it is vital to be dark for kids. if you can't find any dark themed children's books for your kids, might i recommend introducing your children to some extremely fucked up horror films?

turtlespace3 karma

It's great that at least one author apparently understands that - you like Roald Dahl, I think what he really gets about kids that lots of adults don't is exactly that, they need some darkness in their stories - they arent stupid, they can tell when writers are trying to obviously tone it down for them.

It really annoyed me trying to make things for kids in my design classes - many of the teachers seemed to think having a target audience under 14 meant "be condescending and sappy as fuck, and make sure you throw in an obvious moral and a happy ending".

aMANescape3 karma

this guy gets it

Maverician7 karma

Hrm. I work in a book store in the Blue Mountains (near Sydney) and I didn't know your name. Animal Friends looks vaguely familiar, but it is a pretty... easy to get confused about cover (meaning lots of kids drawings would meld with that in my mind, I think).

The pricing of Animal Friends seems pretty good (too many kids books are expensive these days). Did you get into bulk markets (Big W, super markets, Kmart etc)?

I also can only see Ribbin & Robin as an e-book for now, is that the case? If so, any plans for hard copy? (it is great it is free on kindle, but my guess is that the market for kids ebooks is pretty small? At least, everyone I talk to says they just read novels/non-fiction/academic works in e-format).

Did you start this at 9pmish where you are? I can see that you were in Carrington and Kitchener a bit ago, so assume you are NSW based. 9pm is pretty late to start an AMA for Australia (and I would guess fairly off time for US or UK, about 4am on west coast of US and midday in UK). You might have had a better response about 2-3h earlier, though there is also just the fact that unless it is like Quentin Blake/Graeme Base a kids author/illustrator isn't that likely to get a gigantic response anyway (my guess).

aMANescape9 karma

you work in a book store? that is my dream job in the universe. ebook and hard copy are avails for Ribbon & Robin. in the coming weeks there will be many more Ribbon & Robin stories coming too. (long story short. i fell in love with a girl and have been writing / illustrating stories for her in my spare time.) if you ever feel like hanging out, ill gladly come to the blue mountains. im just in newcastle. lets fuckn do it. do you like playing chess?

Hematospermia5 karma

I just released my latest illustrated book on Amazon. I don't mind telling you it's brutal on there, and I've since discovered people don't buy kids books on Amazon. I wish I had some tips for you but nothing has worked so far. So I guess my question for you is, how much do you plan to drink to dull the slowly building depression you are surely soon to experience?

aMANescape1 karma

drinking is not my thing. i do yoga and play chess mainly. want a game? my username is xqft on chess.com

moc_moc_a_moc5 karma

  1. Are you tempted to hide dirty jokes and other stuff that kids won't get in your books?

  2. Do you?

aMANescape3 karma

one - nah

two - yeh (i wrote a book a few years ago where I made my ex girlfriend out to be a fart cloud. does that count?)

MasterEmp5 karma

What do you have against capital letters?

aMANescape3 karma

they're so fucking stuck up

aMANescape3 karma

they have a false sense of entitlement. like they get to go first. EVERY. FUCKING. TIME. fuck them.

Anablue4 karma

How do I start to put my book together? I have written a book on quotes to live by. I don't know where to begin or who to contact to put it together for publishers to look at .

aMANescape6 karma

nice to meet you friend. that sounds like a fuckn cool idea. I guess...

a few routes you could go down > you could maybe develop some sort of pitch for the idea and run it by as many publishing companies as humanly possible, like hustle to the shit and sell it.

OR

publish it yourself using something like createspace (which is what i did). very straight forward to use. they let you choose the finish on the cover, dimensions of the book (with downloadable word templates), they push it straight to Amazon and have a ton of other extremely useful resources... not to mention youtube resources

depends on how much you love the project I guess. without knowing too much about you, i would guess you would be somewhat pleased by the self publishing process. a lot of the development is inside your control and you ultimately have the final say on the finished product.

does this make sense? is there any particular area of publishing you need help with? :)

aMANescape10 karma

i just realised reddit can do cool quotations....

rob towner is a probably the all time greatest writer ever - no one

Anablue3 karma

Hi. Yes, the self publishing aspect sounds like the route I will go. At first... Lol It's not a large book. Just a small size. Like "Don't sweat the small stuff". As far as spelling correction, etc, does your method do all of that too ?

aMANescape2 karma

i did all the grammar and editing for RIBBON & ROBIN. upon reading i'm sure you will find that that was probably a bad idea... but as you said, i like to not sweat the small stuff.... if people can at least somewhat comprehend what i meant to say, i think it's ok :)

and honestly, if i type a full stop or not, who gives a shit? :)

Anablue3 karma

So, I guess I have to but it to read it ? Lol. Why not ! I'm all for supporting fellow writers. I'm going to go the route you did and see how it goes. I've got everything ready. Just have to proofread. I'm thinking of getting it copy written. What do you think? Did u ?

aMANescape2 karma

i think your thing is going to end up being fucking cool. i will definitely buy it when it's up.

so. with my book. it's 100 words which like the same size as this one comment. so. proof reading it took about half a second and i did it myself (i still fucked it up mind you).

i like your idea though. how long will it be?

fragglefraggle4 karma

Why don't you use capitalization? And that kiss was NOT on the lips. Can you draw us a picture of what the people want? This book is truly an inspiration

aMANescape1 karma

capital letters think they are SO fucking better than everyone else

kconnors4 karma

How competitive is the market?

aMANescape8 karma

on a scale of 1 to 5, i would probably say milkshake

kconnors3 karma

Just wondering. I am an artist with a BA in art and have a Masters degree in literacy. Any advice for getting started?

aMANescape14 karma

well. yeh. i think do what you did. thats a great start

fondofowls3 karma

Thanks for the AMA. I downloaded your book and read it. I like that you are doing something different here rather than just having rhymes and nonsensical drawings. Congrats on publishing your book and getting it out there.

Right, sorry I was supposed to ask a question. What illustration program do you use for adding text and drawings? Do you have to worry about the book spine and things like that since it is an ebook?

aMANescape1 karma

thanks man. really appreciate the kind words. so. i draw and trace the images and then scan them into my computer. then add text, colour and bleeds etc using photoshop. createspace give pretty detailed instructions on how to set up the files which is useful.

also. there is hard copies avails (not just an ebook) https://www.amazon.com/Ribbon-Robin-Adventure-No-201/dp/1537467638/ref=la_B006R44YLO_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1473631329&sr=1-9

EpicScizor2 karma

So, how's the chessboard doing? You got any further than a one-night stand?

aMANescape2 karma

it's complicated

kybeau2 karma

I'm an English major and currently taking an analyzing children's literature course and was wondering just how much thought goes in to things being used as metaphors for something else or things like hidden messages? Thanks!

aMANescape1 karma

a lot of the metaphors in the books i write are typically metaphors for things specifically related to my real life. example - in the book, ribbon gets thin water... because the love of my life (who i wrote this book for) likes thin water...

ps. i wish i was an english major and spent time studying literature. fuck that would be cool. wana hang out one day?

thebuttonmonkey2 karma

Did you get an advance when you signed? Without being crass (and I'm really not asking for cash numbers), what percentage were international rights versus domestic? Specially America, what was the multiplier there? Thanks.

aMANescape2 karma

i got a 10,000% advance on $0.00

EDIT: No. that was a cunt answer. the book is free today on kindle but normally the book is like $2.99. i think i end up getting roughly 30 cents per copy sold when you minus taxes and everything. and Amazon convert all currencies so you end up getting the same from almost every country. With the paperback hardcopy I get about $5 per copy sold. Also. I didn't sign anything and self published the whole thing. thanks man

piercet_3dPrint2 karma

Can you draw a cool wombat?

aMANescape2 karma

i can do that. ill make another story this week and will try to throw a wombat in there just for you :)

potatoesarenotcool2 karma

Youre a cool guy OP. Well you ever write a non children's book in the style youre answering? Like an adult parody of a children's book.

aMANescape2 karma

im really not cool. but thank you kind person :) i haven't. but you have just given me an idea for something i might do in the future :) actually wait. nah. i probs wont. but still. cool idea

aMANescape1 karma

shit. ok. im going to get to all of these. just give me some time <3

jonsnowbro1 karma

How long did your book take to write from start to finish?

aMANescape2 karma

from having the idea. storyboarding. sketching. tracing. adding colour. text. formatting. uploading. about 8 solid hours.

jessiclaw-8 karma

Why did you do an AMA on 9/11?

aMANescape1 karma

purely coincidence... or is it???