It's been nearly a month since the release of, "If Animals Had Jobs," the first children's picture book with fully illustrated AI images. I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at the initial reach and reaction since then.
Publication and Press Release
Here are a few key dates for the book:
10/17/2022 - Conceived of and finished initial draft
11/21/2022 - Publication Date
11/29/2022 - Official Press Release
Along with the usual marketing on social media, ad campaigns, and blog posts, this book was the first one to get its own press release. Let's see how that worked out...
Results of Press Release
Even though the press release was a little pricey, it was a good investment, and will probably continue to be so for the next couple of months. Besides getting more eyeballs on the book in general, there were pickups from the Spanish-speaking literature site La Pierdra de Sisifo, Reader's Entertainment Magazine, and an upcoming interview from the international magazine, Kidscreen. I'm sure there are other mentions out there; I simply chose the most popular URLs referring back to the site.
After the press release, user sessions outside of the United States and Europe increased. Interestingly, there was a big uptick in users from Spanish-speaking locations. Makes me think if I should start localizing our books in Spanish. Hmm? Anyway, below is a snapshot of user sessions for the site after the press release.
How a Children's Picture Book can be Divisive
One thing I realized when I was putting together "If Animals Had Jobs" was the fact it was going to be divisive. Not in the way that people would be negative or complaining about the concept of the book - a world where animals take on human jobs based on their unique abilities - but in the form of rejecting AI as the method of image creation.
As I explained in my interview with Kidscreen magazine, as a writer and publisher, there are pros and cons to using AI-generated artwork. One con is the actual use of AI artwork. In reviewing the various comments from social media and from people who have seen the book or just the cover, I think I can safely summarize the two camps most people will fall into. There's the "This is so cool!" camp and the "No! No! No! This ain't right!" camp.
Can't please everyone.
For additional thoughts on what I think about AI artwork, check out the three related posts below.
That's it for this week. See you next time!