We Chat to Dan Necklen About the Shotgun Shred ‘Til Bed Book.

Kids bike seat supremos Shotgun are releasing a 52-page, hard back book based on their Shred ‘Til Bed drawings released in April.

Pete sat down with Shotgun co-founder Dan Necklen to chat how the drawings came about, what the inspiration for the book was and what’s next.

What was the response to your Shred ‘Til Bed drawings?

Our Shred Til’ Bed drawings had a fantastic response. We had thousands of parents subscribe to get the MTB animal artwork every day. I think because plenty of parents had kids stuck at home, the illustrations were a welcome distraction during a crazy time. We even heard of one school teacher who issued the drawings to their students as homework during lock-down. We thought that was pretty rad.

When did the idea for a book come about?

When we started doing the printable illustrations with Mike, we released that Shred Til’ Bed could be much more than just something for kids to print and colour in. That’s where we started thinking about doing a book or educational resource of some sort, and it kind of snowballed from there.

As a company, our mission is to help parents raise the next generation of mountain bikers, so doing a book made a lot of sense, especially because it’s not always easy for parents to get little people to the trails.

Did you conveniently have 26 drawings or did you have to cut them down?

We’re still finalising the drawings actually, we have more than 26 that we’re working through. Providing free pictures for kids to print and colour at home is one thing. But when someone is paying top dollar for a hard-cover book, we think they will expect the next level in terms of quality. No pressure Mike…

How did you choose the ones that made the cut?

Good question. We’ve tried to choose animals that reflect a range of countries, whilst also having them ride bikes that show a range of MTB disciplines. Importantly, they must also look rad, which isn’t always that easy. Have you ever seen a snake sending a jump? That’s one of our favourites.

What age range is the book aimed at?

Whether it’s our book or not, we think parents should read to kids of all ages. I’d like to think children as young as 12-18 months would enjoy the bright colours and cool imagery. Whereas older kids would be more inclined to appreciate the rhymes and the MTB features in the book. Heck, there might be some parents that just buy it for themselves too.

Did you have any experience in publishing to help get this idea off the ground?

We have a strong vision for the quality and content of the book, but we have no publishing experience in-house, so we’re using experts to help us pull it all together.

What made you want to only do a single print run?

We’re not sure how popular the book will be, so we wanted to test the idea first which doing a single print run allows. If it goes well, we’ll turn it into a product that we stock, but at the moment it’s a bit early to make a call on that.

Will we see more of the Shred ‘Til Bed drawings?

We might release one or two more pages from the book before it ships, but we’d like the majority of the book to be a surprise for the parents who have pre-ordered.

Favourite moments?

The whole thing so far. The concept has quickly turned from a crazy idea into reality, so we’re hoping there are still plenty of favourite moments to come, especially when parents read the book to their kids for the first time.

Any disasters?

Looks like choosing a Giraffe for G was a bit of a disaster according to a few teachers we’ve spoken to, because Giraffe sounds like a J (it’s said ‘Jiraffe’). Anyway, we’ll be more careful with the rest of the animals, but we’re also aware it will be pretty hard to keep everyone happy.

People to thank?

Firstly, the parents out there who have purchased our MTB kids seat. We wouldn’t be here without them. And of course, we’d also like to thank the parents who have pre-ordered the book.

And in terms of pulling it all together, a massive thanks to Mike Hearsey for the epic illustrations, Phil Harris, our graphic designer, and the rest of the Shotgun team.

You can get your hands on a copy of the Shred ‘Til Bed book on Shotgun’s website here.

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