Skip to content
soniagrodek's profile image - click for profile

Ilustracja b's Fundraiser:

Publishing a book with Polish fairytales

Ilustracja's Photo


Ilustracja b


We are Sonia Anna Grodek and Daria Porębiak. Both of us have already published a book in Poland - mine was reliesed last year by publisher Alegoria("Drzewo spełniające życzenia. Opowieści mamy i córki" - ), Daria's - by Lampa publisher ( "Koniec Świata",daria-porebiak-koniec-swiata).

After releasing our books we started to think about publishing by ourselves. Publishers often want to interfere in contents of the book, they have their own vision about how the book should look, and besides, we didn't find anyone, who was interested in our project. On the spring we got the idea - we want to publish childs books! But not ordinary books - we thought, how great would it be to publish fairytales, myths and stories from various Polish regions, and we decided to begin with Mazovia region, which capitol is Warsaw, were we live. We started to look for stories and it turned out, that no one did it before! In libraries there were some, not very appealing collections from communists times, of five or ten stories, a lot of them were the same, and a lot were written in awful manner - mock old dialect.

No wonder - we thought - that children don't want to read this! Our stories will contain original, traditional essence, but they will be written in interesting way, for children and for adults. Some of fairytales we found were cery old and cery beautiful (the oldest book we found was from 1856); theye were showing the diversity of this interesting region, were before war were living alongside Germans, Poles, Russians and Jews. Beyond them - vampires, all sorts of withches ("strzygi", "wiedźmy", "czarownice"), marmaids ("rusałki"), dragons, anchanted animals and even one unicorn!

In our free time we started to go on a trips in Mazovia - including Góra Kalwaria, Kozienice, Pułtusk or Minsk Mazowiecki. There we found a lots of interesting stories. Directors of regional museums and local people were happy to share theirs tales and our collection of stories were growing bigger and bigger. Did you know, that at the biggining of XX century, polish soldiers bring back from Ural to near-by-Warsaw Modlin domesticated bear Baśka, who lived there with them till the rest of her live?

Did you know, that under Warsaw ground lives enchanted princess - Golden Duck? Did you know, that "Beauty and the beast" has his equivalent in Mazovia, and its oldest and very moving version we found in XIX centuries book? Wouldn't it be great, if all this stories were in one, beautiful book, so every child and adult from Mazovia and world could have it at home?

On April we decided, that we will became non-profit organisation. That way it would be easy to find sponsors and apply for grants for publishing the book, and we will not have to bear the costs at starting point (which would be hard, because we didn't have a lot of money, and as a freelancers, we couldnt apply for credit in a bank). It sounded better than starting our own buissness, and it is interesting to know at this point, that according to Doing Buissness world ranking, Poland is at 124 place from 175 worlds countries, when it comes to starting your own buissness, and on 114 place, in the matter of simplicity and clarity of tax system. So the non-profit-organisation it was. Application form was about 50 pages and was very complicated; we have to write resolutions, fill houndreds of forms and write a contract with my mum, to rent a 1,5 meters of her house for our bureau. After 1,5 month we got the refusal. We added more resolutions and forms and waited for 2 months for answer. - In summertime in offices everyone is on vacations so it always take some time, some people wait for six months... - were saying our friends, to "cheer us up".

At least, at the beggining of August, we registered non-profit-organisation in national courts register (KRS) - Ilustracja B. Meanwhile, it got clear to us, thet as a non-profit-organisation, we can't... sell our book. We can only give it for free. But we wanted to sell many books so Mazovian fairytales got popular and to finance our future publishing projects (tales from other regions, also tales from other countries, when we will get bigger) and to have our own buissness. It turned out, that as non-profit-organisation , to do anything, we have to evade unclear law, fill hundreds of reports and explain ourselves all the time to authorities.

We didn't want to do this. Besides, till that moment we saw a lot of books published by non-profit organisations in Poland - they were miserable brochours, lying forgotten somwhere in the municipal office or museum. That is not what we wanted. Our book was tend to be a hit. It could show, that our culture is not boring and it should be in every bookstore. So, what left was starting our own buisness. We didn't waste the time when we were starting our non-profit-organisation tought- we got a lot of contacts, some people were interested in our project and in the meantime, we almost completed the book.

Now, we are getting to the end of our work to finish the book. From almost 100 stories, we chose about 40, and we are finishing elaborating them. Book will be ready in Septemper, when we will paricipate in local children-book contest - award is 1200 $, so we will try our best. Then we will start our publishing house (in Poland you pay taxes etc. for your buisness from day first, no metter of your income, and you have to pay more, then in UK or USA - that is why we are waiting with it). We will manage that. But we have to raise money for printing our first book. We plan to do it - taking the time for find illustrator, to print etc. - by the biggining of the year 2014. How much do we need?

1 000 $ - for illustrator. For some illustrations we will organise contest for kids from Mazovia's schools, but book must look really good, so someone have to take care of it. We both are freelancers, so we know how unfair it is, when someone want you to work but don't want to pay - so we want to find good artist for the job and pay him fairly.

9 000 $ - for the printing. We are right now looking for printing house, which will print a book on recycled paper - it is really important for us. Our first research shows, that this sum should cover printing of 2 tousends of books. After selling first edition, we will cover costs of second one from the profit.

We will be very happy for every donation. If you can read polish (or want to learn;) you can write us your adress after making a donation at We will send you a book signed by authors just the moment it will be out of printhouse:) We can send it to every place in the world, free of shipping cost;) Also, we are on Facebook:




Fundraise for this Campaign



Want to help Fundraise or Volunteer for this amazing Fundraiser? Join the Team

Donor Comments

Ilustracja is working on selecting a charity so you can support Publishing a book with Polish fairytales.