It s the last day of the school term and I had the opportunity this morning to read my book The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas to my daughter’s class of year 2 children. What great fun!
I had intended to read the words but being in rhyme I found myself singing the whole book. Apparently, I didn’t sound too bad but in my mind I could hear my voice getting more and more high pitched. Behind me is my daughter Ruby, who doubles up as my assistant and editor. As I read the paperback version, she demonstrated how to use the ebook version on an ipad which included tapping the illustrations to hear the sounds.
Here are a few things to consider when reading to an audience:
if you are wearing a dress, remember to keep your knees together (see photo below – cringe!)
you are not reading to yourself – turn the book around so the audience can see any illustrations
project your voice for the children that always navigate towards the back so they can hear too
have eye contact with your listeners
slow down – I tend to rush when I am nervous.
Today’s class visit was my second. The first time I was invited to read a new manuscript about a Little Blue Fairy Penguin to a class of year 1’s. This was great too, as I could watch the children’s reaction and take note of moments when their eyes glazed over with boredom or when they giggled, asked questions or started to fidget. All really useful indicators as to how engaging your story is. Thankfully, they enjoyed the story as did the lovely teacher.
This was a fab way to end the year – and what a year it has been – I have:
While I am waiting for the proof of my self-published paperback version of ‘The Jersey 12 Days Of Christmas,‘ I am using the time to add sound effects to my ebook. I have mentioned before in a previous post “A Puffin In A Pear Tree‘ that I have been using Book Creator on ipad to make the book. To add the sounds a friend recommended Soundrangers as a good place to purchase sound effects from.
It is another huge learning curve for me but I am enjoying it. Book Creator also gives you the option to record sounds straight into your ebook. This is great if you want to add a voice over so children can have the option of listening to the story.
To add another dimension to my ebook I have been able to add sounds that will work the moment a child taps on each illustration. So the ebook will develop the following skills:
and best of all singing along to themselves or with family and friends!
Hopefully, (with fingers crossed) I will be able to launch the paperback book and the ebook at the same time!
PS: I am not on any commission for any websites I recommend, I am just sharing the information with you about the resources I use.
In the very near future I will (fingers crossed) be announcing the end of some very hard work and the beginning of my first self-published children’s picture book. Although I am aware that this is not the end of the hard work, as marketing your book can be tough.
The book is aimed at anyone with connections to Jersey, Channel Islands, the book contains illustrations to go with a very classic Christmas rhyme. It can also be used as an early reader and counting book.
How good is that, reading, counting and singing all in one book!
The self-published route is a huge learning curve. Here are just a few of the things you have to consider and decide upon:
gloss or matt
hardback or softback/paperback
And not every publisher/printer uses the same terminology. Although I have been quite a bag of nerves over making all these decisions it has also been quite empowering.
I have already shown some examples of the artwork in previous posts:
One of the biggest drives behind authors wanting to write books is to keep the love of reading going. As a parent I want to do this regardless of the medium. In the Telegraph this week one of the headlines says:
I loved Gerald Durrells My Family and Other Animals book. It was on the curriculum at secondary school. The teacher had no difficulty in getting us to read it because it was such a great book. His humour and observation were brilliant (and I wish I could write like that).
I will definately be encouraging my children to read it when they are old enough in paper or digital form.
I was born on the island of Jersey and have been to Geralds Durrells zoo many times throughout my life and highly recommend it should you ever find yourself in that part of the world.
What books did you love as a young person and will definately want your children to read?