Sunday, July 21, 2013

New e-books from Compass Media

I have eight new books from Compass Media out, but only one to have and hold. They're all e-books in the Reading Oceans program. They have turned out beautifully, and I hope they will become print books, especially the ones for younger readers. I thoroughly enjoyed working with my editor on these books. The first ones were actually revisions. Artwork was already done but the story was not well-written. Instead of revising a story that I couldn't get excited about, I ended up writing a whole new story that could fit the illustrations. I also got to write original stories and was delighted with the artwork. For the nonfiction books, I did all the photo-research and was lucky enough to find just the right ones. I especially enjoyed writing the Indian folktales and an overview of the history and culture of India. My fifth grade teacher would be proud of me for finally learning my history.

These are the titles of my books -- you can see the nice variety I got to work on.

My Pocket Hamster; Caring For Your Hamster
My Pet Turtle Tom; Caring For Your Turtle
It's Time to Get Strong; Family Picnic Day
The Tiger, The Boy, And The Jackal
The Rajah and the Rice: an Indian Folktale

I cannot really share these with you, because one has to have a subscription, and although I know that more and more books are being published the electronic route, with all the bells and whistles, I must say that the experience cannot rival one with a paper book. I just cannot imagine cuddling up with a child and an electronic device. When my children were growing up, we had no TV or video games. None. Many parents asked what I did with my kids when they discovered we had no electronics for the children. How do they entertain themselves? I tried not to roll my eyes. But sarcasm leaked out: whatever did children do fifty or a hundred years ago? They played, did chores, explored the backyard and neighborhood, and if they were bored, well, they became creative. And yes, we read a ton of books! My kids had memorized so many that I'd have them "read" to me well before they knew their letters.

But I digress. I know electronics are the future, but I do hope that children are not plunked in front of the screen to amuse themselves. I hope that parents are taking the time to sit and relax with their children, reading a beloved book together, no matter what the format. It's a time of great bonding. I still cannot part with some of the picture books because I have so many memories associated with them. Most recently we read the Hobbit together. My husband makes the best sound effects.

What do you think of e-books for the young? Would you use them?


Mirka Breen said...

I know I'm a Luddite at heart because every E-change (and there are many happening this very moment, even as I type this) is a sea-change for me. No one in my family owns an E-reader.
I doubt we are typical, though. May your E-books do very well.

Gary Ludlam said...

Congratulations! I love to hear about your publishing successes.
I believe in teaching our children to understand technology without being dependent on it. I believe in eschewing video games and other electronic babysitters, cell phones only on an as-needed basis, and extremely limited TV. Real books are great. As an author, however, you have to meet people where they are at, and ebooks are the wave right now.
At the same time, I am teaching both our older children computer programming this summer, and will soon be getting into robotics with my son.
Congratulations again!

Bish Denham said...

Congratulations, Vijaya! You know, as electronically driven as our society is, I'm just not convinced hard copy books will ever go away.

Faith E. Hough said...

Congratulations! Even if they're of the non-cuddle variety, you must be excited to see more of your words out in the world. Good writing in all forms is what's going to make children want to continue reading in other forms.
I can't imagine giving my kid an e-reader... I mean, I can't imagine using one myself, though, so maybe I'm not the best person to ask. But for one thing, it seems that it's too easy to get to mindless games on e-readers...and how could that not distract new readers?

Vijaya said...

Thank you all for the good wishes. I do hope all the books in the series do well. They are especially designed for children whose second language is English.

Mirka, we bought our first kindles this year, and I must say the paperwhite is very easy on the eyes. Not to mention all the classics for FREE! That's what my kids are reading this summer.

Gary, I agree on the judicious use of electronics. I agree with meeting your audience where they're at ... but I still have a pang thinking that a small child might be left in front of a screen all alone while the parents look at another screen.

Bish, I agree. Half my purchases are the paper variety. Books are here to stay ... it's the only technology that has survived thousands of years.

Faith, having good stories in new formats is going to be the key in growing new readers, because you hit the nail on the head. It's too easy to play games on those devices. The good thing is that you can set up parental controls limiting gaming (that's what I do).

MollyMom103 said...


A(way)gukin in the World said...
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