We have quite the talented group of readers here at GottaBeMobile.com. One of our readers, Aaron Walker, just started his own eBook publishing company, Walk Broad Publishing and has published his first children’s picture book, “Good Morning, Friend Moon“.
I recently had the pleasure of reading “Good Morning, Friend Moon” to my children the other night and they absolutely loved it. The illustrations really brought the story to life. It is available via download for only $4.99
Here’s the great part: “Good Morning, Friend Moon” was written and illustrated entirely using a Fujitsu 4010D Tablet PC. I recently had the opportunity to talk with Aaron about this project and wanted to share some of that with you.
Where did the idea for “Good Morning, Friend Moon” and Walk Broad Publishing come from?
Walk Broad Publishing got started because I wanted to be able to share ebooks with my 6 year old son at bed time story time. I searched and, whereas I found a few, they usually used some sort of additional software or required an internet connection to view.
I figured there had to be a better way.
The story really was inspired by my son asking me why was the Moon still up one morning while the Sun was in the sky. Not knowing the scientific reason, I did what any parent would do, I made up a good story to tell him :) That was the germ of the idea that produced “Good Morning, Friend Moon” and started Walk Broad Publishing.
I am a committed tablet pc user. The entire book, and website, was done on a Fujitsu Lifebook 4010D. The drawing application I used was Corel’s Painter Essentials. The drawings were then imported into Microsoft Publisher 2007 for layout and scripting, then converted to pdf using PDFCreator. Everything was done on the Fujitsu.
When reading the book to my children the other night, I was using the Dell Latitude XT. The flexibility of eBooks are the number of ways in which they can be read. How has the book been optimized for reading?
The reason “Good Morning, Friend Moon” is formatted with pictures on top and words on the bottom is to facilitate helping children with word recognition while also allowing them to still see the pictures. While reading with my 6-year-old son, I like to point to the words as I’m reading and see which words he has learned. It makes things a bit more interactive. Some picture books have words top, bottom and middle which takes away from the presentation of the book page as a whole while still helping with reading.
The book is best viewed on tablets (IMHO) using Adobe’s Digital Editions in portrait mode.
I’ve also been following the Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, iRex iLiad and the rest. Whereas I don’t have any of those devices yet, it occurred to me that parents who did, would probably appreciate good, wholesome picture books to share with their children.
They can let their children read the book in the back seat while traveling with the Kindle for example.
I know the book will lose something in the translation going from full-color to black and white, but there isn’t anything else out there. One day e-ink displays will be in color but, in the meantime, parents should have good picture books to share.
Or, if they are tablet users like myself, they can have them for their tablets or devices like the HTC Advantage and any of the UMPCs that support portrait screen rotation.
I try and make it clear on the FAQ on the website that it is not recommended to be viewed on a smartphone, although I’d be interested in finding out about how it would view on an iPhone or other small device with a larger screen, and if there is a way to tweak the setting for a passable reading experience.
As an author and publisher, what are your feelings about Digital Rights Management (DRM)?
I currently have no DRM on the books. I believe that people are basically honest and those that can will pay the modest fee for the books I am offering.
They can then transfer it to any device that reads a pdf file and I’ve tried to optimize the file for the Reader and Kindle as much as possible while not actually owning either device.
Each person who buys this book (or any book from Walk Broad Publishing for that matter) can download the book up to four times at no additional cost.
Being an ebook reader, I know how important it is to be able to transfer a book on my tablet to my phone or read it on my desktop. When people get a new computer or new device, I don’t believe readers should be penalized for wanting to keep the book they’ve already paid for.
I am already at work on the next book “Natty McGumm and the Lazette Street Gazette” that was written and edited in OneNote using only the pen.
And there will probably be at least two more books featuring Friend Moon, Friend Sun and Friend Star.
How can folks stay up with what you doing?
I know I’ll be following your blog as my children will want to know what Friend Moon and Friend Sun are up to. Keep up the great work.