60-year-old uses Book Creator for the first time to publish her poetry

Sue GoldenCase study, Publishing

You’re never too young to start using Book Creator! We love the fact that people from 5 – 105 years old can use our app and publish their stories.

Through my experiences as a woman, a mother, and a wife, I have absorbed many life lessons, eventually finding that these influences have coloured my perception of the world. It has been a growing seed in my heart, that if women had a greater voice, the world would be a very different place. I began to write poetry, and I dreamed of writing a book, to reflect my ideas and my philosophy.

I wanted to find a program that would allow me to express myself, using the written word, illustrations, and allow me to include audio files. I had looked at several templates, but none of them rose to my expectations.

Enter Book Creator!

The Moon of Compassion front coverAfter a brief Google search, I discovered Book Creator by Red Jumper.

Not only did it seem to match my expectations, but it is actually formatted to meet the requirements for iBooks publication.

Woohoo! Bingo!

The sheer beauty of Book Creator is that it has allowed even me, at 60, (and not HTML savvy) to “spill my guts and wax eloquent” – to use illustrations to add depth and meaning to satire, AND to use my voice as an instrument of delivery!

This is the story of how I was able to produce The Moon of Compassion – verses for a voice, poems for a new age.

Download The Moon of Compassion from iTunes

Writing on the go

I like to use my iPad and/or my iPhone to write poetry, when I am on the fly. I might write one or two lines, and then come back to them later. I sometimes record my thoughts into a voice recorder, especially if I am driving on my way to work, and cannot stop to write things down. (I don’t text and drive!)

My two favourite programs I use to write are Textilus on the iPad, or Write on the iPhone. They both sync with Dropbox, so I am able to retrieve my writing later to incorporate my scattered thoughts.

Now I have to interject here, that you do not need an external word processor to compose and write in Book Creator. The great thing is that you can write, edit and even spellcheck directly on each page. You can change fonts, the colour of fonts, and indent your writing any way you want.

Plus, you can align titles, verses, and pictures with the help of grid lines, which was very useful in my particular endeavour. You can even add hyperlinks! Very impressive! (My family think I am super clever).

The Moon of Compassion screenshot 2

Illustrations to catch the eye

For my pictures, I wanted to create child-like illustrations, almost cartoon like, to catch the imagination, and appeal to people who would normally find poetry boring. My subjects are quite diverse, and sometimes a bit controversial, so illustrating them with simple eye catching pictures was my goal.

I am a keen photographer, and used some of my own photography as back drops. Then I layered open source clip art, or my own drawings, in all sorts of combinations to achieve my message.

After that, I added texture and depth using a variety of techniques and different programs, including Adobe Photoshop.

I used the page colour options in Book Creator to provide pop and variety from page to page.

Now for the narration

There are several ways to record your own voice or music to incorporate into Book Creator. I used a combination of ways. You can record directly into the program, using the microphone on your device. This is very effective (as long as you gag any children and/or dogs before you start!).

I also used a third party voice recorder, because I wanted to use some different voice effects. But for one particular poem, I played my recording on my computer, with the speakers facing the iPad, and sang over the playback directly into the iPad.

(Ha! Very sophisticated, although I say so myself!).

Book Creator allows you to import iTunes recordings into your book, so I was able to record in a third party app, send it to myself via email, drag it into iTunes on the computer, and then sync my iPad. Then my recordings would show up under ‘Songs’, and I could import them into the book.

Book Creator also allows you to embed your audio into a page, but keep the audio icon invisible. This results in a much more polished presentation.

Support: Working with audio in Book Creator

The Moon of Compassion screenshot 1

Support for uploading to iTunes

The uploading of the book was a little more challenging, although I found the Publishing FAQs, and Dan Kemp’s detailed guidelines on the blog very useful. I would highly recommend reading both.

I experienced a few hiccups along the way, partly because I do not own an Apple computer, (and I am less familiar with their interface), and partly because I had to trot over to a friend’s house to do the upload, and each time I had to follow up on iTunes Producer. Mind you, I had dinner and/or a glass of wine each time, which added to the enjoyment of the process!

Apple are responsive, although you have to read their FAQs; and there is a phone number to call if you have trouble.

The Book Creator team are extraordinarily responsive, and offered me help along the way, especially with the index, which had to be re-formatted due to some new Apple requirements. They also assisted me with resizing the cover art work, and the sample pages, which have to be of certain proportions; (see Apple submission guidelines in iTunes Producer).

The Moon of Compassion screenshot 3

Using Book Creator was positively addictive!

I want to stress that I had so much fun putting everything together and importing it into the Book Creator template. The process of using Book Creator was easy! It was positively addictive!

And, if I didn’t like something, I could delete it and put something else in its place without any difficulty. I could also add, delete, and move pages around.

If ever I needed assistance, and could not find the answer in the FAQs , I would send out a support ticket SOS, and I would receive personalised assistance within 24 hours. The customer support is unmatched in my experience!

All in all, my experience of the uploading process was very positive. I learned a lot, and feel very accomplished. Plus I am better prepared for next time and I know I can do it (even me!).

I have already started on the sequel to The Moon of compassion, and am extremely proud to have followed through with my ambition.

I encourage you to do the same. If I can do it so can you!

If you have dreams to write a book
and your life’s work you would pursue,
Then search no more and take a look
with Book Creator YOU CAN TOO!

2 Comments on “60-year-old uses Book Creator for the first time to publish her poetry”

  1. Sue’s dream of writing a book is realized! Her poetry is wonderful, her being able to read it herself it spectacular, & the illlustrations are beautiful. This could not have been accomplised without Book Creator & it’s compatibility with Apple. Now to get the word out about this wonderful book delivered in the innovative platform!

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