A Letter to Authors of Children’s Books

Dear Authors,

My school has one iPad in the library, along with several iPods for kids to check out.  The iPad is reserved for teachers to use with their students, and we have the accessories so that it can be hooked up to an LCD projector (in all of our classrooms) or the computer.

Here’s my issue. Our PTO gave us some funds to buy children’s books and apps for the iPad and iPods. However, to populate those and get teachers to begin to use them, and kids to want to check out the iPods for something other than games, the books on there need to be high quality and intriguing to both the readers and the instructors. I really want to use this tool to introduce teachers to some amazing books and new authors instead of the same ones we already know.

I HAUNT book apps online for bargains for cheap books. I subscribe to every single online place I can find that offers kindle books at a discount from time to time. I have just spent several hours trying to find cheap e-books to put on this iPad for kids and teachers to discover and experience good books.  I AM a bargain shopper.

But very few of you have cheap books out there…and by cheap I mean $2 or $3 ones.  I guarantee if you have just ONE of your really good books selling as cheap Kindle book, people will buy it, and more people will get to know you as an author! Ask Amazon to feature it in their daily Kindle deals. Tweet it out and ask teachers to retweet it.  send me a tweet (@paulawhite) and I will get the message out as much as I can…but for goodness sake, let us help you get known!

The majority of the books I currently have on our iPad are newer authors I am discovering and recommending…and that means some of my favorites are losing out. I would love for my teachers to be able to use some of the books I love and some of their favorites with an iPad, showing it on the LCD projector. If you haven’t seen a picture book done this way, you are missing a great new way to share picture books with kids!

Please consider changing the price of at least one Kindle adaptation of a really good book you wrote to $2 or $3 so that people can discover you anew…I have to say if I have a bound copy of your book, I won’t pay full price for an e-book.  But if I can share one of your books cheaply, my kids will go home and talk about it and then the parents may buy several of your books for the home iPad.

We teachers would love your support of education in this way.


Paula White

4 thoughts on “A Letter to Authors of Children’s Books

  1. I spend a lot of time searching too, mostly because I want to promote reading and learning via The Book Chook blog. Not just for book apps, but creative apps, ones that promote divergent thinking or self-expression. They are really not too easy to find. I would love publishers to realize that “quality” is important to many educators and parents. Some of the grammar and poor writing I have seen published digitally is appalling!

  2. Paula… great letter. I love librarians – not only as champions of books, but also as the innovators of how people young and old get informed and inspired using new technologies. You are one of the pioneers, Paula. The publishing industry is catching up -and trying to make economic sense of new distribution models. Most of your favorite books on the shelves are encumbered by contracts that don’t allow authors to make decisions themselves. That is changing slowly. I agree with you – this is an exciting time for new talent. The 14 year old future “Maurice Sendak” is out there finishing up his/her new children’s book and will have the chance to meet an audience hungry for stories. Worldwide. 24/7. As for me, Judy Moody books are 4.99 – cheap-ish compared to say, my book “I’m Here” at 11.99 – I will have a chat with Simon & Schuster about trying a 2.99 version. If that happens – librarians will have YOU to thanks! Keep pushing, poking, asking, challenging – that is how innovation happens. Peter

  3. Paula,
    I am a student at the University of South Alabama in EDM310. I haven’t become a teacher yet so I cant really relate to you. Even though I haven’t become one yet I can Totally see where your coming from though. I, myself am a bargain shopper and do not want to pay 15 or 20 dollars for a book for me much less buying a kids book. In my class room I will encourage to read, read, read but i do not want to pay 20 dollars for a book that they might not even pick up.
    Thank for this great word!

  4. My name is Haley Thompson, and I am a student at the University of EDM 310. I agree that teachers need to be supported more financially for the kids sake! I wish people would realize that if they lowered the prices of these books, the children would benefit tremendously! Good luck, I hope you find all the support you need!

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