What is it?
Tell Tales Online is a new 'Read 2 Me' book about telling stories and playing games to children online. It is aimed at absent parents, grandparents and other family members or friends who, for one reason or another, can't see their children face-to-face on a regular basis, but who still want to develop a good relationship with them. It is also a useful activity book for face to face or group-work offline. It is a unique design which comes with its own integral bookstand; together they allow the reader to share what they can see, with the listener, much more easily than the usual turning the book backwards and forwards. Help fund this and you'll really be part of something new and exciting!
Personally I know how it feels to be an absent family member as I have 2 grandchildren living in Germany and have used a webcam with them regularly since they were tiny as I wanted to make sure they knew who I was and that I was part of their family. I have had a huge amount of fun with them - and helped them to do loads of things including reading basic English! Thomas, who is now 11, helped me and his Dad make the video when I was over there just recently - he is bi-lingual, German is his first language - isn't he great?
I've now got another two grandchildren in Birmingham and I'm just starting to do things like telling stories with them and through these activiies I have realised that the book could be useful to nursery, playgroup or primary school staff too.
However, not everyone has the confidence, time or skills to jump straight in there with story-telling and playing games as I did, so following comments by friends and acquaintences, I have devised a new style of book, to use over the net with them.
As mentioned previously the book, with stand, has a unique design to make it a lot easier for both the reader and the viewers/listeners to become actively involved, that is, for you and your children, or those of your friends or other family members. But, I'm glad to say it also works well offline, especially if you are reading to more than one person at a time.
What's in it?
It has a story section, with some lovely illustrations, and includes advice on how to make up new stories, not just read other people's; there are also a lot of ideas on things to make together, although some children may need their adult present to help or support what they are doing, - cutting out, glueing and so on or to help prepare the computer connection before-hand. It has lots of other ideas for games and activities for different age groups which can be undertaken at a distance with children. Sometimes the reader will need to send copies of the activity to listener/children to be printed out at their end, but these can be photocopied and posted, sent as an attachment or through the use of a 'cloud-printer' to print it out at their home or wherever is most appropriate for them.
As well as the fun side of the book, it also cover more serious topics for the adult reader such as 'Safety Online' , a very important area to agree with the listener and their adult; guidance on the Technical skills involved in using a computer, webcam, printer and so on for those without much prior experience, or for someone not so sure about starting to use this equipment for the first time.
It is a follow-up to my book 'Tell Tales' which was published at the end of February 2015 and is available through my publisher, Beaten Track Publishing and through Amazon books and Kindle. It has been very well received and I am giving story-telling sessions at schools and and at literary festivals and other events as a result. Please do look on the website - http://www.telltales2kids.com - to learn more about it and see what you think! It will give you a feel for the new book as well as the existing one. On Kindle you can 'Look inside'. Both books retail at £9.99 but will be available from Beaten Track Publishing at £8.99 each.
Why do I need help?
This book is designed as a companion workbook to 'Tell Tales' but unfortunately, my publisher is unable to take spiral-bound books, which this needs to be to work properly online. however, they are happy to support it and offer sales on their website (Thanks, BTP!) But this means that I am 'going it alone' and have come across some expenses I hadn't anticipated. Any funding offered would greatly assist to get the book into production quickly. The anticipated date is at the end of February 2016.
There is a need to buy an ISBN number, register the design, produce the book and the bookstand which comes with it as part of the 'Read 2 Me' package, then there is the marketing and the need to get the best publicity for the book. Whilst I have some experience in this already, publicity needs to be built up to ensure the success of this project and indeed just by becoming involved, by sharing this idea and page with your contacts, you will be helping with this. I already have some pre-orders for the book and interest in the overall idea is growing but the book does still need the funding help and any offers of help 'in kind' would also be appreciated and considered seriously.
What do you get back?
One or more of the following depending on how much you feel able to pledge and your preferences. I have no real minimum or maximum amounts in mind, but anything you can give would be greatly appreciated.
- For everyone, an individual thank you on the website (unless state that you don't wish to be named. Then, please look at the rewards section for full details of the following rewards -
- an individual bookmark with an image from the book
- a full set of 6 bookmarks and an invitation to any events, such as festivals and story-telling workshops
- copy of the book
- a designer story for your individual child/children
- a copy of both books
- for large donations - a combination of rewards
- for larger donations - an online story-telling session or training session up to 1 hour, for the school or event of your choice. I could offer this abroad also
- and for the biggest 3 UK donations (minimum £150) a story-telling session at your school or event in the UK mainland subject to my own prior commitments and satisfactory mutual arrangements.
- I'm also considering a T-shirt with an image from the books on it - watch this space folks!
So, what else is there to say?
Well only my heart-felt thanks for any pledge, large or small, which will be gratefully received, and also to those spreading the word on my behalf, please can you help by forwarding this to your contacts? There are at least two other story books to follow using the same 'Read 2 Me' format; these will be cheaper than this initial run, but any extra money raised will go towards their publication. Full details will be available both on this site and via my website blog. I am sure you'll really enjoy the book once you see it and discover the unique way of sharing the stories and illustrations it offers whilst reading to a child on or offline.
I also have a Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Telltales2kids/ which might interest you.
Thank you, everyone!