Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Write for Real. 3 Ways to Help Writers Get Into The Grove of Publishing

When I worked as a literacy coach in partnership with Teachers College Reading and Writing Project (TCRWP)I just loved how students were referred to in a whole new way. They were no longer boys and girls. Instead, every student was referred to as readers and writers. This was a big shift in thinking. We were no longer preparing students for life as readers and writers. They were readers and writers today. In fact in general with the TCRWP writing was no longer the thing you did when you read other’s books. Instead you wrote your own stories, books, articles, etc. At the end of every single unit of study (i.e. Poetry, How To Books, fiction) students were published authors who celebrated work through publishing parties and those books were placed in the class or school library for others to enjoy.

This was a huge shift and big advancement in thinking about our students and ourselves as authors. However, the difference between these student and teacher authors and real authors is that real authors write their book not just for an audience of one (the teacher) or some (the class or maybe school), they write their books for an audience of many (all the people in the world who might be interested in a book on the topic). But to do that, you need a publisher, right? Well not anymore.

In the web 2.0 world authors don’t need to wait for publishers to provide the stamp of approval to distribute their works. There are a variety of innovative ideas for the writer looking for an author. Here are some.

The Justin Bieber

One way authors can get their books shared with audiences is to go the Justin Bieber route and make a video of themself reading their book like Billy Bloom a long-time friend of mine from volleyball did here.

I encourage you to take a look not only at the video, but also at the comments from viewers giving Billy publishing advice. Of course, the next thing to do after publishing it online is to find your audience and share. In the case of this video, the author would want to find mommy groups, blogs, etc. with whom to share this book. And, to get it published, he’d want to find children’s author groups with whom to connect. Facebook is a great start for this.

The I Did It My Way

Real authorship accessible to anyone with the desire to do so for free at places like Lulu and Blurb. Whether you’re writing a children’s book, memoir, how-to, fiction, picture book, etc. these sites have the self-publishing resources necessary to bring their ideas to life – and sell it to an eager audience around the world. As the Lulu site says, “Go ahead: share your wisdom with friends, generate income, raise money for your favorite nonprofit; in short, conquer the self-publishing world.” Both sites are free to use and provide free software tools.

Once published you can sell your book to the whole wide world. Books are published for as little as $6 and the author decides exactly how much they want to earn from each sale. Along with the published book, every author gets their own ISBN. Additionally, authors, classrooms, schools, or districts can build their own online storefront to generate direct links, and more sales and forget inventory - when a book is bought, it gets printed, shipped and delivered on demand.

Read how to get started here: Innovative Educators Can Help Students and Themselves Become Published Authors.

The Talk About It, Talk About It

Lyrics | Lipps Inc - Funkytown lyrics

Authors who want to kick it up a notch can publish on Book Glutton,. A site that releases reading to the readers with a transformational tool that combines eReading with the social media experience. Readers can comment, chat, and discuss away. When I registered for the site I was thrilled to see some of my favorite educators (Susan Ettenheim, Paul Allison) were already onboard. They had formed a group with 43 of their students and colleagues and were reading books collaboratively. Books can be made available on the site for free or purchase, but however they’re accessed, one thing’s for sure. The students love it.

Here’s what Susan and Paul’s students are saying about BookGlutton.

"Reading on a website is much more convenient then having to flip the pages of a book or worrying that you'll lose your page. BookGlutton is a great way to encourage students to read, chat, and share their opinions!"—Ammym

“I'm a student and I like the fact that I can come to this website and read books that may not be available to me at school or a library. I think that this is a great site for students who, like me, like to read, this is a great way to encourage students to read. —Allesia

Get Into the Grove

Unlike writers of the past, the wild, wild world of web 2.0 offers an entry point for anyone with a story. Now all you have to do is select a way to publish, find your audience, and share your story with the world.

1 comment:

  1. These are some fantastic ideas and web sites that will help children publish their work. Another web site to consider is http://professorgarfield.com/pgf_comics_lab.html
    In short, this web site provides students with a user friendly platform that creates student comic books. Additionally, the Professsor Garfield web site includes a myraid of free tools that will encourage young children to read and can be accessed at http://professorgarfield.com/pgf_home.html