Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Sunday, 6 May 2018

Creating colourful eBooks to stimulate problem-solving and imagination


Here Andrea Faith Potter describes her desire to write adventure stories where child characters can use their cleverness to solve their problems and help build resilience.


I love how adventure stories show children that characters can use cleverness to solve their problems. The reader sees how the characters get into a scary situation (not too scary) and survive it. I believe this helps children build resilience. I also love how imaginative stories with fantasy elements help children suspend their disbelief. We need this ability to be inventive and creative. Enid Blyton uses these elements in 'The Far-away Tree' series. Consequently, I have had a goal to create imaginative adventure stories for young children.


 Publishers have been interested in my books but they told me they publish domestic stories for children (under 8 years old) not adventure stories with imaginative characters. I know how important imaginative stories are to the development of children’s creativity, so I knew I had to find a way outside regular publishing. I was very keen to illustrate longer stories in colour, which is very expensive for print books. I therefore chose to create eBooks.


It has been a very interesting journey. I have explored many options and gained many skills but the biggest hurdle of all was finding a way to sell the eBooks in Australia. I could only get my books into Australian online bookshops if I went via the U.S. or Canada. I explored hundreds of options but each one had their own sticking point. It all looks so simple and promising until you get into the nitty gritty of it. I am hoping that one day there will be an Australian online bookshop that accepts eBooks directly from Australian authors.



 
In the meantime, my adult daughter, Lana (who has poems published in the UK and was shortlisted for the WA Premiers’ digital narrative award in 2012) and I are currently working on a series about imaginative sea creatures that clean up the rubbish they find on the ocean floor (pictured). We have enjoyed how eBooks have allowed us the freedom to create imaginative adventure stories in colour for a younger age group. I believe having a range of text types and book formats would enrich the Australian literary landscape and enable children to have diverse reading experiences.




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Andrea Faith Potter
Teacher, Fine Artist and Illustrator


Website:


 

Illustrations on Instagram:


 

Selected Artworks on Instagram:


Editor's Note:
Andrea Faith Potter was featured with others on the CBCA Blog in February, Showcasing Tasmanian children’s book creators.




3 comments:

  1. It's incredible that there is this gap in publishing for Australian authors. How frustrating, Andrea, to follow all these paths into dead ends. This may be a niche that one of our blog readers could explore?

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  2. Andrea it has certainly been a tortuous journey for you with many experiences and knowledge that you are now able to share with others who might have considered a similar publishing pathway. You have highlighted an important anomaly that needs to be addressed for our Australian authors and illustrators.

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