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.