Since starting up a little more than a year ago, BigDifBooks.com has come a long way.
You may remember our early plugs for the site. We think it’s a great place for kids and parents to find really inexpensive or absolutely free original eBooks. Just as important from a Freelance-Zone perspective is the opportunity that BigDifBooks gives writers to share their work.
Without jumping through the hoops of the traditional publishing world or paying big money through self-publishing or eBook distribution outfits, BigDifBooks allows writers to share a story for young readers – and maybe even make a few bucks from it. If a book is accepted at the site, the author retains all copyright and decides whether to share it for free or offer it for $1.99. The author is paid a 50 percent royalty ($1.00) for each $1.99 book sold.
We checked in with Tom Watson, the site’s founder and asked him to catch us up, as well as highlight a few of the latest books available:
How’s it going at BigDifBooks?
It’s going great. We’re not quite Amazon, but we like our little niche. We have about 80 books up and available. And we really like the way our selection is balanced. About half are offered for free. About half are $1.99. There are a bunch by professional writers, a bunch from adults who simply want to share a story for fun and a bunch by kids themselves.
What else is new?
We have several classroom books available now, which is something we really like. A teacher out in Utah, Christy Frazier, worked with her class to put up a book called Animal Advice, which is terrific. Christy is an author and contributor herself. One of her books, Once There was a Snow Bear, is one of my favorites. Another class from the Chicago Public School system in Pilsen, contributed five or six titles. They worked in small groups to write original stories and do the illustrations. They did a great job.
How about a new set of book descriptions?
You got it.
by Annie Harmon
Annie Harmon is a talented author and award-winning illustrator. Her second book with us is a gem. In the story, the rain, sun and wind compete to prove who is the most powerful. They also brighten the day of Emma, who is experiencing the wonder of the outdoors. It reminded me of a folk tale and is illustrated beautifully with bold colors that kids will love.
I Want to be a Superhero
by Mike Winn
What child hasn’t dreamed of being a superhero? Mike’s new book turns that dream into reality for one little boy. It has everything – a bright costume, a space alien to fight and parents to tuck him into bed after a long day battling crime. It’s illustrated with Mike’s great watercolors. He is an art teacher in Chicago.
Anne Louise – The Adventure Begins
by Soo Mullen
Soo is a terrific storyteller from Cincinnati. Her first book with us, “Anne Louise – The Adventure Begins” revolves around some real winning subjects for young readers – birthdays, girls and puppies. Kids will identify with the illustrations and writing style.
by John Schmitz
This book is all about a little boy and a sickly puppy with a remarkable gift. It’s this talent that the puppy uses to rescue the boy when he really needs it. Utilizing charming characters, a clever story and a longer-form narrative, this book is great for the 7 – 12 age group.
A Children’s Book of Very Short Stories
by Pauline Saul
As she says herself, Pauline Saul is ’95 years young.’ Her first book with us is about a lifetime of experiences with animals. Often told from each animal’s perspective, the stories include heroic rescues and daring adventures. Included are dogs, cats, a mouse, a rooster and more. We think it’s great.
by Christy Frazier’s grade school class.
Christy Frazier is one of our favorite authors – and now she’s helped her third-grade class write and illustrate a terrific book. In “Animal Advice,” each student provides first-hand guidance from a specific animal. The monkey says, “Go bananas.” The Peacock offers, “Show your true colors.” The frog says, “Hop to it.” We love that it’s kid-written and kid-illustrated. It’s good fun.
For more information on how to get involved with BigDifBooks, or to see all the current offerings take a peek at their website.