Tag Archives: ebooks

What’s New With BigDifBooks

BigDifBooksSince 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.

The Argument

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.

Annie Fannie

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.

Animal Advice

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.

The Revolution Continues…

by Mike O’Mary

Crime Spree Mag coverTwo weeks ago, I talked about the revolution in the book publishing industry. No big secret, right? Everybody knows that we are in the midst of a major shift from print to digital in the publishing industry. And everybody is speculating about what that means for the “industry” – from the big publishing houses to indie publishers to agents to best-selling authors (who are now passing on six-figure advances because they don’t want to give up their digital rights!) to self-published authors (who would probably gladly give up their digital rights for a six-figure advance!).

Below are links to a couple of really great recent blog posts about changes in the publishing industry, and about the possible ramifications. Read them when you have a few minutes, but then come back because I have some really exciting news for freelancers, even if you’ve never written a book and never plan to… Continue reading The Revolution Continues…