One of the things that occupied a lot of my time in the month of December was a book that I wrote for my daughter as a Christmas present. I have been telling her “Once Upon a Time Stories” (as she calls them) for a long time and I transformed one of them into a book for her. The reason I chose to share this with all of you is that I was able to write and format this book on a fabulous website that I think you should know about. The site is called Bookemon and it is a great way to publish books easily and cost-effectively, but still end up with a professional looking product.
When you first enter the site, you will have to register. Make sure to click on “Educators” in the menu at the top of the page so that you can sign up for the educator discount. All PreK-12th grade teachers can register to receive a 5% discount on the books that they purchase. It is free to create the books (and view the ebook versions), but this discount will come in handy if you are interested in purchasing hard copies of your creations. On the “Educator” page, you will also have the option of creating an edCenter. An edCenter allows for students to have their own log-ins and to work collaboratively on the same project or work on individual projects to which you would have access. This function is probably more useful for the high school level, but it might be something you could use with an advanced group of students or recommend to classroom teachers in the upper grades.
When you first begin the process of creating a book on the Bookemon site, you will have to set privacy settings for that book. This is important, especially if you will be including student work in your book. If you are creating a book with the purpose of purchasing one copy for use in the library, you will probably want to keep your book private. You might want to make your book available to “friends” or “public” if you are interested in selling copies to others. Compiling student work to make different books that you then sell on the site could be a great library fundraiser (just make sure to get parent permission before including student work in a book that you plan to sell and think about copyright violations when choosing clip art, etc. to include).
With Bookemon, you can create a class/grade level book that can then become part of the library collection (Make sure to include citations if there was research involved in your project!) For example:
- The Third Grade Animal Encyclopedia that I describe on pages 42-46 in The Tibrarian Handbook
- An informational book about famous people in history (one essay/page per student)
- A book of library “do’s and don’ts” with illustrations (you can scan drawings and include them in your book or have students use a paint program and then import those files into your book–a great chance to collaborate with the computer/technology teacher, if your school has one!)
- An original poem, complete with illustrations (see pages 83-84 of the 5th grade Passionate About Poetry unit in The Tibrarian Handbook)
- A Fact/Opinion book about a specific topic (on each two-page spread, show a fact about the topic on the left-hand page and an opinion on the right-hand page)
These are only a few ideas to get you started. The versatility of the site makes it possible for you to use your imagination and create almost anything you can think of. Bookemon allows you to type straight into their template, or to import MS Word documents, PowerPoint slides or PDFs to create your book. You can also upload images (JPEG, PNG, GIF formats) to make your books even more impressive. The site also provides many design tools to help you make your book more interesting. There is a gallery of clip art and backgrounds and you can change the background color of your pages if you desire. You can even start with one of Bookemon’s many templates if you don’t want to design the book from scratch.
Fellow Tibrarians, please consider checking out this site and creating some new books for your library today!
The Bookemon promotion has now expired. I hope you got to use it!