Thursday, June 4, 2009

Why Not Have Students Write Their Own Book!

Do you feel the urge to write a book? What kind of book would it be? Are you in the mood the write a comedy, suspense thriller or a documentary? Perhaps your life has been interesting enough to write a bibliography or maybe you just want to write a book about your family history. Maybe you or your family just came back from an amazing journey and you would like to write about it. Of course you will need to include pictures of your adventures as well. Why not have your students write a book. This could be an ongoing major project throughout the year or you could have students collaborate. Please remember collaboration and creativity are some of the 21st Century skills that we are trying to inspire in our students. Wherever your passion lies, let your thoughts and/or your students’ thoughts flow. Go to register and download the software to begin writing your book.
The first step is to customize your front cover, back cover and flaps. However, if you are creating a soft cover book, you won’t have flaps. There are many design options to do this. The next step is to choose a design theme for your book which includes your font, coordinating colors, page backgrounds and other design details. You also have the ability to change the page layout. You can choose from several different designs. You have the capability to select the font attributes on every page which of course includes font type, size, bold, italic, alignment, line spacing, bulleted lists, etc. There is also a spelleng cheker, but who needs that? You can drag and drop photographs stored on your computer or add your photos from iphoto, slurp, Flickr, Picassa or SmugMug. You also have the ability to crop, zoom or rotate each of your pictures. Now, you wouldn’t hang a picture on the wall without a frame would you? Please tell me no! Well, go ahead and add frames around your pictures. The BookSmart software you are working in will inform you of any problems you might have in your book such as an overflow of text or a picture that is too large for the resolution you have chosen. At this point you are nearly done. Print out and proof your book carefully. Once you are completely satisfied with your work, click “order book”. You can have them print as many copies of the book as you would like and send them directly to friends, family or not so good friends. The prices of the books rage from $4.95 to over $100 depending on your book size, design elements and the number of copies you order. These books are printed professionally and look like the books you would buy at the bookstore. Furthermore your book is private by default unless you announce it as public whereby you can sell it in the Blurb Bookstore.
Look for my book on the best seller list. Of course this list most likely will be taped on the refrigerator in my kitchen, but a guy can dream big, can’t he?

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