Blog - Alan Dapré - Children's Author

Diary of A Stay At Home Author & Dad

I think therefore iBook

Well, the e-book writing odyssey continues. I know I can make one using Word & Sigil then Calibre – to get Kindle mobi or epub versions. But I am more interested in creating a visually stimulating children’s book. I think that is where the iBook Author scores highly. I have had a play and it is rather similar to the website building software I used to create my site. Phew. Also I have a lot of experience with Photoshop and there are some similarities there.

I like the ease of using iBook Author, but there are some issues.
1) I cannot preview my book-in-progress on my iMac as I do not have an iPad to link up – so I am resorting to borrowing a neighbour’s gadget.
2) Exporting to Calibre makes the layout a mess – in fact, the only thing that plays it ok is an iPad. Apparently .iBook is a .epub file but one that has been made to only work with Apple devices.
3) The market for children’s books is uncharted on the ibooks platform – plus everything tends to get lumped in as one so it is hard to search for any given book.
4)The templates do not fit well with a picture children’s book – so they need to be pared down to basics. It helps to be creative with the TOC and thumbnails – so they do not distract from the story or give the narrative away.

Anyway, I have barely started so I will add more about how I am getting on as I, er, get on. In the meantime, I have been reading a useful book which has tips on how to work from home. Never easy (practically impossible) I have found, especially with a three year old vying for attention. Granny is a godsend!

The eBook is called ‘How to Run a Work from Home Business When You Have Small Children’ – here is my review. By the way, I have no affiliation to this, I just liked what I read.

“Life for parents is always hectic and demanding and requires considerable patience, humour and organisation. Celina Lucas has written a compact book crammed with insight and helpful advice for parents. She shares her own experiences and laces them with practical thoughts on how to run a business from home.

It is easy to identify with the key topics under scrutiny. The section on being more organised struck a chord but plenty of tips and suggestions are offered up on a range of work start-up issues. This book aims to get you thinking more practically about your own situation and how best to run a home based business. Celina provides links to more detailed facts and advice, such as a free 7 day eCourse.

‘How to Run a Work from Home Business When You Have Small Children’ is geared mainly for mothers who are looking to get back into a viable working routine; it strives to encourage a proper balance between the need to support one’s children, yet earn money. As a stay at home Dad I was able to see the similarities with my life, and specific advice for Dads would definitely be welcome in any future edition.

It was refreshing to read statements such as ‘When you have childcare … Accept that you’re not going to get much done.’ This book is not about going on a guilt trip, but getting a business going. It is a supportive, compact and honest assessment of what can be done with a young family.

Best of all, the points are made clearly and concisely so by the end you should feel motivated and keen to try something new.

A refreshing read to refresh your career.”

Now I had better get on and do some working from home – once I’ve made a cup of tea and found some Malted Milk biscuits before my daughter eats them all.

The Author

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Alan Dapré lives in North Ayrshire, Scotland, UK where it rains a lot. He was a Deputy Headteacher and now is a radio and TV scriptwriter, published author, artist and very slow typist. He has had a few plays on Radio 4 and lots of stuff on the telly. His first book did not win the Pulitzer Prize. He loves long beach walks, sketching, crosswords and rhubarb crumble. He has written many books and plays for children that people have been quite nice about.

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