'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Sunday 13 November 2011

Guest Post: picture books for a better world with Nils von Heijne

KBR warmly welcomes uTales founder and literacy advocate Nils von Heijne on why he created this fabulous new ebook initiative to get kids reading, to give authors and illustrators a better deal, and to support children who need it most. Sounds like a literary trifecta to us.

I founded uTales.com for a simple reason; to do something good. When we started to look at how picture books could be developed to become better and more modern, our first thought was only to make them digital. We did not then see how we could actually use picture books to also make the world a little better. But as we started to look at traditional publishing, we kept finding things we wanted to improve.

First we decided to make uTales a community-driven platform for creating, selling and distributing digital picture books. Our main objective was then to give authors and illustrators the tools to create digital books themselves, set their own prices, and get the major part of the earnings.

Then we decided to remove a bunch of traditional legal limitations, i.e. not asking our uTalers to give up all their rights to us. We now felt we had created something truly great for authors and illustrators, as well as for kids enjoying digital books.

But should we really stop there? Couldn’t the children’s book industry try even harder to make our business, and perhaps also the world, a little better?

We found inspiration in Adam Braun. With only $25 and a dream to bring education to children in need, Adam founded the non-profit Pencils of Promise. Adam was kind enough to let us, and our community of uTalers, support this great cause.

For each book purchased or read on uTales.com and in the uTales iPad app, our uTalers can give part of the earnings to help Pencils of Promise build schools in developing countries. So in short, reading picture books on your iPad can now help a child in need learn to read.

Now we want to know what more can we do to make the world of picture books better? Let us know, and we’ll get to work!

The uTales community brings parents and children unlimited access to an entire library of digital picture books - a library that just keeps growing and that can be enjoyed anywhere and anytime in the uTales iPad app and on uTales.com for just $9.99/month (or for 15 days free trial).