E–books the way to go!

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It’s terribly exciting but here it is – the culmination of over a year’s work!

What you are looking at is a DVD. On it are three complete books  which started with an idea. The idea was to use the opportunity of our travels through neighbouring African states to make photographic books for children about their counterparts’ lives in far-flung places. Thus, we have on the DVD:

 

Mauro and Adelaide, their life in Quelimane, Mozambique

Kero and Beeby, their life in Great Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe    and

Lindeka and Vuyane, their life in Malkerns, Swaziland

 

For price and to view the covers and two sample pages of each of these books, please look on my website under Buy E-Books

Here is a bit of information about the series written in an interview format:

What made you decide to make the series?

I have always been puzzled by the few picture books there are about Africa as it is. Not how it once was in the time of folk tales, but how it is today. Ordinary African children in the 21 century live in cities, towns and villages in many different and varied lands. They are part of the global mosaic but why have they been ignored? Where are books that describe the lives of children in Mozambique and Zimbabwe and Swaziland? Where are books that show children of the world the majesty of the Zimbabwe Ruins? Where are the books that show children who live in the smaller African cities such as Quelimane? I decided I would make books that would give these children a voice.

Why did you use photographs rather than painted pictures?

Photographs are authentic, they show things as they really are. Children readers can connect with the children who are in the books because they are real, live people. They can see the places where these children live as if they were visiting them in the flesh.

Did the children who took part get paid?

It is very important that work such as this series is done ethically and that no one feels that they have been taken advantage of. The families that took part in the making of these books gave me their full and unconditional written approval. They were paid a modelling fee and were enthusiastic partners in the process of creating these books.

Why did you choose these particular children?

On the whole the children were not chosen because they were ‘special’. On the contrary, they were chosen because they were just regular children (and very special because of that!) I did, however think quite carefully about where I would set the books. As far as I know the ruins at Great Zimbabwe have not been featured in children’s picture books and I wanted to fill this glaring gap. I chose Quelimane because it is an interesting mix of urban and village and is off the beaten track. Close to Malkerns in Swaziland are a number of interesting places such as a museum, nature reserve and artistic complexes.

How did you find the children?

Although in one case I had a local contact who helped me to identify the children, for the other two books I went in completely cold. This was a little bit more difficult. I kept asking and asking until I found a family I could approach. What I learnt was just how helpful and accomodating people are even when you are asking them to do something so unusual.

Is everything in the books completely true?

90 percent of what you read is true but to make a better story I did have to tweak the truth here and there. Also, to show off where they live, the children visited a whole lot of places than they would normally go to in a few days! (They didn’t complain!)

How long did it take to make the books?

The photographs for each book were taken over three or four days. Choosing which photographs to use, designing the pages and writing the text took months and months. This is because I have to painstakingly cut the photographs from the background (it’s called deep-etching when you do it on a computer) and make other changes to the photographs. I have to make sure that the text flows from page to page. I have to make sure that the book hits just the right balance between information and imagination, between ordinariness and specialness, between harsh truth and hope. Every word must honour the children who have entrusted me to present them to the world.

Why ebooks and not regular paper books?

Conventional printing is extremely expensive. Using the new technology is the way forward. Far more people can be reached. Even in faraway places in Africa computers are becoming available.

How do I, the author, make money from these books?

The price you pay when you purchase thisDVD is the only money that the book makes. If you would like to see more books in the series- and I am dead keen to make books in Namibia, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Tanzania and Angola –please take note of this:
By all means enjoy this book with your friends but if they are interested in also owning a copy, send them my website address so that they can purchase it in the same manner you did. To send them the file directly means that I will not be able to finance any further books. What a pity that will be.

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