Audio Recording for the app: professionals and volunteers

Audio Recording for “Axel’s Chain Reaction” happened very fast. I had already requested quotes from recording studios several months back, and suddenly we were leaving Spain (or rather: jumping ship). I had already contacted our narrator a while back: a young American actor named Paul Gladis, who worked as a music teacher. He liked the story of this creative kid so much, he offered to accommodate to my small budget. In a question of days I found several American families who were willing to volunteer with both adult and children’s voices. I have to specially thank all the kids who patiently waited for their turn at the recording studio.

Try, try again. Design and Illustration of our book app

You might not believe this, but I went through three illustrators in this process, before starting to work with Mónica Armiño. I had liked her work since I saw it in Advocate Art’s print material at the Bologna Book Fair. But I thought she was so good, she was probably outside my budget. 

Lacking much capital, I first contacted an illustrator with the hope of partnering with him using a revenue-share scheme. He promised he was so interested in doing a book app, he wouldn’t put my project at the end of the line, after his other commissions. No such luck. (Alarm signs: he didn’t want to sign a contract). 

I started to work with another illustrator, and then another. I realized I was getting nowhere with such a small budget. Having to start my search all over again, asking for quotes four times around, meant the final process of illustration started a year later than I had planned —after I had found all the rest of my suppliers and partners. But boy, was Mónica worth it. She’s not only a very professional, talented, and dedicated illustrator. She was also easy to work with, as I was open to accept her ideas, and she was flexible in incorporating my own. I’m sure you’ll all love her illustrations as much as we do.

Book App Storytelling: Core work

 

I have to confess. Since my BA thesis (a children’s series that mixed fiction and non-fiction to educate kids in art appreciation) back in 1995,  most of my writing had been non-fiction. So that meant brushing up on the essentials of storytelling for children, and reading about interactive storytelling. Since I wanted to incorporate interactions into the book app in a way that was actually relevant to the story, this meant sometimes altering the story’s events. It took me several months of re-writing my story over and over again —there were so many messages I wanted to convey, so many things that couldn’t be just said directly. My story was based on messages of reassurance and encouragement I wanted to get across to my own son. But I also wanted it to have humor —an indispensable ingredient for kids media.

Once I had finished the story structure and a version of the manuscript I felt was ready for critique, I searched for freelance editors specialized in kid’s books. The first two weren’t very useful (one was discouragingly harsh, and the other was too bland), but I was fortunate to find Lisa Rojany Buccieri. In only three rounds of corrections, Lisa helped me take my manuscript to a point where we were both happy with it.