Bobby Travis

Bobby Travis

This is a post by Bobby Travis, who wrote with me at 40Tech from 2009 through 2012. Bobby has since moved on to bigger and better things, but I've left all of his great contributions up on the site. - Evan
Bobby Travis

Create, Publish Your Own Children;s Book with Storyjumper | 40Tech

If you’re an aspiring children’s author, a teacher, or just looking for something fun to do with a kid in your life, Storyjumper is something you’ll want to take a look at. I came across the web app randomly and was amazed by how easy it was to jump in and start creating. In fact, me and my two year old made a book just tonight — and she wrote it.

We didn’t even have to log in to get started — you don’t need an account unless you want to save your work. All we did was go to the Storyjumper website, click create and chose to “Build a book from scratch.” You don’t have to create one from scratch, however. If you are looking for some truly easy fun and a little inspiration, you can choose one of the templates which get the story started for you – and include a Treasure Map Builder, Trucks and Rescue, Magic and Myth, a Krazee Calendar and more. You can even grab a book that someone else has completed and allowed others to modify, then create your own version from that work.

Storyjumper Haloween Story Template

Treasure Map Editor | Storyjumper

Magic and Myth Template | Storyjumper

Once in the editor, it was a matter of a few clicks in the sidebar to get our story started. The sidebar was broken down into four expanding menus that were easy to navigate and uncluttered:

Props – Characters, items and other useful things to set in your scene.

Scenes – Fun and creative backgrounds to your pages.

Photos – Don’t like the stock art? Want your own characters and backgrounds? Upload them here.

Text – Choices for the written portions of your book.

There were stock items in each menu, but a click on the “more ____” button brought up even more choices that, once clicked, lived in the sidebar as well.

Storyjumper Children's Book Creator Interface

My daughter told the story and we found scenes and creatures that suited her safari tale. A bit of clicking and dragging was all that was needed to move elements around, resize them, and make other quick adjustments. We ended up with 14 pages, a book cover, and a dedication to her Mommy. It’s saved in my account and shared with the world (you can choose to post your work publicly, share it with specific people, or just keep it private). You can view our story here, if you like – the reading application is pretty slick too. :D

If we want to, we can now print off a paper copy of the book, continue to share it digitally, or can buy a hardcover version for 25 bucks. Not a bad thing, when you weigh in the fact that the creator is completely free! It looks like other people can buy the book as well, when it is offered up publicly, but there is no readily available mention of compensation to the author regarding if or when that occurs. Authors do retain copyright on all of their original works, however, which includes your own images and your own words. By using the service, you are granting Storyjumper license to reproduce and sell the work.

Amira Meets Some Elephants on Storyjumper

Storyjumper is an awesome way to encourage reading and imagination. Your kid can learn the creative process as young as a toddler, and have fun doing it — and that is no small thing! There is even a classroom edition to help teachers integrate the entire system into their curriculum. I highly recommend you go and check Storyjumper out, or recommend it to someone who has a kid in their life.

What are your thoughts on Storyjumper? If you’ve created any stories, share them in the comments!