Monday, 30 April 2012

Student Publishes First Book in English/Chinese to iBookstore

I have been working with a Grade 4 student very closely over the past 2 months. We have been creating a book in Chinese during Chinese language classes. I am a Tech Coach at my school and I was keen to get the iPads being used across the school. I found out about the app Book Creator which allows even very young children to create a talking book directly on the iPad. I started using this app in language classes. It works really well as the student can record their voice reading their own story really easily, directly on the iPad.

I published my first book using this app a few weeks ago with my 5 Year old son. See it here Little Fish
Since then the app creator Dan Amos has added me to his website here. I wrote a blog post about it here.

On Saturday I was really excited to find out that my student, Keily has published the first child-created iBook in English and Chinese to the Apple iBookstore. Get your free copy here Chen Chen Goes to Space

I have been asked by educators how I am able to publish books created by children with the iBookstore. The process is fairly straight forward:

First you need time to work on the story, the plan, the artwork and the voice recordings. After the story is finished you need to share it with others for proof-reading and feedback. So far this is pretty much inline with any kind of story creation.

Next you will need to ask the student's parent to create an iTunes account and an iTunes Producer account. Students under 13 need to have a parent publish their work for them. For the case of Keily, I invited her parents to school so that I could guide them through the process of creating the necessary accounts.

Please Note!!!

To publish with the Apple iBookstore on iTunes, you need to have an iTunes account with a credit card. You will be asked to provide that credit card information even thought this process doesn't cost anything.

Next you will need to create the book package for uploading to iTunes Connect. I created that for my student as you really need to pay attention to the size of the book cover image and sample pages. I used the app Book Creator which produces the book file that is standards compliant with the iBookstore.

I sat down with Keily's parents to help them complete all the information needed in the publishing package.

After we had successfully uploaded the book I taught the parents how to email iTunes Connect to ask about the book and when it would be published.

After a few days we got a message from the iBookstore that the Chinese language is not supported. We were so surprised and worried that all our hard work had been for nothing. We decided to revise the book so that it was in English with Chinese as a bilingual book. The Chinese characters have been put in the book as JPEG so that there would be no problems with the script.

Thankfully this made the book acceptable and we were relieved that it has now been published. 


  1. Hi Jane,
    What a great achievement! Congratulations to Keily! Great idea to do the books in Bahasa Indonesia too!

  2. Hi Linda,
    I have already published an iBook in Indonesian. It was the first one that I did. You can get it here

  3. Hi Jane
    I am interested in knowing how you managed to make the book available in chinese language on ibookstore. Did you convert the chinese text into jpeg images and created a fixed layout epub? I downloaded the book and it is beautifully done. I am interested in doing the same wih my children's book.
    You can reach me at bkdesynr at gmail.

  4. Keily used the Book Creator app for iPad. The Chinese characters were done on a Macbook and captured as jpeg.