Here at Sourcebooks, the week has been filled with cheer for so many reasons. Everyone has had the opportunity to get together and spend time celebrating one of the most groundbreaking years in our history!
One of our favorite projects this year is Put Me In The Story. Lots has been accomplished. Last week, we launched the universal version of our Put Me In The Story(R) app, which means our personalized stories can now be read and shared on iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices.
We're also trying something else new…now you have the ability to record your child’s name to be read aloud with the narration throughout the story. So not only does the text change in the book but when the audio reads back to you, your recording of the child's name will be embedded in the read along (in your voice) along with the rest of the story. This was the enhancement that users most wanted and is another of our experiments. If you try it we'd love to hear what you think.
With the Put Me In The Story app, our hope is that kids and parents will connect to books in new ways. The personalized experience enables you to make your child the star of bestselling children’s books by including her name and photo, and now your recording of their name. You can choose from children’s stories like Sesame Street favorite Elmo Loves You! or New York Times bestselling My Name Is Not Isabella. When you download the app, you’ll get Marianne Richmond’s adorable bedtime story, The Night Night Book, for free.
And right now, just in time for the holidays, Santa is flying through Put Me In The Story and we've put our Santa is Coming to My House book on sale.
We built the Put Me In The Story app to enhance the experience of sharing books with children. It's been an amazing learning experience throughout this year as we've built new features and worked with new partners. We know there's lots more to do, but our goal is to create a great experience that will help to create and support a lifelong love of reading.
It's been an incredible year! Thank you for your help and thoughtfulness. I look forward to more ways for us to share books with children together!
Ravina Thakkar has accomplished more than many of us will in her 14 years. The bravery, maturity, and pure delight we saw this past Sunday as she stood in front of a crowd of family and friends (some old and many new!) at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville to read her debut book, The Adventure of a Lifetime, was incredible.
More than two and a half years ago, we were approached with Ravina’s dream by her Make-A-Wish “wish grantors.” Ravina, then 11, wanted the story she was working on to be published, and we accepted sight unseen. Our already high enthusiasm quickly doubled when we saw this was no mere rough short story, but a full-fledged 20,000+ word manuscript for a young middle-grade book. After rounds of edits, revisions, and all the work it takes to get a book ready to publish – all fit into the schedule of a busy young girl – The Adventure of a Lifetime released to bookstores and libraries nationwide last week, in both print and ebook formats.
All of us at Sourcebooks are so thankful that we were able to work with and be inspired by such an ambitious young woman. Ravina has not let Cystic Fibrosis take over her life—she can, and will keep pushing for and pursuing her dreams.
We hope you will check out The Adventure of a Lifetime; a reminder that reading and books really do change lives. Every year on December 3 (which was proclaimed Ravina Thakkar Day in Plainfield, IL, by Mayor Michael Collins), we will remember that with passion and hard work, dreams really can, and do, come true.
Link to NCTV17 Story: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=afZ-t0cpDJw&sns=tw
A big THANK YOU to our team for embracing this unique and rewarding project, our business partners and friends who contributed their talents, the amazing group at Anderson’s for hosting her launch event, and the team at Make-A-Wish for making a difference each and every day. And we especially thank Ravina and her family for making us a little part of their warm and inspiring lives.
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