Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Day We Became Published Authors!

Have you heard of Studentreasures Publishing?  Have you used it?  I used it the year before last and was very impressed with the results.  I stumbled on the website through a comment on facebook, and when I found out they would ship to Canada, I just had to try it.  It was kind of late in the year when I signed up, so it was a bit rushed at the end of the year.  We decided to do a poetry book, and each student wrote and illustrated a poem.  The good news was, because it was the end of the year, the students already had impressive writing portfolios, so they chose a poem they had already written through the year.  We were SO excited when our books came in - a huge box full of our published writing!!!  Talk about making the writing process authentic for the students!
I definitely plan to do this again next year (in fact, I'm going to book our publishing date as soon as I finish this post).  I will change a few things though.  First, I'll pick a date after Christmas so we already have polished writing pieces to pick from, but I don't want it too late in the year (we only received our books 2 days before school finished for the year).  Second, the website recommends making pictures with washable markers, but I found these would "bleed" and leave marks on other pages.  Although it's more work (and printer ink), I think I will take the pictures the kids have drawn, scan them onto my computer, and then print them onto the publishing paper.  Lastly, I think we will have a bake sale to help reduce the cost of the books for the students.  I think the price of the book was around $18.00 (teachers got one book for free, and a coupon for another 3 at $10.00).  I did have a few students in the class whose families couldn't afford to buy one, so I purchased books for them out of my own pocket.  It was worth it, though - everyone just HAD to have their own copy.  We autographed the books and gave one to our school library, and sent one to our Board of Education.  It was such a worthwhile experience, and I can't wait to do it again this year!

10 comments:

  1. I've used this twice before and have loved the results! I thought the books were a little expensive but I've found that most parents do purchase them. And the kids are so proud when they come in! I posted about ours awhile back: http://fisforfirstgrade.blogspot.com/2011/02/publishing-class-book.html

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  2. We do this school-wide. The students do love them. I usually do a recipe book, then it can be used over and over again.

    Natalie
    http://mrsreddsteam.blogspot.com

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  3. I do it every year and my kids and parents love it! We usually do one themed about what you want to be when you grow up. =)
    Jennifer
    First Grade Blue SKies

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  4. have you tried lulu.com? They books are beautiful and are cheaper. I spent about 6 bucks a book when I order 25 or so. I don't know if they ship to Canada, but it would be worth a look! :)

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  5. We use StudentTreasures every year too...and I love it! It's always a lot of work, but well worth it for the outcome! :)
    Maureen

    The First Grade Splash

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  6. Hi--just found your blog and love it!

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  7. Thanks for all your comments - I LOVE reading them. I will look into lulu.com (I've looked at it before, but it was to publish something I had written, I hadn't thought about my class books). I did book my publishing date for next year - February 24th!

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  8. Thanks so much for all of the neat websites and publishing ideas..I am so glad I found your adorable site!

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  9. I've used this with my class for the past several years. This year, I had a parent who requested that a few sentences be taken out of their child's story. The company republished three copies of the corrected book at no cost. They are very easy to work with.

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  10. Thanks, Erica! Trot12 - I've only used them once and haven't had any problems with the books, but it's great to hear they have excellent customer service, as well!

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