Books are timeless. They entertain, teach and immortalise. Children can be the authors of their own books, learning about the publishing process and selling their creations to raise funds for their school. Authors can learn how to self-publish their novels, memoirs, family history or other books using the SYS software with a print run as small as one, or as large as you want.
Fundraising with self-published Books:
Products: professionally published books (storybooks, recipe books, yearbooks, novels, picture books, poems)
Suitable for: schools, individuals, community groups, family historians
Publishing a book is an incredible opportunity that used to be the domain of the privileged few. Nowadays, with advances in online technology and software and a dramatic reduction in costs, publishing a book is within reach of everyone and the process is easily managed online by a single coordinator or volunteer.
Schoolyard Stories has the technology and support to enable children to publish their own books – whether it is a whole of school recipe book, a collection of short stories or poems, a graduation book or even an individual picture book.
Publishing a book can be a whole of school project that can be completed in a couple of weeks or extended over a few terms. The length of the project will depend on how much time and effort you are able to put into it, how many people are involved and what you want your students to get out of it.
The process is simple, but the learning is multifaceted.
Regardless of the actual genre of book that you decide to publish, students will go through a process of writing, illustrating, editing and formatting their books. Younger students may simply write their own stories and draw their own pictures for an adult to upload, while older students may take control of the entire process.
From there the books can be professionally printed and sold, raising funds for your school.
What type of books can we publish?
Some publishing projects include:
Allowing older students to buddy up with pre-primary students to write and illustrate their own readers, selling the picture books to parents and keeping extras for future students.
Collaborate with teachers to ensure the children use the Top 100 sight words and allow children to decorate and illustrate their own picture books.
A compilation of short stories, poems or art in which every student in the school is involved.
Celebrate the history of your school or a school anniversary – with current and former students being interviewed and researching the history of the school and local community. This could be tied in with the social sciences and history curriculum.
A yearbook is a special memento of a graduating class by having students provide stories, pictures, goals and predictions. Over the course of the year students can write articles about special events and clubs, they can each supply jokes and recipes and illustrations. Include photos and pictures of the students from their early years at the school. Check out more ideas for yearbooks here.
Celebrate the diversity of your school or local community by creating a cookbook that incorporates traditional dishes from various cultures. You can also add stories and pictures of immigration. Learn more about publishing a cookbook here.
Children can also publish individual portfolios, using work, stories, awards, pictures and art from their school year (or school life).
Authors can also publish their novels, memoirs, family history or other books using the SYS software with a print run as small as one, or as large as you want.
How can we raise funds with DIY publishing?
Look beyond the school community to broaden your reach and chances for raising profits.
Consider selling your book at local markets or approach your local book store to sell on your behalf.
Approach local businesses to sponsor the book to offset printing costs in return for advertising, naming rights, newsletter space or signage. You may also ask for local businesses to sponsor and supply a book launch.
If your book looks at the history of your school and local area, your council may have a grant or other form of financial assistance you can apply for.
Hold a book launch, inviting special guests, sponsors, local dignitaries and councillors and – importantly – the local media and newspapers. This may be a standalone event or held in combination with a fete or other school event. Don’t forget to advertise and promote your event on social media.
How many books do we need to publish and how much does it cost?
You can print as little as one book. You can also publish a collaborative book (such as a recipe book or selection of poems) with individual, personalised covers so that each child has their own unique cover.
Prices vary depending on the size of the book (ie A5 or A4), the number of pages, colour or B&W text/images, binding and cover type. Check here for some basic pricing information or contact SYS directly as prices are subject to change.
Example: a school with 200 students publishes a 200 page recipe book (so each child is able to contribute one recipe and image). 200 copies of a standard A5 book with colour cover and black and white text would be $9.90 each, which could be sold for $20 or $25 each, making a profit of approximately $2,000-$3,000.
For more information and ideas on how to raise money by publishing your own book, visit the Schoolyard Stories website here.
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