You probably haven’t heard of uTales before. It’s a new approach to children’s eBooks. Basically, there are two ways to access books. You can purchase individual books, just like you do for the Kindle or Nook. Or, you can subscribe and pay a monthly fee to have access to all books.
Another thing about uTales is that it isn’t traditional publishing, but it isn’t really self-publishing, either. It’s similar to book packaging. Instead of submitting a manuscript and letting the publisher hire an illustrator, authors and illustrators work together to create a book. Once the book is finished, it’s submitted to an editorial review panel that will either accept the book as-is, or make suggestions for improvement.
I’ve used the free trial to peruse several books, and, while there are a few minor bugs, overall uTales is a great platform. Beginning writers and illustrators have a chance to showcase their work while earning some money and helping the charity Pencils of Promise. Parents have access to a library of books that act like books, instead of an eBook app overloaded with interactivity that basically turns a book into a game.
Now, as to why I personally am excited about uTales. I’m collaborating with an illustrator on a book called Amelia’s Rainbow. She sent me some sketches, and they’re wonderful. I truly think this is a great experience for me as a beginning author. Publishing is changing, and while I’m still pursing traditional publishing for most of my stories, I’ve always been a first-adopter of new technology. As such, I had to dive right in to the eBook market. I’m not expecting to get rich, and I doubt anyone who is working with uTales is there for the money. It will be interesting to see how this new approach plays out in the long term.