Documents, Photos & Text: How to Create a Book and Easily Combine All Three

You might think that self-publishing a book is beyond your skill level, but guess what? It’s not. At all.

You can make your own online
Building your book sounds like a daunting task, but today’s software makes it fun and simple. offers incredibly easy and affordable methods to produce a quality book that looks like it came straight from a bookstore. It makes book-building simple, fun and affordable, whether you’re adding text, photos, or documents. You can even try your hand at creating your book for free, with no obligation to buy. Truly, your book building possibilities are only limited by your imagination.

How Does Bookemon Do It?

Bookemon’s free digital software allows you to use a combination of documents, photos, and text all in one printable book. It is so easy and intuitive (if you can download and click, you can do this!) that anyone can create a book with professional looking results.

Book Building Basics

Bookemon’s All-Purpose Online Book Creator lets you create your own books using any combination of Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Photos, text, and graphics, so you can easily turn your writings, blogs, drawings, images, documents and variety of content into professional quality books in print.

How it works:

  • Your written content (whether it is a novel, comic book, cookbook, or children’s story) should be saved as a Word document, PDF, PowerPoint file, jpg photo, text, or graphic program.
  • Now it is time to get building. Log onto the Bookemon website and creating a free account.
  • Next, choose a “blank template” to create your book in. This will assist you in laying out the pages.
  • Once your template is ready, you simply upload your Word, PDF document, PowerPoint- whatever method you saved the content, and it will be added into the book exactly as you have created it. For example, your title header and the page numbers you have on those pages will appear exactly as they are in your document.
  • A great advantage of using the Bookemon software is that you can use multiple documents in creating your book. For example, you can design a cover and upload it as a pdf file for the cover page, you can use another document with the main content for the rest of the book pages, etc. So if you want to create special pages- spaced throughout the book, like maybe a cookbook with photo pages of mom or your grandma who created those recipes, you can do it. Here are the steps:

1. On the bottom of the builder, there are page thumbnails. The very first one on the left is the Front Cover and the last page is the Back Cover. Click on the Front or Back Cover page.
2. Under the document library on the left panel, click on the Open folder icon of the document with the page you want to use.
3. Click to select the page in the document to replace the current Front Cover page.

  • You can follow the procedure above to replace other pages in the book besides the front and back covers. This feature allows you to move content to the exact page you want it to appear.
  • To add photos to your book pages, you first click on the “Upload” function in the book making program to upload all the photos. Once uploaded, each photo will appear as an icon in a “Photo Library”. To use, simply drag the photos from your photo library onto the page or into an image box here you want them to appear.
  • Finally, you can really adjust and customize the pages by choosing a special font from the menu of options, or add some pizazz to your pages by adding from a collection of program clip art.


You can make your own book on iPad
Self-publish your own children’s book with ease, using Bookemon software. it is free to try and simple to use.

What kind of books can you make? Any kind! You can make a photobook that tells a story, a custom book for your child, your own cookbook, or publish a memoir. If you have always dreamed of being a writer and believe you have an amazing story to share, start writing! The publishing part will be fun!

This site provides everything you need (even if you are creatively challenged) to build and publish a beautiful book. With no obligation to buy, there is zero risk in getting started.

Expert Interview Series: Suzan St Maur of With Advice on Self-Publishing

Suzan St Maur is the founder of where she and some of the world’s top writing experts share articles and tutorials no writing professionally for any purpose.

Suzan enjoys consulting, writing, editing for and coaching clients as well as running her other business interests, writing her own books, blogs and articles, plus giving blogging workshops, radio interviews, etc., on how to make your writing more successful.

We recently checked in with her to get her advice on self-publishing. Here’s what she had to say:

You are quite a prolific author on a variety of topics. How do you decide what you’re going to write about?

I write about writing, across many genres. Needless to say I can’t write as an expert on everything so on my website I have guest contributors and columnists who share their expertise on topics like writing fiction, writing for job search, academic writing for students, etc., which complement my own writing which focuses on business, marketing, online content and general promotional activities.

On a more personal level I love writing humor and have had a few joke books published, one of which has been, on and off, an Amazon No. 1 category best seller for 14 years.

How has the self-publishing industry changed since you started your career?

It has emerged from the doldrums of “vanity publishing” to being a very viable business model for many authors worldwide, including me.

What are the advantages of self-publishing?

Freedom to make your own decisions on titles, formats, cover design, etc., which often are badly restricted by conventional trade publishers who are likely to have much less knowledge of marketing and promotion than authors like me.

If you play your cards right you can gain a much higher return on price per unit sold by self-publishing than you can with the conventional publishers.

What are the drawbacks?

Probably a less advantageous distribution element, especially if you write self-help and business books connected to your business. However that’s not so much of a problem if you get out there and promote your books yourself, and if you do speaking engagements on your topic you are likely to sell hard copies of your book in quite satisfactory numbers “back of room.”

To make a go of it, however, you do need to be good at promotion online and offline and need to invest some time and money into that.

What should writers look out for when seeking out reliable self-publishing tools like Bookemon?

They should look out for the scammers, of which there are thousands and thousands. I help other authors sometimes, as a coach, and am horrified at the stories I’m told about the cowboys out there taking advantage of wannabee authors … especially fiction authors. Not much has changed since the bad old days of vanity publishing.

What are the biggest lessons you’ve had to learn about the publishing process?

With traditional trade publishers:

They have very little ability in terms of marketing and publicity, unless you are likely to be a million seller in which case they draft in people who – at last – know what they’re doing.

I work in marketing and across all my books published by trade publishers (about 20) I have despaired at their naive lack of professionalism in marketing techniques.

That’s why I self-published my last book and intend to do the same with the next few.

With so-called self-publishing services:

Varied. There are some who are worthy of respect as they are honest but equally there are some who capitalize on wannabee authors’ – particularly fiction authors’ – desire to see their beloved works in print and are willing to be scalped stupid for the privilege.

What’s one writing tip you find yourself repeating over and over again?

Write as your audience speaks and in business, write only about what benefits there are here for you, the reader, i.e. what’s in it for you?

Start creating your book on Bookemon

How to Build Up the Students’ Brainstorming Power

Kids have amazing imaginations, but sometimes getting started with a writing assignment can be challenging. There is something about facing a blank page that seems to drain the creativity right of the classroom. Students often need a few inspirational or brainstorming ideas to get their writing efforts moving again in the right direction.

brainstorming power of kids
Kids can make their own books

With a little inspiration, your students can expand and improve their creative writing skills.

But where do you begin? As an educator, you can teach them the mechanics of good writing, but creativity and choosing a topic is actually harder to cultivate. Want more detailed and articulate writing assignments from your students? Want their creative writing to blossom? First you must plant some seeds.

Brainstorming as a Cultivating Tool

Brainstorming is defined as, “A technique used to solve problems and encourage creativity in which members of a group share their ideas about a subject.” In other words, a perfect way to generate ideas for writing assignments in the classroom.

When faced with an assignment, students often lack one clear idea to focus on. They either can think of nothing to write about, or they have too many, unrelated ideas on their list. The solution?

One answer is to hold a brainstorming session, essentially a student activity designed to gather ideas that spark a more focused, creative direction for their writing. Get it started by asking students a few key questions about the assignment and how they envision it. If their story were to be turned into their own published book, what would the inside jacket cover say about the story?

According to an article on, an inspirational starting point is to simply ask about the setting of your students’ stories. What would be a good setting or location? Have your students describe their favorite place on earth. Keep prompting students for full detail, including how the place makes them feel when they are there, what it looks like, what sounds they hear, and even what it smells like. This encourages those fine details. Keep asking for more specifics like:

  • Who is the main character or focus of the story? What do they look like? What do they sound like?
  • What is the time period of the story? Ask students to pick a date somewhere far in the future or past, and then pretend that they are in that time and describe what their day is like. What is school like in this time period? What is on the front page of the newspaper?
  • Ask what is the message, challenge, or problem is that the story will share with its readers? How will it be solved?

Encourage students to share by setting up a group brainstorming session.

Here is how:

  • Try having students brainstorm alone, then with a partner or a group setting. This demonstrates the benefit of listening to other people’s ideas and how it can help spark their own creativity.
  • Set an expectation that students will come up with a set number of responses in a set amount of time to the basic questions.
  • Encourage all ideas, even crazy ones, to be included.
  • Collect all ideas for each group, then organize them into any obvious categories or by connections. One creative way to do this is to use a dry erase board and markers, write ideas on the board with colorful markers and then draw lines to connect the related ideas.

Students excel at writing when their imaginations and creativity are sparked, and getting started is often the biggest challenge. By posing questions that get them brainstorming, gathering ideas, and finding their focus, you provide the tools needed for them to begin writing with confidence.

Thought Leader Series: 4 Tips to Writing a Funny Story

Being a kid is something everyone remembers. First bike ride, learning to tie your shoes, or taking a family vacation are all nostalgic moments. One memory that may stick in your mind is the first story that made you laugh. Have you ever wanted to write your own funny take that will become someone else’s memory? Here are some tips to writing a funny story that will go on in time:

A good chuckle leaves a lasting impression.

1.) What do you remember?

Story time for children is a wonderful time for everyone. It helps to build a bond between parent and child and also enhances brain activity and mental development. There are millions of children’s books to read from at story time, but there is one that has never been heard or read yet. That’s because it hasn’t been written yet. Don’t hesitate and don’t be discouraged to put the pen to paper and start the next great story. With some imagination and a bit of direction, the next children’s book can be written. Here are 5 tips for writing a children’s book:

1.) Designate focus

Children’s books are all different and directed to particular age groups and sometimes genders. It’s important to designate the age group you want the book to focus towards. Is the book going to be directed toward girls or boys? Will it be a princess story or a tale of a basketball star? Some books include coloring pages and activities (C&A), so it needs to be considered if those will be added. Most children’s books are for audiences that don’t read well or read at all. The length of the book should stay under 1,000 words for fluidity and avoid unnecessary details.

2.) Research and read

There are many books at the library or book store that offer tips on writing and the publishing process. offers a lot of help in the printing process and self-publishing. While you are spending time at the library, get to know the person in charge. They usually have knowledge of workshops and writing groups that improve writing skills and story development. Writing groups allow for open exchange of ideas and general knowledge. Always take advantage of resources and learn from fellow authors.

3.) Story, plot, and characters

Reverting back to your childhood is a great way to develop a plot for a story. What stories did you enjoy? Imagination is important, but always remember that a story needs to make sense. Create a hero or central character with a problem they must overcome either externally or internally. Every great story needs an opposing force such as a “baddie” or moral dilemma. Keep in mind that the good guy should always prevail. An awesome thing about children’s stories; magic is a legitimate solution to problems.

4.) Illustrations and artwork

Children’s books are mostly picture books or C&A. Depending on the age group, story line, and characters, the illustrations help set the tone of the book. Also, when writing shorter books with few words, illustrations help to fill in the story. Colorful, fun, animal pictures have more effect than black and white sketches or photography. Be sure to find an illustrator who conveys the story through their art as you want it to be seen. And, as with any project, there are going to be changes, so find an artist who is flexible.

5.) Read aloud

Story time is entertaining and reading aloud adds excitement, attitude and emotion. Children’s books often rhyme, but it isn’t mandatory. It’s important to have steady rhythm and cadence. Even syllables and sentence length make the book easier to read. The rhythm should also reflect what is happening in the story. For example, when there is an altercation between forces, the cadence should be quick and staccato. Whereas, a doggy napping with a kitty calls for a slow and calming rhythm. While writing and when finished, reading the story aloud helps to find the best rhythm and cadence.

These tips are to help you get your idea out of your brain and onto paper. Writing a great story for a child to explore is not as easy as it seems, but it’s worth the work. The next step of a great children’s book is getting it to the kids that want to read it. Bookemon is an online company for amateur authors that want their books to be read. Bookemon helps with the printing process and is a great company to get started with. So, when you finish writing that book, give ’em a try.

Thought Leader Series: How Blogging Will Prepare You For Writing Your Book

So you want to write a book – the great American novel, a collection of essays or short stories, or maybe the newest runaway-hit business book – and you’re not sure how to get started? Or how to refine your craft? Or to test the impact of your words on readers?

The answer to these questions, and so many more, is right in front of your nose. In fact, millions of people do it every day, 600 words and one topic at a time: They blog.

Here are five ways blogging will prepare you to write your book:

Gain Discipline

Every writer thinks they have a great idea or plotline. They can’t wait to get started. And then … nothing. The words just don’t come. Or they don’t come quickly or often enough.

As many writers have discovered, writing a book often comes down to discipline. The kind of discipline that turns a single idea into 90,000 words that tell a compelling story. But you can’t write 90,000 words all in one day. And some days, you won’t feel like writing at all.

This is where blogging helps. Commit to writing and publishing a blog post every week. Maybe twice a week. Soon, you’ll develop the self-discipline required to put pen to paper in a workman-like, consistent manner.

Deliver Clarity

Given the current attention spans of most readers, clarity has become infinitely important to aspiring writers. Specifically: how can you make your point and paint a compelling picture in the fewest words possible?

Knowing a reader has many outlets to gain the information they seek, a blogger must learn the art of being concise. They must write in short, easy-to-read bursts. And they must make their point before the reader is tempted to close the browser window. As you write your book, providing this level of clarity will become a tremendous asset.

Develop Ideas

Think you have an interesting plot line or marketable hook for your book? Think that real-world story may resonate with your readers? Wouldn’t you rather test that copy in a discrete, open way?

A blog is an excellent opportunity to test material, float a story or develop a critical idea. Publish the post, then sit back and gauge response. Did your blog readers react well to the concept? Did the post lead to several comments, even debate? Did your readers share generously on social media? If yes, that story, plot line or hook just may be ready for your book.

Collect Content

The reality is sometimes, as writers, we have trouble getting started. After all, writing a book worthy of publishing is a daunting task.

Blogging is a great way to gradually collect content that might eventually be used in your book. 600 to 800 words at a time, you create copy that may fit well within your book outline. Take this thought process a step further and you can use the outline of your book as a guide for what to post on your blog this week. Soon you’ll see that successful blog post as one-tenth of a book chapter, done.

Establish Credibility

Today’s most successful authors, whether delivering the finished work to a publisher or going the self-publishing route, must be seen as a rising star or a subject matter expert. And to reach that status, you must establish authority – before your book hits the shelves or internet.

A blog, combined with a solid online presence, is perhaps the best possible way to gain the credibility necessary to make your book a success.

Get your book started today, and started right. Start a blog! Before you know it, you’ll have compiled 90,000 words a publisher and the public will be ready to read.

Want to self-publish a book? Get started today!

Writer Exercise: Have Your Students “Eavesdrop” for Story Inspiration

How can a teacher inspire great story writing? Let’s face it, even professional writers get “writer’s block” because creativity and being able to conjure up a storyline and descriptive details can sometimes feel very elusive.

So, if your mission is to develop students’ ability to overcome creative writing obstacles, why not try a targeted exercise in improvisational writing?

Visit Bookemon Site
One sentence can be a catalyst for creativity and a great story.

For example, have you ever been sitting in a café, heard a bit of conversation next to you, and wondered what their story is? What you accidentally overheard could be a great starting point to an inspired piece of fiction! The same holds true for your students. Rather than having them struggle to start a story from scratch, assign a small eavesdropping writing exercise.

Essentially, this is where you tell students to pretend they are on a bus and overhear one person say to another person something like, “I’ll never forgive you as long as I live.” Students must then complete a story that tells who these people are and what happened before their conversation.

According to, this exercise is a great way to spark student creativity and it can even be modified for different assignments. You can change the overheard sentence to almost anything. You can even have writers explore ideas by writing a story using the bus scenario, and then write a second story about the same sentence, but with it occurring in a store or restaurant.

Visit Bookemon Site
Give students a direction for their writing, and watch the stories unfold.

Why is This Exercise a Catalyst for Creativity?

Sometimes the best way to improve writing skills with students in K-12 grades is to plant some “idea” seeds, to give them a point in which to start their story (a blank page is intimidating!) This eavesdropping exercise works well by:

  • Giving students one overheard sentence to really spur the imagination- to fill in the backstory and define exactly who the characters are.
  • The overheard sentence can invite writers to create the fine-details behind the emotions expressed in the sentence. Why is this particular character angry or upset, and who are they as a person? Are they male or female, young or old? Is the character who says this an overly sensitive person or are they justified in their reactions?
  • Every great story has conflict and this sentence allows the writer to decide what the conflict is and how the characters got to this moment in their relationship.

According to creative writing helps kids to be better at reading, and to understand and connect with other people’s writing with greater ease. Now that you have sparked creativity consider publishing the stories to really keep creativity going strong!

Online sites like Bookemon, one of the first to cater to teachers with a special edCenter, allows your class to create and publish their own book with impressive results.

It all starts with a spark to the imagination, so give them one starting-point sentence to build off of, and watch the stories unfold, then publish with pride! Getting started is quick and easy.

Easy & Free: How You Can Create a Digital Book

If you’ve always wondered about writing your own book, digitally publishing and sharing it, and maybe even getting it printed, there are simple, free ways to produce professional-looking results. Online publishing can sound like a daunting project and maybe you are not exactly an expert with your computer.

create a digital book
create a custom book online

Relax, you don’t need to be an expert at digital publishing to create an amazing book online.

Creating a digital book is easier than you might imagine.

Today, publishing a digital book is simple enough that just about anyone can do it. There are several options online that will help you create your digital book, but if you are looking for impressive, professional looking results, while still being free and easy to navigate, is the perfect solution.

Bookemon is a great website for basically anyone who has dreamed of creating a book (great for educators looking for a new writing or reading project). This site guides you into the digital age where you can publish, read, share books online, or choose to buy printed copies. The best part? Creating and sharing your digital book is free, and there is no obligation to buy printed copies unless you wish to.

According to, Bookemon ranks high in ease and quality, and is “a personal, digital and professionally printed book creation and sharing utility.”

So no need to know any HTML coding or any other advanced technological wizardry. You create your book by uploading your written documents, graphics, and photos and lay them out on one of the predesigned book templates.

Essentially, the work is whittled down to a few clicks and simply dragging photos where you want them on the page. It is that simple. You get to use this free platform, find free tools to create your books, and also host them right on the Bookemon site.

create a digital book
Transform your idea into a digital book

Publishing a digital book online is simple to do, free, and fun.

Basic Steps to Create a Digital Book

Bookemon’s All-Purpose Online Book Creator lets you create your own books using any combination of Adobe PDF, Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, photos, text, and graphics, so you can easily turn your writings, blogs, drawings, images, documents and variety of content into a professional quality digital book to share online, or a printed book if you choose.

How it works:

  • You should write the content (whether it is a story, comic book, photobook, cookbook, whatever you imagine) and have it saved in a Word document, PDF, PowerPoint file, jpg photo, text, or graphic program.
  • Then, choose a template to create your book in.
  • Now you simply upload your Word, PDF document, PowerPoint- whatever method you saved the content, and it will be added into the book exactly as you have created. For example, your title header and the page numbers you have on those pages will appear exactly as they are in your document.

To use a page from your uploaded document as the cover page (or any other specific pages you want to create), here are the steps:

1. On the bottom of the builder, there are page thumbnails. The very first one on the left is the Front Cover and the last page is the Back Cover. Click on the Front or Back Cover page.
2. Under the document library on the left panel, click on the Open folder icon of the document with the page you want to use.
3. Click to select the page in the document to replace the current Front Cover page.

You can follow the procedure above to replace other pages in the book besides the front and back covers. Move content to the exact page you want them to appear. Here are a few more tips:

  • To add photos to your book pages, you have to first use an “Upload” function in the book making program. After you have uploaded your photos, they will be shown as icons in a “Photo Library”. Simply drag the photos from your photo library onto the page or into an Image box.
  • Finally, adjust and customize the pages by choosing the font from the menu of options. You may also want to add some pizazz to your pages from a selection of clip art.
  • Once you have finished your book on Bookemon, you can share it a digital book online, through social media, or email, or you can choose to order copies of it to be printed.

Today, creating a digital book is simple, fun, and free! This site provides endless possibilities to create virtually any type of book with no obligation to buy. You can tell your story with a photobook, or create a custom book and have your child be a character in it, or even create your own cookbook.

There are so many possibilities and types of books you can make and share online and getting started is simple, fun, and it costs you nothing to give it a try.

How to Build Your High School Yearbook Online

For many generations, a yearbook has been the ideal way preserve a year full of momentous occasions, friendships, school involvement, and cherished moments. Your story is told mostly through photos, but the captions and special notations play a big supporting role in sharing the entire journey you experienced that school year.

School Yearbook
Preserve special classroom moments by creating your own yearbook.

What if there is no yearbook at your school that will preserve these memories? Fear-not, creating a yearbook is actually a fun and easy (yes, really- it is easy!) project that anyone can do, thanks to online digital software.

Whether you are an educator, a PTO mom looking for a project, or a student wanting to get creative with your memories, there are websites that can help you produce an amazing yearbook. The best part is you can create your yearbook for free on websites like and then share pages from them through email or social media. You can also choose to purchase copies of your professionally published yearbook to cherish for a lifetime.

So, it costs no money to try and it’s so easy, an elementary school class could create their own yearbook masterpiece? Yes! In fact, according to, Bookemon’s software really takes all the guesswork out of the layout and design process, offering 17 different yearbook templates to choose from and fun clipart to add to your pages.

Essentially, you make the yearbook in 5 easy steps:
1) Sign up for a free account.
2) Pick your yearbook template.
3) Upload the photos to the pages you select.
4) Upload your photo captions and any written notations.
5) Choose to add any clip art to the pages of your yearbook. It is simple!

The basic pages you may choose to create for your yearbook could include:
• Cover
• Introduction or dedication and index (pictures optional)
• Teachers
• Students
• Awards (pictures optional)
• Activities or Clubs (music programs, sports, field trips, prom)
• Photo (montage)
• Signature (pictures optional)

Here are a few creative yearbook ideas you can try:

  • Upload photos of everyone in your class, and let them write their own caption about who they are, and what their favorite things about the school year include.
  • Include photos from special dances, plays, concerts or field day activities. Remember to identify everyone in the photo so you remember these fun moments for a lifetime.
  • Include photos of the school staff and teachers and write a small caption about why they were the best, made people laugh, made a difference to the school, or were memorable.
  • Get signatures from every classmate (in dark ink) on a piece of paper. Scan the page and save it into a pdf file and then upload it as a cover page.
  • Create a favorite memory page and let classmates write a paragraph about their favorite moment or memory from the school year. Save in a word document to upload to the page and choose different fonts for each entry to make each truly unique.
  • Create a superlatives page where you share photos of classmates voted to be: “class clown”, “happiest attitude”, “most athletic”, and “most likely to … ” just for example. Add relatable clip art to make the pages extra fun!

School Yearbook
Include photos from sport activities, dances, drama club and anything that inspires a smile.

Creating your own yearbook is a creative and fun way to cherish the school year and the friendships made along the way. With free software that allows for endless possibilities to publish virtually any type of book, designing a professional-looking yearbook is now simple. Try it out for free today, and create a keepsake you will treasure for a lifetime.

How to Create Your Own Recipe Book

Anyone can cook, but some people seem to have a natural gift for it. Do friends and family always ask you for your prized recipes? Then you might be one of those home cooks whose recipes should be preserved.

Perhaps you have them written down on recipe cards, or maybe they are just stored in your memory, but think about how important it is to be able to hand-down those recipes to your children and grandchildren!

Bookemon Recipe Book
Get your recipes beautifully preserved with online book publishing made simple and affordable.

Or perhaps share them as a gift to special friends or family (your biggest culinary fans), for birthdays, holidays, or a bridal shower. A cookbook that compiles your successful culinary creations and all the old favorite family recipes makes for a meaningful and amazing gift.

Yes, it sounds challenging, but it is actually very simple, affordable, and fun to make a real, polished, professional-looking cookbook, complete with pictures.

There are websites online that practically do it for you, like Bookemon, one of the first of its kind that allow consumers to create and print professional looking books. It offers free digital book-making software that allows endless possibilities yet, makes this project simple and affordable to print your creations.

Here are the steps you take and things to consider along the way to publishing your cookbook:

  • First you create a free account, and then choose from one of the provided book templates to lay out your book.
  • Next, upload your content from PDF, Word, or JPG files. You will be able to customize the pages and include your own photos or drawings to accompany the text.
  • Not enough photos? There is also clip art you can use to really dress up the pages where you may lack photos.
  • According to an article in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), in which they tested various book publishing sites for their ease, capabilities, and affordability, Bookemon was unsurpassed.”There are more than 150 color choices for text and background, and 20 different fonts,” the article stated. “We could pick from seven cookbook templates and could also opt for an open template to create a book of our own design.”Bookemon also scored high with the WSJ writers since recipes can be pasted, scanned in or typed, and pages can be rearranged in any order.”For example, we could alternate between one page for a recipe and another for a photo, or we could have two pages of recipes followed by one photo. The site is easy to use,” the article stated.

    When choosing your content, you need to think about which recipes are your favorite; which ones are people always raving about or asking for? You should also decide if the cookbook is going to be more specific, like “pasta dishes” or “decadent deserts”.

    To really make the book easy to follow for your readers, and professional looking, follow the same format for each recipe. For example:

  • List of ingredients, with measurements
  • Any preheat instructions
  • Step-by-step of how-to make it
  • Time it takes to prepare, general cooking time
  • You’ll probably want to include photos of your recipes if possible, or maybe take some photos of the ingredients required. If your recipe came from your grandmother’s kitchen, perhaps include a photo of her and make the book really personalized. The possibilities are endless when you make your own cookbook.Bookemon Recipe Book
    Take your own photos or use clever clip art from Bookemon to illustrate your recipes.Once you have designed your cookbook, you can share it with family and friends via email or social media, or you can purchase copies as gifts. No purchase is required, but you will be so impressed with your work, you will even want a copy for yourself!

    Publishing your own cookbook is a great way to organize and preserve your recipes into a treasured heirloom or gift. Friends and family will thank you, so click here to get started today!

How to Keep Your Students Focused in the Classrooms

Teachers face a myriad of challenges in today’s classrooms. There are numerous disruptive distractions that are fueled by things like cell phones, iPods, or other digital devices.

The stealth use of electronics in a classroom is only trumped only by students who enjoy socializing a bit too much–and there are of course those students that have legitimate learning or developmental disabilities, which make it challenging at best when it comes to staying focused in class.

publish student's work
Maintaining the attention of students requires strong classroom management strategies.

What is the best management strategy for a classroom of students? How does a teacher maintain the upper hand and ensure students are engaged and learning the required curriculum? The key is implementing an effective strategy to keep students focused and on task throughout their entire time in the classroom.

The First Step to Better Student Focus

Teaching is not possible if your students have digital distractions in hand, so before you even begin, as soon as students settle into class, you should create a way to ensure that all devices are put away.

Some teachers have created a “cubby” system of sorts (essentially, name-labeled small storage spaces) where each student must place their cell phones and any other devices as they enter the classroom. They may not reclaim their phone or device until class is over. Getting the devices out of the students’ hands allows the teacher to fully engage students and maintain student focus throughout the class.

Classroom Management Strategies

Once a teacher has his or her students’ undivided attention, it is time to focus on the current lesson plan, but there are other challenges that arise when it comes to keeping the upper hand and general classroom management.

Here are a few ideas to try:

  • Communicate and Maintain Authority: Many teachers discover that how well they maintain their authority over the classroom has much to do with the way that they communicate with their students in class. It is important to not to yell, but use a natural speaking voice. Remain silent and in control until students are quiet and do not hesitate to use non-verbal communication, like making eye contact with a student who is chatting or distracted. Some teachers explain from the beginning of the year that certain hand signals or them turning the lights on and off are signals for students to quickly quiet down and pay attention.
  • Set Expectations and Routines: It is vital to establish expectations and a natural flow to each class period. Schedules that are chaotic often will open the door to student distractibility. Students will (for the most part) self-regulate to stay on task if they have structured routines, activities, and procedures that they know how to follow. Students feel more in control and tend to stay more focused when they know exactly what they need to do and that it is expected of them to do it.
  • Address Behavior Issues Right Away: A vital part of maintaining your authority is dealing with behavior issues immediately and with the correct approach. Never engage in an escalating argument with a student and don’t allow the issue to be entertainment for the class. Pull the student aside or out in the hall and ask questions rather than make accusations about what just transpired in the classroom. If there is a conflict with two or more students, meet with them during a break or after school to discuss what occurred. It is important to serve as a mediator in this situation. Speak calmly in a neutral, non-accusing language. The tone of voice a teacher uses can lead toward a more peaceful resolution where all students feel heard and understood.
  • Always be constant with consequences: Establish rules and fully explain the consequences for breaking those rules. Then, always follow through to implement and enforce what you established.
  • Utilize Interactive Learning Projects: One solution to satisfying the digital demand students feel vying for their attention is for teachers to implement the technology into classroom lessons and projects. There are many interactive learning components that engage students in a way that makes learning seem more like creative fun.
    For example, a writing project that includes publishing students’ work into a real book. Studies show that kids who learn how to write their own stories well, also develop methods to better organize their thoughts, and even communicate better. Writing skills lead to better reading and comprehension skills, and all of this adds up to greater success for the students involved.

If students love electronic devices, make them a part of the learning process.

There are a few publishing options out there for educators to use for free, and students do best with a format that is easy to use, like, one of the first to cater to teachers with a special edCenter, which allows students to write, create, and publish their own book with impressive, professional results.

Students can publish works of fiction, non-fiction, a memoir or even a comic book. Even class photos can be preserved into a keepsake book for purchasing. The free software provides endless possibilities to publish virtually any type of book.

This is one of the best creative tools for gifted students to go above and beyond regular curriculum. Even older students can write and include images to create and share books of any length. Any independent research or writing project can become an interactive book. Even advanced science experiments and lab reports can be shared online using this tool. Inspire your gifted students to create literary magazine or even a personal online “portfolio” of writing, artwork, or photography presented in interactive book form.

Commenting via TeachersFirst, an online community dedicated to educators, one Pennsylvania teacher who tried it with her own class stated, “This is one of my all-time favorite creative tools. Very versatile. Great for making “buddy books” or for teacher-created learning “books.” I even use it personally to make free online “gifts” for children I know. I did purchase one print version, and it looked great.”

Taking Control

What most experienced educators say is that effective classroom management and keeping students focused is possible if you focus on communication and authority, addressing behavior issues head-on, being consistent with consequences, and implementing interactive learning activities.

Essentially, maintain control in respectful ways and tap into learning opportunities that are geared for what students are excited by in this digital age. Try it out with a creative, digital project today by implementing a writing and publishing activity, and see how students engage and maintain focus.