When I was selling my books at one of our church’s artisan fairs, a friend stopped by and told me how she and her children were using Praise as a morning devotional. Of course that touched my heart, but it also gave me inspiration for the third book in the Be Still series. Explore would be designed as a devotional that a parent or grandparent could read together with a child.
I mentioned how a photo meditation book on the Psalms inspired me to combine Jon’s photos and my writing in a book together. As I assembled the content for Wonder, I perused other devotionals (there aren’t many photo devotionals, however) to give me ideas for layout and formatting. I did the same for Explore. Since I planned for Explore to appeal to children, I needed to make it fun and interactive. Many of the ideas were inspired by various children’s magazines. I included questions about creation and nature to explore, brightly colored photos to look at with accompanying questions, and also ideas and activities for more exploring of God’s amazing world that a child could do with a grownup.
I also wanted to include something for older children, so I wrote a companion devotional with recommended passages of Scripture to read along with a devotion, questions to answer, and more activities suitable for for older children to do on their own.
I formatted the first two books in the Be Still series in Microsoft Word. The program was a bit clunky because it didn’t like the large photos I inserted, but I managed to bully it into submission, save the content as a PDF, and upload it to Amazon Create Space (now known as Kindle Direct Publishing). However, Word would not work with my plans for Explore; I needed to find something else.
Given my production budget (and the fact my books weren’t quite flying off the Amazon shelf), my choices were limited. But I found a delightfully easy and reasonably priced program called Swift Publisher. It suited my needs for Explore quite well and I’m pleased with how it turned out.
See all the books currently available by visiting my Be Still page.
All the books in the Be Still series are available on Amazon. Visit my author page Jill English Johnston.