Allan Plenderleith, Silly Sprouts, eBooks and apps

Last week I interviewed Allan Plenderleith, author of The Smelly Sprout, Tiny Tinga, The Boy Giant and Princess Chocolate. At Britmums Live so many people who I spoke to after my session on writing an eBook wanted to know about writing and publishing illustrated  and children’s books that I thought I’d talk to an expert.

You may have seen Allan’s books in stores, but it is more likely that you will have downloaded on of them as an app – there have been over 3 million downloads of his books in app form. Allan has been creating cartoon books for many years, and is a script writer on several well known children’s TV programmes, from Noddy to Horrid Henry, but it was only when a friend of his started a business developing apps that Allan thought of turning his first children’s book, The Smelly Sprout, into an app. Since then Allan has created children’s stories specifically for apps, with interactivity at the heart of the story.

Allan has some tips if you want to create an illustrated book of any sort. The Kindle Fire, which can cope with colour eBooks, is rumoured to launch in the UK very soon, so now is the ideal time to get your illustrated book out there. Allan advises that creating an eBook is very straightforward. Add your illustrations in to the word document and upload by Kindle Direct Publishing. You are the publisher of your own book, so all the profits come to you. Writing more than one book brings biggest rewards as you can easily add links inside each book to the sales pages for other books you bring out. Allan suggests getting to grips with Adobe Flash to create animations if you want to go to the next level and create an app. This creates .ipa files which can be uploaded to the app store.

Allan’s next book, The Silly Satsuma
, is due out at the end of September. The story deals with what happens to Eric Greenbogle when his naughty behaviour means that all he gets for Christmas is a satsuma. Eric is horrified, but the satsuma springs to life and shows him the error of his ways in a Scrooge-like rite of passage.  Allan says, “I always test the books on my own children, and this definitely created a few laughs”. I’ll definitely be downloading it for the kids, and they may also find it in their stockings.

For more tips on writing and publishing, visit

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