a small swarm of kids around Dominique Maes
So, we’re finally back from the Salon du livre et de la presse jeunesse Seine–Saint–Denis , one of the major children’s books fair in France. We had a stand for the very first time there and got an amazing experience. We had some lovely encounters with children, parents, teachers, librarians and other professionals.
Dominique Maes himself enjoyed spending time on our small stand! We have pictures of him surrounded by a small swarm of kids that depict it much better than I could do with words. It was really sweet.
We observed a few boys READING the book. I use capital letters here because how many times have I read here and there that boys don’t read, don’t like reading?! Countless! Well, one of them came to us, his cap strongly screwed on his head. He declined my offer to use headphones and started reading “All my Love (for You)”. After quite a few minutes, his head slowly came up. He was grinning like he had discovered something huge and told me in a whisper “oh, it’s a love story”. I could hardly say much more and start dissecting all the treasures hidden in the book.
We actually had both boys and girls from different ages (app. 5 to 10 years-old) who immersed themselves completely in the book and “came back”, taking off the headphones, with a dreamy smile on their lips.
We also used multi headphone splitters for the first time and saw parents sharing the book app with their child in this crowded environment. This was really magic! We simply didn’t think of taking pictures. Yes, sometimes you feel like it’s a private moment. A private moment in a public space that doesn’t necessarily need to be witnessed by strangers on the internet 😉
In addition, we also had very promising, fruitful discussions with a few artists and publishers. No doubts, we could feel a slow change of minds towards digital books. Artists and publishers who used to be strongly averse to digital publishing eyed Dominique Maes’ book app with great interest.
Last but not least… as suggested in the title, we’ve tested book signing within the app… well, how to describe this?! We had shot a small video prior to the fair, which you can watch on youtube if you want a snapshot of it.
Only Dominique can edit the page enabling the book signing by using three fingerprints and a secret password that only he and the developer know. Yes indeed, they didn’t put me (e.g. the publisher) in the confidence, the rascals!
Then, he can add one of the stamps designed for the occasion and sign the book with a stylus. The stroke probably is a little uncertain now but give him a few months to feel as confident as British artist David Hockney 😉