“Open source is based on freedom. That freedom includes access to the source code, freedom to collaborate, and ultimately, the freedom to innovate.” — https://thenewstack.io/power-community-open-source/
New! Watch our discussion with some of the partners listed below on the ‘Power of Open’ at the 2020 Open Publishing Fest here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM5bptZVHbw.
Book Dash is defined by its philosophy of open source: our books are published under an open license (Creative Commons Attribution 4.0), our sources files are open (on the website for anyone to access and use) and our model of content creation is open (the 12-hour Book Dash events have been replicated in Nigeria, Angola, Laos, Cambodia and France). The power of open extends our reach logarithmically: it enables our books to be read by people in places that we would never have reached if we had a more traditional approach to copyright. Anyone can adapt, translate, animate, download, print, distribute and even sell our books, because our license imposes no restrictions.
In this newsletter we have rounded up a few examples of the interesting, weird and wonderful amplifications, applications and adaptations of the Book Dash books, powered by our open philosophy.
1. Our books are published on 100+ reading platforms and apps
At least 50 free reading platforms regularly publish our stories. They appreciate the quality and the ease of using our books, and their readers love the fact that our books show a diverse society where children can recognise themselves in the pages, and have fun. These websites are truly international; readers from India, South America, the UK, Japan, etc contact us to say that they love reading our books.
To single out a few of the 50+ sites where Book Dash books are regularly featured:
- Close to home in South Africa we have Parent 24 (https://www.parent24.com/Storytime)
- Storyberries is a popular Australian free reading site that includes Book Dash books in their category “5 minute stories”. It’s not unusual for a Book Dash book to get 5,000 views a day and to be shared 500+ times by the readers.
- Storyweaver features most of our books, including many of our African language translations.
- World Reader features many of our books; 2 Book Dash books were in Worldreader’s top 10 most-read books of 2018 overall and 3 were in the children’s category.
- African Storybook also features a large variety of our books, including translations.
2. Many communities do their own translations of our books
Book Dash publishes versions of our books in South African languages. These versions are often created by Nal’ibali’s excellent team of language practitioners. The open license also allows language communities across the globe that love our books to do their own translations, thereby adding to the available reading resources in their language.
Some interesting examples are:
- A South African living in Norway was disappointed by the homogeneously white characters she encountered in Norwegian children’s books. So she translated and printed some Book Dash books in Norwegian.
- The organisation Gahwara translates books into Farsi, Pashto and Uzbek. Some Book Dash books are available in these languages, and are being read and loved by kids in Afghanistan.
- A group of language activists in Italy who are rekindling the minority Lombard language has translated some of our books into Lombard.
Sleepy Mr Sloth in English, with its Persian translation
3. Our books are adapted for other media
- Our books are used in storytime channels on Youtube.
- Narrated versions of our books are available on Youtube.
- Cut-out animations of our books done by the International Centre for Free and Open Source Software in Kerala, India are available on Youtube.
- Audiobooks done by Storyberries are available on their website.
- The Handlab at the University of Stellenbosch has versioned some Book Dash books into South African sign language.
These are just a few examples of how the power of open allows our books to travel without boundaries, bringing joy to more and more parents and children all over the world. We give the last word to the Global Book Alliance, (funded by DFID, Norad, World Bank, UNICEF, Australian Aid and others), on Twitter: “Groups like Book Dash are changing the shape of global book markets with open access, high quality books to download print and share”