Many years ago, I wanted to write a series of children’s books about travel and cultural experiences with both a story and entertainment/education feel to it. I did some research and was put off by the “I have to find a publisher first!” mentality. Since there are thousands of authors like myself trying to find publishers and agents, I decided to put that dream aside for a while and continued on working in the entertainment industry.
Once my husband and I became empty nesters, I decided to start exploring the writing world again. I was inspired while living in the romantic French countryside for six months, so I put pen to paper and “Klara The Cow Who Knows How To Bow” was born. We have a field behind our French farmhouse where beautiful French cows and their calves graze on the rolling hills. I started with a poem, that turned into a children’s picture book, then my husband suggested I create a rhyming story, which is now the final product.
My ambition to write a book became a reality and I loved working on this fun project, but what about getting the book published? Oh no, here we go again, so I took a course at the London School of Journalism and did some research on self-publishing. Wow, what an amazing and exciting world self-publishing is! We published Klara The Cow Who Knows How To Bow on May 17, 2015 and now have thirty (30) paperback and digital books in publication as of October 2016. Our core language is English, and we translate these books in up to ten (10) other languages over time. The English titles consist of:
I love the fact that I can travel the globe and be a free thinking digital nomad as an indie author. I make my own deadlines, create my own stories, work from anywhere in the world and am not put into the creative artist box. It was scary at first, when I put myself out there in front of the world, with very little guidance. But I am so thankful that I have this wonderful opportunity and platform to share my stories with children and their families through songs, books and videos.
We are almost done with our Klara The Cow Dress-up App. Children will be able to dress-up Klara in their favorite clothes, shoes, eye color, glasses, etc. and even print a nice picture of what they have created.
I wrote a Christmas song last year (always something I wanted to do) featuring Alook, which is currently in the studio (for vocals), which we hope to release in December, along with an animated music video. We are also working on Luna and Alook’s Fun Music Book and eventually we plan to release some coloring books for the younger children.
Next year we will be publishing 4-5 more books in multiple languages within both the Travel and Friendship Series. We are also excited about our merchandise line of backpacks, key rings, hats, etc. that which will be launched in 2017.
I could not have done this without the help and support of Kindle Direct Publishing, CreateSpace, and the various social media platforms. Each day I am learning something new that helps support me as an author, songwriter and artist. A year and half ago, I never would have thought that I would be publishing my own books and that they would be distributed worldwide in many languages? #itsakoolworld #PoweredByIndie
Each book has its own journey in the Koolamundo world. To create the whole package, we need to break the book down into several categories, the book, the song, the read-along video, the audio book, the app and the animated music video. Today, we are going to chat about the Koolamundo song.
First of all, mental images, colourful rhyming and meaningful words and expressions from the book are written down to start forming an idea for lyrics. Then the melody of a new song is created by playing around with chords on a keyboard. Once this flows, the written words start popping out of my head, they are broken down into verse, chorus (x2) and not too forget the bridge, which creates a break before the last chorus of the song.
Then the fun begins working with a singer that understands your lyrics and the music arrangement of the piece.
The instrumental part is recorded using a real instrument like a guitar or a saxophone or using the keyboard that can magically turn your notes into a variety of different fun instruments and fabulous sounds.
To save the sounds you need the Audio Interface to connect the microphone or the Instrument to your computer.
Then the artists singing voice is recorded whilst listening to the background song to give the Koolamundo song life... So much fun! :D It‘s best when you have a good microphone with a pop filter this will soften and help prevent the sounds while your singing with your lyrics. Taking deep breaths and also consonants can be a problem to some singers as well as the p‘s or t’s. Cannot live without this lovely black thing. :D
Finally when the song is composed you have to produce the mix-down – once you have made the song sound crisp and clean. There must be no instruments interfering with each other. One good example would be an orchestra where every instrument or sound has its own unique fingerprint. This has to be placed in the final mix.
To listen to the final mix you will need some speakers. It is important to listen carefully to your feedback, so that you can adjust everything appropriately.
The Koolamundo Song is now finished! That was so much fun! Thank you Johanna :D, Johanna has a band called His & Herstory. She sings in both German and English and plays the saxophone. And I love the fact that this wonderful talented artist goes beyond the borders. As you can hear in one of the songs that was created for our latest book, "Visit Alook's Cool Place In Outer Space." We have a lot of fun together creating genres of music while using the same lyrics. This is a cool way of teaching children about some of the different types of music in this fascinating world we live in.
Hi friends, my name is Dobby and I get to travel around the world experiencing amazing countries and meeting new friends. The beginning of my life was quite sad until I met my new family and a good Dutch friend who taught me how to have manners on the streets and at home.
My book will be out in August with a song and a read along video. It is part of the Friendship Series. I believe you have already met my friend Klara The Cow. She is great at bowing!
What an exciting first year it has been for the Koolamundo team, creating books, songs and videos. There are now twenty seven books in multiple languages in both paperback and kindle. Seven songs in English and German, three read along videos and four book trailers. And we continue to build our multilingual edutainment quest. I have had a lot of fun working with these amazing talented individuals, Apoorva who lives in India and does the wonderful illustrations, Johanna, lives in Germany and sings both in German and English for the Koolamundo books. Carol, is in Canada, she sung the first song, Klara The Cow. And Tim who does a brilliant job in the back office, publishing the books. This year we will have some new surprises, that we cannot wait to share with you. So keep a look out for Koolamundo!
Reading connects us to the power of knowledge, creativity and curiosity. #itsakoolworld.
Meet Baloo and Dobby in our next book, which is part of our friendship series. It will be released in August.
It has been a busy 90 days or so, but Koolamundo is back in action. In November I attended the wedding of my lovely illustrator Apoorva, in New Delhi, India. This was an experience of a lifetime! What a beautiful bride. I was honored to be included in the ceremony of this artistic tradition. Where Henna is painted on the hands to celebrate the wonderful partnership of the gorgeous bride to be. How fun!
After the wedding, Apoorva took a few months off to get settled-into her new household and I was busy packing-up our residence and moving to the United Kingdom. We are back at it and are about two-thirds of the way through my next book Alook's Cool Place in Outer Space.
We are having such a fun time with this spacey project, here is a sneak peak of how the book is coming together.
Stay tuned for our upcoming new book, video and audio book for Alook's Cool Place in Outer Space! Bye for now!
We are excited to announce that Alook's Dance in France is now available in paperback and Kindle, in three languages. For more details or to purchase a book, please click on the book covers below. We appreciate your support and books make great gifts for the upcoming holidays.
Click on Alook enjoying the sun above to watch the new, fun read-along video and my Magic Carpet Ride...but make sure you are holding on. If you have not heard our fun, upbeat Koolamundo song, click on the Koolamundo Adventure and off you go!
I have always wanted to write a Christmas song, so I did! My wonderful producer and singer Carol Matthews and her musical elves are busy putting the words to music as I write and we look forward to sharing the "Koolamundo Jingle" with all of our friends, family and Koolamundo members as our little Christmas pressie to you!
Stay Kool and much love from the Koolamundo HQ!
This is Kimberley here to provide a cool update on all the happenings at Koolamundo HQ!
Alook’s Dance in France has been sent off to press and we will be announcing the official launch date soon. We are so excited to share Alook’s travel adventures with you. Once again, our illustrator Apoorva has gone above and beyond to deliver 40+ pages of colorful and detailed illustrations. Here are a few examples.
And we have some more fun news! We are in the final stages of illustrating Luna and Alook’s Funny Food Book, we should have the final three pages next week. Alook is tasting all kinds of fun food as he and Luna travel around the world. Alook can be quite a messy eater as you will see in the book. We are so close to having our third book completed that we may just launch these two at the same time. Here is a sneak peek of Luna and Alook’s culinary adventures.
The last bit of news for today is that we have released two new soundtracks. The first one is a German version of Klara the Cow produced and sung by Johanna Hathner. You can listen to the new German version by going to the Sing-along tab and scrolling down.
The second soundtrack is a song I wrote for Luna and Alook’s Funny Food Book. My good friend Johanna produced this song to a fun, jazzy beat and sang it beautifully. Get all jazzed-up by clicking on the link below. Imagine it playing during Luna and Alook's dinner party below.
Have fun, keep smiling and remember, It's A Kool World out there!
Greetings Koolamundo fans, we have some good news for you. If you have a tablet or an iPad and use iBooks for instance, you can download Klara The Cow between now and November 16th by clicking HERE or on the images below. You are also welcome to download free soundtracks, read-along videos, eBooks with song lyrics and more.
The fall season has arrived in Germany. The cold evenings and rainy weekends make it a perfect time to cuddle-up by the fireplace with your paperback, Kindle or iPad and a copy of your favorite children's books.
Lot's of love, Kimberley
There is an awful lot going on at Koolamundo HQ!
Let’s start with our Amazon Kindle Free promotion for Klara The Cow Who Knows How To Bow. Klara is available in ten languages in paperback and seven languages on Kindle. Unfortunately, Kindle does not accept the Hindi, Chinese or Japanese language characters.
Please mark your calendars for September 14-17, 2015 or you can go to our "Author Page" on Amazon and add Klara the Cow to your wish list. You can also go to our “Books” page and click on any of the book covers.
The next bit of exciting news! We just released the Japanese and Brazilian Portuguese versions of Klara the Cow and we retired our previous German version “Klara Die Kuh Die Weiß Wie Man Sich Verbeugt“ and replaced it with our new rhyming version, “Klara die Kuh zeigt, wie man sich verneigt”. I would like to thank my good friend Johanna Hattner for making the new German rhyming version possible!
I am thrilled to share a glimpse of our newest book, “Luna and Look’s Funny Food Book” which is currently being illustrated. I have to say that this is my personal favorite cover so far! In this book, Luna and Alook go on a journey through the worlds cuisines. Some healthy, some not, some naughty and some nice! We are looking at a November release.
Lastly, please be on the look-out for Alook’s Dance in France in print and on Kindle October 12, 2015. We just finished the read-along video and I think the team did an incredible job putting this together. The video will be available on our YouTube Channel until October 12th, 2015, so please take a look below when you have a moment. I would love your thoughts please. Here we go!
Kimberley grew-up as a third culture kid; born in the UK, and then living in Africa, America, New Zealand, several European countries and currently residing in Hong Kong. She is on a journey to educate and entertain our children and youth about the Kool world we live in through her books, audio books, sing-a-long books, videos and fun puppets. Please join her on this edutainment adventure!