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StoryCreator - Building your book online.

StoryJumper is a website that allows kids to build their own books. You can
easily create cover pages, add text, upload drawings or photos to illustrate your
story, and you can use the StoryJumper clipart gallery, too. When you're done,
you can order your own professionally published hardback book!
The next section will show you how to build a new story online, and the share
and publish your creation. We'll also give you some tips for editing your story
and making it better.
To get started, first visit the StoryJumper site (
). If it's your
first time, click the sign-up in the upper right to create an account. It's fast, safe
and free to get started.
Important: If you're under 13, please use your parent's or guardian's email
address so they can let us know that it's ok for you to use the site. Also, please
do not use your real name.
Once you've created your account, click on the create button at the top of the page:
Select the very last radio button "Custom (Empty)" and click on the big orange
Create button to the right:
You're in the Story Creator! Let's take a look around. Your screen should look
something like this:
Pages and Navigation
At the top of the screen you'll see the navigation bar.
Clicking on the page icons will allow you to move between pages, including the
covers and the dedication page. The creator always loads page 1 of your book
whenever you start.
To add a new page to your book, click the
new button.
To duplicate or copy an existing page, click the
copy button
To delete a page, click the
delete button
Once your story is more than 10 or 12 pages long, use the scroll bar or arrow
keys to move through your book.
At the end of the navigation bar, you'll find a few other useful tools.
Single page view Double-page view
Expand the page to fit window Zoom in/out of page
Flip scene (we'll explain scenes in a later section)
Underneath the pages of your book, you will also find some important buttons:
The save button will save your work to your account. If you don't
have an account yet, you will be asked to create one. We
recommend that you save your work often.
If you mistakenly delete a prop or scene, or make edits to your
illustrations that you don't like, you can use the undo button to take
back these steps. Note that undo does not work inside text boxes.
When your book is ready to order, you can start the process and
preview the book with the order button. Note that your story must
be 16 pages or more for book printing.
The exit button will take you out of the creator tool. You will be
given the option to save your story or exit without saving.
StoryJumper has a bunch of fun art (props) that you can use to illustrate your
story. First we'll show you how to find props, then how to use them .
If you look at the left-side of your browser, you'll see a collection of tabs. At the
top is the props tab. It should already be open, but if not, click on it.
You'll notice that it s empty. That s because you need to go and find some props.
Go ahead and click on the more props button. Now you see a screen that looks
like this:
This selection is just a few props
selected at random to give you
some idea of what s in the prop
collection. However, let s say that
you are writing a story about
pirates. You can search for mor e
pirate related props using the
search more feature.
You can also find popular prop themes by clicking on the blue links on the left.
Once you've found what you're looking for, clicking on a prop will add it to your
props tab. You can continue to search and add until you've found every thing
you need. Then click the done button at the bottom of the
Tip: Though the library is always growing, sometimes you
may not find the props you need. If you don t find any
results for what you're looking for, you might try to
construct what you need out of shapes (search for
"shapes"). Another option is to try adjusting your storyline
to fit the props that you can find. You can also upload your
own drawings, which we ll cover later in the
Now your props tab should look m ore like this:
Adding Props
Now that you've selected the props you need, it s
time to add some to your story. First, click on the
page you want to place the prop. (The page should
be highlighted with an
Once the page is selected, just click once on the
prop you want to add, and the prop will jump over
to the page (you don t need to drag it.). The creator
tool will place it close to the center of your screen
so that it s easy to find.
Now that you have a prop on your page, you'll notice
it s surrounded by an orange box, and several blue
buttons. These buttons are prop controls (If you
don t see these, just click the prop on the page and
they'll reappear)
Each control let s you change the way the prop
looks on the page.
Here s how they work:
To change the size of your prop, click-and-hold the button while
dragging across the page.
To rotate your prop, click-and-hold the button while dragging it.
This will make your prop spin in a circle.
To flip your prop to the left or right, just click this button once.
When one prop is behind another, click this button to move it
ahead (or on top) of the other prop.
When one prop is in front of another, click this button to move it
back ( or behind) the other prop.
Clicking the copy button will duplicate the selected prop on the
page. This is useful for quickly creating many versions of the
same art.
Clicking the delete button will remove the prop from the page.
You can also select a several props as a
group. Just click-hold into an empty area
on the page and drag your mouse across
the props you want to select. To release
the group, just click into an empty area
(*Note that only text boxes cannot be
grouped with props)
StoryJumper also has backgrounds or
scenes that you can use to illustrate your
story. You'll find the scenes tab just under the
props tab.
Just like props, you can search for scenes by
clicking the more scenes button and
sear ching for the background you need.
However, unlike props, scenes cannot be re-
sized, rotated or moved around.
If you want to flip a scene from left to right,
use the flip control in the page navigation bar.
= flip scene
If you want to delete a scene, click the blue
link next to the more scenes button.
Photos can be used as scenes or as props. When used as a scene, your photo
will fill the entire page with a fixed position. When used as props, you crop (cut)
the section you want to put on the page. Once added, it will behave just like a
prop (for example re-sizing, rotating, etc.).
Tip: For scenes, whenever possible use photos with landscape (wide)
dimensions instead of portrait (tall) dimensions. That way you can use more of
your photo on the page.
Uploading Photos
To get started, you'll need some photos. You can upload from your computer,
and soon you'll also be able to import from sites such as Flickr, MySpace,
FaceBook, and others.
(Important: For privacy, your photos
are not shared with other user s
unless you grant permission. Other
user s can only read your stories if
you change your Sharing
preferences (read more about
Sharing in step 9)
Start by opening the photos
tab and clicking the upload a
photo button.
Click the browse button at the
bottom of the screen to find
images on your computer.
Select the images you want to
upload. You can select multiple
images at one time by holding the
shift when selecting.
Your im ages will begin uploading
immediately. If you want to
upload more images, you don t
have to wait! Just click the
browse button again and find
more photos to add to the list.
When you're finished, just click
Your photo tab now has images. Now you'll
decide how you want to use them in your story.
When you click on an image, you must choose
between prop and scene.
Cropping Photos
To create a background with
your image that will cover the
entire page, choose the scene
Move and resize the white
rectangle to select the area you
want for the page, and then click
Or, choose the prop option if
you want to be able to move
your image around, or want to
use special cropping shapes,
such as square, oval, star, or
First choose a shape from the
drop-down menu, and then
resize and orient the
transparent area for your
selection. Then click done.
You can see a preview of your cropped image before it is added to your
page. If you don t like it, click redo to re-crop the image. Other wise, click
Now the scene or prop
image will automatically
appear on the
highlighted page.
If you want to use your cropped prop or
scene on another page, just check your
props and scenes tabs and you'll find
them there.
You can even use your art in other books, too. Just click on the more
props button, and then click the orange
my photo props
link on the left-
hand side of the search page.
Finally, at the bottom of the tabs, you'll find one for
entering the text of your story.
In the creator, you have the freedom to move and format
text however you like. There are two two types of text
boxes, and each have different features: big text box
and labels.
Using the big text box
The big text box is the very first option in your text tab.
You'll want to use this when you are creating a page full
of sentences and paragraphs. Clicking this option in the
tab will place a box in the middle of the selected page
that behaves like a text editor, such as Microsoft Word.
You'll see some familiar controls such as resize and
move forward/back. You'll also see some new ones:
Clicking the fill button lets you select a
background color to fill the text box.
Highlight the text you want to change and then
click the arrow to select a new font.
Font size
Highlight the text you want to change and then
click to select a new font size.
Font styles
Highlight the text you want to style and then
click B for bold text or
Font color
Highlight the text you want to change and then
click to select a color from the pop-up.
Text alignment
Highlight the text you want to align and then
click Left, Center, or Right
Using Labels
Labels are much like props, except
that you can enter text into them. If
you resize them, the text will
automatically shrink or expand to fit
the surrounding artwork.
Labels are good for short bits of
text, such as naming the location
on a map, entering a specific date,
or conversation between
For most stories, you'll want to do
most of your text in the big text
box, and use the labels when
working with illustrations and
Tip: For best results, try to pick one
font style and size for your story
and stick with it. Too many
changes will make your story
difficult to read.
After finishing your story, you should review what you've written and polish it up
so that it s easy to read. Her e are some tips for editing your story.
Spelling, Punctuation, and Grammar.
Yes, they re all really important. Check your story for all three of these,
ideally one at a time so that you can really focus.
Read it aloud.
The fastest and simplest way to catch errors in your story is to read it out
loud �C even if you r e by yourself. Sentences that seemed natural when you
first wrote them may no longer fit. You'll also catch some additional errors
that a spell-check or grammar-check might not find. (for example "to" vs.
"too", or "they re" vs. "their".)
Watch for passive voice.
Using passive voice usually makes your sentences sound weaker and
less interesting. What is passive voice? It s when the subject of your verb
is on the receiving end of the action. It s easier to understand with an
"The ball
was hit
by John."
the ball."
In the first sentence, it sounds like John is having something done to him
that is out of his control, while in the second example, John is in control
and his action is powerful. The easiest way to find passive voice in your
story is to look for the following verbs:
am, is, are, was, were, be, being,
. Anytime you see another verb after these words, it s probably
passive voice.
Say it with less
The best writing communicates more with fewer words. Poetry is a great
example of this since it can communicate such an amazing range of
emotion and imagery in so few words. As you review your story, look for
words, sentences -- possibly even whole pages -- that aren t helping tell
the story, or are telling the reader what she already knows.
When you're finished writing your story, it s time to create your book cover. The
StoryJumper creator makes it easy. In the navigation bar, click on the Book
Cover page (the very first box).
Start by giving your book a title. Whatever you type in the Title box will be
printed across the top of your book s cover.
Next, you can add an attribution, such as "by Jimmy Smith". Or if you
don t want an attribution, you can just delete the text.
If you want to change the text font, click on the "Aa" buttons.
Select an image for your cover. The creator picks the first page of graphics
automatically. Click the Cover Page drop down to change it.
Finally, select your background and text colors. Your front cover is done.
Next, select the Dedication page from the navigator. This is the place to
write a special message to someone that inspired you to write your story,
or as a congratulations note if you're making the book as a birthday gift.
Your last step is to use the navigator to scroll all the way to the end of your
story to the Back Cover page. Here, all you need to do is select another
image. Try selecting a different image than your front cover, perhaps
something that shows your character encountering one of the obstacles in
the story. This will interest your reader more when they are looking at the
book cover.
Click the exit button and save your changes.
Now your book is ready to share and order !
You can share your StoryJumper stories online with anyone you choose.
On your story page, find the Share this Story section and click the
On the next page there are three options and one checkbox:
For any story you create, your privacy setting will automatically be "Only Me".
To share with people you know, choosing the "Friends and Family" option will
allow you to email a link that they can click to view your story.
If you'd like for your story to be considered for inclusion in the StoryJumper library
of public stories, choose "Anyone" and click save.
Finally, StoryJumper has a special feature that allows people to copy, change
and re-mix stories that other users have written. If you would like to allow other
people to use, copy, or change your story idea, click on the checkbox.