Posted by: Kathy Temean | September 11, 2011

Authors – Illustrators – Opportunity – uTales

Yesterday, Ariane briefly mentioned her book with uTales and I said I had info on this to share with you. uTales is in Beta testing right now, but anyone who wants to go on can use this link:  and use the password: kathy to get into their site. They will ask you to agree with their terms and agreement, but this is not giving any of your rights away.

This could be the answer to all you writers who would like to do something with your book, but can’t find an illustrator.  Below are some questions you might have.

What is uTales?

uTales is a world of digital picture books for kids, driven by a worldwide community of passionate and professional writers and illustrators.

uTales is both a website and an app, but more importantly uTales is one big disruptive idea. We’re a global community aiming to innovate and improve the concept of books in every way we can. We’re making picture books more modern and engaging. We’re making a greater variety of picture books more accessible for kids everywhere. We’re eliminating boundaries for talented storytellers to get published. And we’re trying to make the world a little better for kids, one story at a time.

How does uTales insure the quality of the books?

Only books approved by uTales will be featured in the uTales store and apps. uTales is proud to have an internationally diverse editorial advisory panel in place to approve all books before they are published to insure and uphold the highest safety and quality standards for our readers. This panel is made up of award-winning professional editors, authors, illustrators, and educators.

Our UQEP panel is led by children’s book editor and consultant, Emma D. Dryden, who has, over the course of the past twenty-five years, edited and published hundreds of books for young readers in her work with Margaret K. McElderry Books and Atheneum Books for Young Readers, imprints of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Emma oversees drydenbks, her own children’s book consultancy company, is a member of the American Library Association, and a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators Board of Advisors.

How do I support charity by using uTales?

We are very proud to have a partnership with Pencils of Promise, and that we, together with our uTalers, help them build schools in developing countries. Our uTalers have the choice to give up to 100% of their earnings to support Pencils of Promise – so every time you read one of their books, you bring education to a child in need.

Beyond that, we create specific uTales books with 100% of the earnings going to Pencils of Promise – and we hope to be doing even more together with PoP in the future. We’re building uTales for the kids.

For more information on Pencils of Promise, check out their fantastic website:

Can I end my uTales subscription at any time?

Yes you can.

For how long will I keep books I have purchased on uTales?

For as long as you have an account registered with us.

How do I create books on

Simply start a new book in our create tool on the website.
Once your book is approved by our UQEP panel (a process that generally takes from a few days up to two weeks), it will be available globally on and in the uTales apps.

Do I give away all my rights as a creator?

No, of course not! We are trying to offer the most transparent and simple setup on the market. You’ll find all our terms on the website, but in short you give us the right to sell and distribute your content – all other rights you keep. You will still have the copyright to your material, and you are free to use it in other contexts or set up deals with others for merchandise, printed books, movie deals etc. No problem. We believe that being good to our users will always pay off.

How does the payment and charity setup for creators work?

Readers can either purchase separate stories for $2.99-$7.99 (as a creator you set your own price for each story), or they can access all stories with a monthly subscription of $9.99. For both separate sales and subscriptions, 60% of the earnings after transaction costs (PayPal and payment system providers) will go to the uTalers. In the subscription mode, the total subscription earnings are divided between all uTalers based on their relative number of reads. Earnings are paid out every three months to the uTalers’ PayPal accounts.

As a uTaler, you can then choose to give between 10-100% of your earnings to support Pencils of Promise building schools in developing countries.

Can I collaborate with other creators?

Sure thing! Once you have started a new book, you can easily invite other uTalers or friends to co-create the book with you. Just click “Add co-creators” and then enter the name of the uTaler, or the email address of your friend, to invite them. All earnings from the book will then be divided evenly between the co-creators. You can also find co-creators by joining our collaborations group on Facebook.

Where can I follow my sales statistics?

When logged in, each uTaler can access their latest statistics for 
individual sales and number of reads in the earnings section on the website. There, you can also see how much you have earned so far and how much you have supported Pencils of Promise with.

Can I create books in multiple languages?

Yes you can. In the create tool, you can already now create books in many different languages. Over time as the different language libraries grow to become big enough, they will be launched on and in the uTales app so that consumers can access those languages as well.

Where can I stay up to date with the latest uTales news?

Simply join us on Facebook, Twitter and our blog, where we give you the latest news and always welcome conversation.

NEWS: you can now animate your uTales books in seconds!

Ps. You can find collaborators for your uTales books in uTaler collaborations group.

Talk tomorrow,



  1. This sounds like it’s very innovative and a very good opportunity for authors and illustrators to get published. I’ve often seen Emma D. Dryden’s name over the years. Just look at her credentials and it seems a pretty safe bet it’ll be good!

    Thanks for gathering the info, Kathy 🙂


    • Well, uTales launches tomorrow, I’ve got 2 stories up there, “Pearl the Porcupine”, and “The Three Little Warthogs”. Emma has helped me edit other stories of mine. Here’s hoping uTales will be successful and provide an opportunity to many talented writers and illustrators and of course children!


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