Five Favourite Books For Encouraging Speech In Toddlers

Here on Rock Paper Spirit, we love to welcome contributions from other writers and bloggers. Today we welcome blogger Kim Hogg for this special guest appearance, where she will be sharing which books are her favourites for encouraging speech in toddlers.

My eldest son is 3 and while he is now seen to speak, it hasn’t always been this way. He was over 18 months old before he finally said “mum”, and he was nearly 3 before we could start to have a vaguely sensible conversation with him. I have spent a lot of time working on his speech at home, and have found a variety of activities that work well for him and don’t seem like “work”.

His favourite one is reading books. I have always been a bookworm, so a love for stories is something I am keen to encourage in both my children. I have found repetition is key to encouraging speech, making the words easily recognisable as they have been heard hundreds of times before, and so I tend to read the same 2 or 3 books repeatedly for a few weeks and then move on to the next set.

For us, I have found the best books for encouraging speech in toddlers to be books that rhyme. The slightly rhythmic way they are read, plus the anticipation of the rhyming word at the end of the line means that eventually they feel compelled to say it. After I have read a book a few times (over a couple of days – it doesn’t have to be all at once) I then start to pause towards the end of a sentence, allowing him the space to say the word if he would like. He often doesn’t, and that’s ok, it’s all about giving him the option.

Using that method Piglet can now recite whole chunks of text from his favourite books with no prompting at all. It’s perhaps not as useful as being able to tell me when he would like a drink or what he wants to play with, but it goes a long way in building his confidence in speaking out loud.

We have built up quite a collection of rhyming books over the last 3 years, but these are our favourites:

Never Touch A Dinosaur

books speech delay

This book is doubly fun, as it not only rhymes but also has different textured pages for them to touch too. We used to have the Never Touch A Monster version but it was so well used that it started to fall apart! We got this one at Christmas and it is read most days.

It is on the shorter side, which makes it perfect if you’re just getting started. There’s no need to try and hold their attention for an extended period, and for my dinosaur mad boy the characters are perfect.

Dinos On Deck

books encourage speech

Sticking with the dinosaur theme, Dinos On Deck is another favourite. As well as the rhyming pattern, each page comes with a sound to help keep children engaged with the story. Again, it is a shorter story but it is one we read 3 or 4 times in a row regularly.

Hide And Seek Pig

books children language

This is one of our all time favourites, and the repetition in the story meant that it was one of the first ones that Piglet started voluntarily speaking in. At one stage I was reading it every night before bed, for around 6 or 7 months. No matter how many times it’s been read the lift the flaps never seem to get boring!

A Squash And A Squeeze

childrens books speech delay

Similar to Hide And Seek Pig, A Squash And A Squeeze follows a similar format per page – that familiarity is key! The inclusion of common farmyard animals always helps, and often sparks other ideas such as singing Old Macdonald Had A Farm. There are quite a few Julia Donaldson books that have the same effect, like the Gruffalo, Zog and Monkey Puzzle.

Stick Man

toddler speech delay

More recently we have been reading longer books with less repetition, but still following the rhyming patterns that I find so effective. They are no less popular, and now that reading is a habit we are both in to Piglet regularly asks to read Stick Man. Santa does make a little cameo – but that doesn’t stop us reading it all year round.

If you’d like to read more of Kim Hogg’s posts, you can check out her own blog and social channels below.

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Interview: Normandy Piccolo, Author of Bullied: Dying To Fit In

Here on Rock Paper Spirit, I’ve been featuring a lot of author interviews recently and today I’d like to welcome Normandy Piccolo. This interview won’t be set anywhere crazy or weird because the book we’re going to be talking about is Bullied: Dying To Fit In. I feel that an on-location interview wouldn’t be appropriate for this, so we’re just going to have a chat, but I’ll following my usual line of questioning.

Normandy Piccolo bullied dying to fit in author interview

Normandy, welcome! Can you tell us a little bit about Bullied: Dying to Fit In and what prompted you to write it?

Well, one day I read a story about a young girl in New York who had committed suicide on the train tracks because of being bullied. I had read other bullying-suicide stories before and they were terribly upsetting. But there was something about this girl’s story that hit home. I cried and tried to understand why I had such an emotional reaction. And it was in that moment I realized the depth of pain I had been carrying inside of me from my own experiences from being bullied. I knew I had to heal, but I also knew I never wanted someone to feel the way I had been feeling for most of my life. Before I knew it, Bullied: Dying to Fit In came to be.

It’s also been nominated for an award, hasn’t it? Can you tell us how that felt? I’m guessing it’s bittersweet because of the subject matter?

Yes. Bullied: Dying to Fit In was nominated for the Advocacy/Social Justice Award for the 2019 In the Margins Book Award. To be honest, I felt very humbled. Because of this recognition, Bullied: Dying to Fit In will be able to get into the hands of many kids who need help dealing with such a painful topic.

At the age of 15 I had suicidal thoughts. And back then, in the 1990s, I don’t remember books like this being around. There just weren’t any. Is it important for you to reach teens who may be contemplating suicide or feeling depressed or is it more important to reach out to the adults who can make a difference in their lives?

I am so sorry to hear you struggled with suicidal thoughts. I did, too. I am so thankful you are still here and helping so many people. You have a beautiful heart and soul, Lacey.

My hope is that Bullied: Dying to Fit In helps teens learn how to overcome and/or better handle negative feelings. I hope the book is also able to help adults who may still be carrying pain from being bullied when they were younger. And, for those who have never been bullied, I hope the books helps them better understand how being bullied feels. To help someone, you must understand how they truly feel, especially if you have never walked in those shoes. We all have past hurts. We all need to heal from those past hurts.

I wrote ‘Bullied Dying to Fit In’ in a certain format to enable the reader to recognize those feelings as “their own”. The format also allows for those who have never been bullied to understand how painful it can be. I hope too, it can help parents who have a child being bullied or lost a child who was bullied to understand the pain their child is or had endured and perhaps answer some of the ‘whys’ this bullying occurred.

This isn’t your only book available, is it? You’ve had quite a varied career! Can you tell us a little bit about your other releases please?

My gift of writing comes from God. I never know what He is going to have me write next. It makes it fun and adventurous. But sometimes it can be emotionally draining, too.

Lately I have been writing on serious topics. Both in my books and on my blog. I will have a new book coming out soon that deals with the topic of ‘Cutting’. Writing such painful topics takes a toll. Thankfully I get to mix-it up a little bit by writing fun stories, too. My latest book, ‘My Little Peanut Does the Nuttiest Things’ recently partnered with a charity that helps low-income children. Details on how people can help this charity will be posted on our websites soon. You can check out my other books by visiting www.NormandysBrightIdeas.com

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot or spirit animal?

My spirit animal is the Golden Eagle. The beauty of this animal is that it rises above a storm by literally using the same storm to push itself upward. Life is full of many storms. You must fight hard not to get your wings soaked and fall to the ground. But if you should fall, the great thing is, you can dry off your wings, catch the next storm and have faith you will soar above it this time.

What does literary success look like to you?

Because of the topics I write about, to me, success is helping someone. If what I write helps one person, my objective has been achieved. I never became a writer for hope of financial success. It’s what God put me here to do. I have been writing since I was five-years-old. I care and like helping people either avoid pitfalls or overcome those pitfalls. In other words, glean something from my mistakes.

Have you ever had an occasion where you’ve changed someone’s life for the better through writing? Tell us a bit about what happened and how you felt.

I did get a letter from a Mom once who read Bullied: Dying to Fit In. She said it helped give her comfort and information on how to better understand what her daughter was going through. When she was done reading it, she passed it along to her daughter. She said the book helped give her daughter a new perspective on her bullying situation. Today, her daughter is thriving. She’s an overcomer.

If you were a pizza, what flavour would you be?

I would have to say a California Four Cheese. I’m multifaceted.

Do you find that you’ve changed since your first book was published? It could be any kind of change at all, even just a little thing that nobody notices.

Definitely. Writing Bullied: Dying to Fit In was very healing. I learned to forgive those who hurt me. Forgiveness is the key to healing and moving on. I also learned to forgive myself. For what you might ask? For allowing someone to have such negative control over me that I fell into a pit of self-hatred. Others hating you feels awful but hating yourself feels even worse. I have learned to love and accept myself. I have finally come to a place where I embrace my imperfections. I’m not perfect. I never will be. And I’m okay with that.

That’s such a beautiful outlook. It makes me think of the butterfly on the cover of Bullied: Dying To Fit In. The cover image with the blue butterfly on the black background really grabbed my attention. Did you have any input in that cover, or any of your covers, or do you leave it up to the designers to take control?

Normandy Piccolo bullied dying to fit in author interview

I designed the book cover. I chose the butterfly because of its ability to evolve from one creature, like a caterpillar, into another, a butterfly. It represents the ability to grow, heal and change. I chose blue because blue is often associated with the topic of bullying. Future book covers will be designed by my amazing friend and illustrator, Elizabeth Marie A. I love doing art, but I love writing more.

And because no Lacey interview is complete without this question: what is your favourite biscuit/cookie?

My mom’s homemade Oatmeal Raisin Cookies.

They sound delicious! Normandy, thank you so much for joining me on Rock Paper Spirit today. Can you please finish by telling us where we can find Bullied: Dying to Fit In and your other books online, and also where we can find more information about you?

Bullied Dying to Fit In is available on Amazon.com, along with my other books. You can find direct links on my website and read more about me at www.NormandysBrightIdeas.com

Thank You so much for the interview on Rock Paper Spirit, Lacey.

Interview: Solving A Murder Mystery With J S Strange

Happy St. David’s Day readers! To celebrate this special day here on Rock Paper Spirit, I’ve invited Welsh author J S Strange to join me for an evening of fine Welsh food, great conversation about Jack’s new book and… murrrrderrrr! Yes, it’s a murder mystery themed party and somebody’s just been murdered. Can Jack Strange figure out who did the foul deed? Read on to find out! (Disclaimer: This is an interview with Jack for which neither of us have been paid, but there are a couple of affiliate links, from which I will receive a small amount of commission if you make a purchase)
j s strange jack strange author cardiff wales gay detective fiction murder on the rocks writer interview
Welcome to Rock Paper Spirit, Jack. Thanks so much for coming along to this murder mystery dinner with me. I’ve really enjoyed the meal but now it’s time for dessert. I think I’ll have the… *lights go out* What’s happening? *lights go back on* Oh, great. You’re OK. Tell me about your new book, Murder On The Rocks. It’s set in Wales, is that right? Was it important for you to write about a familiar setting?
That’s right. I had the idea for Murder on the Rocks and knew it would be set in Cardiff, and wider areas of south Wales. The setting was a very important factor for me. I wanted a novel set in Wales because out of all the crime novels I had read, there were none set in Wales. I know there are a few out there with some good following to them, but compared to the likes of Edinburgh’s Rebus and London’s Strike, Cardiff just wasn’t comparing. I was also aware of writing a ‘real’ story – that is, one that didn’t involve zombies like my last novel did. There had to be a sense of realism to the characters, their situations and where they lived, and I knew Cardiff well, and Wales is where I was born and where I live, so it was a natural choice to go with something familiar.
j s strange jack strange author cardiff wales gay detective fiction murder on the rocks writer interview

Have you ever used a kitchen utensil to fight crime before? *wipes prints off pizza cutter with a napkin*

Maybe not crime, but when I was drunk one time I had a spoon fight with a friend.

We’ve all been there! When you were building the characters for this book, were there any particular aspects of their personalities or any qualities that you felt it was important they had? 

There were many personality traits I thought were important. Jordan Jenner is not your average nice guy. He’s not horrible, but his personality can come across quite blunt and rude. In Murder on the Rocks he has just returned to work after the death of his estranged mother. They may not have spoken or been close, but he is grieving in his own way. This makes him a character that is not forthcoming in great personality traits. Early readers have called him unlikable, and maybe he is, but personally I think that is missing the point. He’s hurting, and he’s confused. He also doesn’t like letting people in to his life, so he cuts people out or pushes them away. I’m more conscious whilst writing book two to explain this further, and make him a bit more likeable.
He’s also a gay man. His sexuality isn’t a massive plot device of this novel. Instead, he’s just a private investigator who happens to be gay. I first wanted to write a female lead, but it dawned on me that there are very little gay male leads, so enter Jordan. It was incredibly important to me to represent a gay character as the lead, especially one who did exactly the same job as other detectives. There are hints at romance, ones that will be developed at later points as the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series goes on. My main aim was to make sure people knew he was gay, and also that they knew it didn’t impact the story or who he is.

Do you believe in writer’s block or is it just an excuse for not doing any work?

I do believe in writer’s block, and actually it was writer’s block that made me write this. I had been writing horror zombie novels, which had been going relatively well. However, after book two it just stopped. I couldn’t get a plot for book three, and I had planned to write three or four. I had it all figured out in my head until book two published, and then it was gone. So I knew I needed to write something else, and I had the idea for a murder mystery novel. I intended to write a gritty crime thriller, but found the finished result was something cosier, and more of a whodunit.
j s strange jack strange author cardiff wales gay detective fiction murder on the rocks writer interview

Aww, no way. The murder weapon was a pizza cutter! *wipes pizza crumbs from mouth* If you were a pizza, what flavour would you be and why?

I would be a jalapeño one, with a BBQ base. I like to think I have a spicy taste!

Good choice! How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It really depends. I can get the first draft done in a few months, but before I know it a whole year has passed. My last novel published in 2017, and I had visions of publishing in 2018, but Murder on the Rocks took up that time, and is now being published March 2019. I’m getting through book two, hoping to publish it this year to keep the momentum alive, but we’ll see! I also hope to publish a third, separate book this year. Whether or not that will happen is another question!

Looks like everyone suspects the butler is the murderer. What a cliché… What literary clichés irritate you?

In gay fiction, what annoys me is the stereotypical ‘dad doesn’t like me because I’m gay’, or a struggle with sexuality with dramatic consequences to aid the plot. Sometimes it works, and sometimes there are reasons for that. People do live with dramatic consequences and families that don’t accept them, but the plot device of dramatic struggling gay people are becoming tired, especially because that doesn’t represent everybody’s experience.

Who do you think the murderer was at this party?

I’m yet to find out, because we’ve been talking. I haven’t had the chance to garner information from other attendees. But you seem very interested in who the culprit might be, don’t you?

I can’t believe you guessed it was me! OK, it was kind of obvious. I wonder what your prize is. Oh, it’s a weekend away. What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I love visiting America. I’ve been to Florida, New York, California, Vegas, San Francisco and Nevada. America is a beautiful country, and there are so many things there to see and do. I would definitely return and go other places. Amsterdam is also up there. I felt like I could live there forever, if it wasn’t for the inflating prices.
j s strange jack strange author cardiff wales gay detective fiction murder on the rocks writer interview

Can you tell us quickly about your previous releases, before we finish up?

Murder on the Rocks is the first time I’ve written in the mystery genre, and it’s released today. My previous releases, which are available now, were zombie novels featuring a 17-year-old socialite as she escaped London. Winter Smith: London’s Burning and Winter Smith: The Secrets of France saw government conspiracy and a lot of death.

And finally, because no Lacey interview is complete without this one question, what’s your favourite biscuit?

Definitely a Bourbon. It always has been and always will be!

Thanks for joining me on the blog today. Oh look, the murder victim is up dancing. What a comeback! And congratulations! I heard that Murder On The Rocks is already a bestseller and has hit number 1 in the  Where can we download it?

Murder on the Rocks is now available on Amazon.
j s strange jack strange author cardiff wales gay detective fiction murder on the rocks writer interview
You can also follow Jack on Twitter at @jacksamstrange

Interview: Time Travelling With Craig Hallam

Today on Rock Paper Spirit, we’re doing something a little different. I’ve stolen a time machine and travelled back to Victorian London with author Craig Hallam, who has written the Alan Shaw books, a series of steampunk adventures set in – you guessed it – Victorian London! (Disclaimer: Neither I nor Craig have been paid for this interview, but the post does contain links to Amazon from which I will receive a small amount of commission if you make a purchase)

craig hallam interview steampunk victorian london

Craig, welcome to my site and to the 19th century! Can you tell us a little bit about the Alan Shaw books please?

Hi Lacey. Thanks for having me along on your time machine. Have you noticed that everything is in black and white? How odd.

This is the about the right time period for Alan’s adventures. The series is a trilogy with each book containing several adventures. They chronicle the life of Alan from a young orphan who has just escaped the workhouse to his world-spanning adventures as an adult.

craig hallam interview steampunk victorian london

I had a few different things in mind that I wanted to include in these books so they’re a combination of several passions, really. I’m a fan of damaged heroes who sometimes stray on both sides of the moral line, heroes who don’t always know what they’re doing, don’t always win, and don’t always get some grand destiny. Sometimes people are just people trying to do the best with what they have. Mix that with a love of the Victorian Science Fiction aesthetic and my love of B-movie titles and you have the raw material for The Adventures of Alan Shaw.

I’ve read a lot of Steampunk over the years and one thing I always wanted to see was how the era developed. It’s often a given that we’re in the 1800s and dirigibles and automatons are a regular occurrence. These kind of books are also usually set in either England or America and I wanted to see what was going on elsewhere. So, as Alan grows up, not only do we see how the steampunk era develops from the introduction of a mechanical workforce in the first story “Alan Shaw and the Fate of the Automatons” but also how the technological development affects other countries and historical events when Alan gets wrapped up in the Indian Revolution in “Alan Shaw and the Brass Monkeys”.

So, there’s a lot to pack in there while keeping the pace breezy and exciting with lots of cool and diverse characters. I’ve had so much fun writing these books, it should be illegal.

Wait, we’re in Victorian London. Maybe it is!

craig hallam interview steampunk victorian london

I love that title – Alan Shaw and the Brass Monkeys! What inspired you to write a series rather than one larger volume?

Complete accident! I only intended to write one book at the beginning but as I wrote and fell more in love with Alan and his cast of supporting characters, I realised that there were so many more stories to tell. The idea stretched to a sequel, then I realised that a trilogy would be needed to do him any justice.

I fancy some jellied eels. We should buy some at the market! But I just realised I don’t have any Victorian money. We’ll have to earn some if we want to eat. How would you go about making money if you lived in this era?

Looks like we’ve arrived around the docks, so there’s always some handy work needing doing. I’d love to say I’d be an adventurer like Alan and his Privateer friends but I don’t have the skills or bravery. Maybe there’s a pub that needs some pots washing? That sounds like my level of knowledge.

craig hallam interview steampunk victorian london

Mine too, actually. Alan Shaw seems like a steampunk version of Indiana Jones, from what I’ve seen in reviews and the blurb on Amazon. Is that how you would describe him or do you take another view?

You’re absolutely right. That’s the vibe I was going for. I love those movies and the way Indie rarely really knows what he’s doing. He’s charismatic but also kind of an idiot sometimes. I like the lovable rogue type. And the kind of adventure where the characters drive the plot is my favourite kind.

Do you think it’s important to create books that are truly original or do you think it is more important to give readers what they know and like?

That’s a tough one. I think that any creative has to be true to their own vision, style and ideals. It’s your story that you’re telling after all. How can readers know if something new is what they want if they haven’t read it yet? However, it’s always a good idea for an author to pay attention to what readers are saying. Not in a way that reviews and opinions should tell them how to write their story, but in a way that constructive criticism is vital to making sure that you improve in your art/craft. So if a lot of people are saying the same thing, it’s probably best to bear it in mind.

I’m not a fan of sex scenes or overt gory violence in my books, for instance. Some people have said that they’d like a little more…ahem…let’s call it physical romance from the Alan Shaw books. But that’s just not what I write. I think the characterisation comes in the romantic moments before a sexual encounter, and the aftermath. So that’s what I stick to. I love the “and the camera pans away” approach hahaha.

I agree. It’s sometimes sexier when you don’t “see” the act and it’s alluded to! Would you rather live in the 19th century with a successful writing career but no money or in the 21st century with a struggling writing career but with all the comforts and freedoms we have now?

Oooooh. Tough one. I think that being a starving author in the 21st century is much easier. I can get side work editing and giving writing advice thanks to the internet, I have a Patreon so that I can reach readers all over the world who help me afford to do little things like eat and get to signings across the country. To be perfectly honest, I don’t think I’d make it very well around here in the 19thcentury. I’m too doughy and spoiled by phones and laptops.

Ditto. These streets smell putrid. I wonder what that stench is. Oh wait…it’s industrial effluent in the Thames. Lovely. I did not expect that. What kind of research did you do on the era and the settings before writing the Alan Shaw books?

It certainly is…fragrant, isn’t it? A real treat for the senses. I’ve always been interested in the era so I had the same broad stroke information that other people have, I suppose. It was mostly researching the dates for large historic events and advancements when I started out the series. Then more engineering-based subjects to make sure that while I was stretching the limits of steam power and clockwork, that I wasn’t completely breaking them. Mechanical men powered by steam are ridiculously impractical and probably impossible, but at least making them sound plausible is great fun.

 

What do you think is the most unethical practice in the publishing industry?

I’m not sure it is technically unethical but there is something that certainly grinds my gears. I love trees as much as I love books. I hate how much waste comes from books printed by the BIG publishers, or rather the companies that they use to do so. There’s evidence all over the internet that thousands of books a year are ruined in huge deliveries, never sold, and often just thrown away because they’re imperfect. That’s one of the many reasons that I love my publisher, Inspired Quill, they print on demand not because they have to but because they think it’s right. They’re a very progressive group of people who really care about their readers and the world they live in.

That’s a really good answer. Ok, next question. You’re hosting a dinner party in the 19th century. What three guests from this era would you invite? Bonus points for telling us which of them drinks too much wine and lets slip an important secret.

I think it would have to be Emily Pankhurst, Nikola Tesla and Karl Marx. Can you imagine putting the world to rights over a few alcoholic beverages with those three? I think Tesla would be a lightweight and would probably end up gesticulating wildly and throwing together some impressive demonstration with things he’s found in the kitchen and hidden under the sofa.

craig hallam interview steampunk victorian london

Travel and adventure seems to be a big part of this series. How important is travel in your own life? What’s the most interesting place you’ve been?

I’m afraid I don’t get around as much as I’d like. The author life is sometimes a transient one but never a well-funded one in my experience hahaha. Places I’ve loved to visit are Edinburgh, Budapest, San Francisco and New York. They all have a real atmosphere that you can almost taste. I like places like that. But if I have a choice of somewhere to be, it’ll always be somewhere more natural. I’m a lover of lakes, hills, and forests in particular.

And because no Lacey interview is complete without this question, and I like to get down to the important issues, what’s your favourite biscuit?

I’m a fan of the humble custard cream. Give me a glass of milk and few of those little fellas and you’ll have a friend for life.

 

Nice! I’m a Penguin kinda girl, myself. Oh look, now that it’s getting dark they’re lighting the lamps. So much prettier than the bright orange streetlights that we have where I live in the 21st century. Well, we’d better get back in the time machine and go home. Thanks for joining me Craig, these books sound really awesome and I am definitely going to download them. Can you give us some links to show us where we can find you and your books online please?

Thanks so much for having me. I hope the time machine doesn’t use up too much plutonium or anything. You can find me and my books in the usual places:

Facebook

Twitter

Patreon

Amazon UK Author Page

Amazon.com Author Page

Greaveburn

Not Before Bed

The Adventures of Alan Shaw

Old Haunts (The Adventures of Alan Shaw 2)

Ziffit Review

If you’re a bookworm, and I know many of my readers are, you might be interested in this review. Ziffit is an app I hadn’t heard about until recently but it’s fast becoming one of my favourites. It’s a way to clear out your old books, CDs, DVDs, games etc. and make money at the same time. You can get it from your phone’s app store for free. It’s top left in the picture below. (Disclaimer: I have not been paid to write this post, nor have I received any free gifts as compensation. It is based on my own personal experience)

ziffit review money making apps old books

Ziffit came to my attention because it was advertised during the commercial break of Good Morning Britain. It’s a really simple idea. You use your smartphone to scan the barcodes of books, CDs, games and DVDs and if these items are in demand, or if they don’t have any copies of this already in stock, they’ll give you a small amount of money for them. The first thing I did was download the app to have a look around.

It’s really easy to navigate and the best thing is, you can try before you sign up for an account. I started scanning lots of books to see what kind of money I could make. The average amount for each book they accepted was around £0.45 so that’s pretty good, considering I would just have donated these books to charity anyway.

ziffit review money making apps old books

I tried a couple of DVDs and CDs but apart from the copy of Bhaji on the Beach that I bought for my Open Uni course and never watched, and a couple of exercise DVDs that I’ve had for years, they didn’t want them. They didn’t want any of my CDs.

Just out of curiosity, I decided to scan a few of my own paperbacks. They were only interested in one book and that was Leger: Cat Sleuth. I’m holding onto my mountain of my own paperbacks in the hope that at some point this year, I’ll get the mobile book shop idea off the ground. However, there was one copy of Leger: Cat Sleuth I really wanted to offload. I had gifted it to my former osteopath. He read it and gave it back. That book sat on my bookcase for years, taunting me, telling me that nobody wants my books, even when they’re given them for free – because depression will do that to you. Ziffit were willing to pay me 30p to get rid of that awful visual reminder of my imposter syndrome so I took it.

ziffit review money making apps old books

There were some really good quality, recently released books that they didn’t take. I tried another app, We Buy Books, and they were willing to take some of the ones that Ziffit don’t accept. However, they offer pennies for them. I’ve had about ten books accepted, in principle, by We Buy Books but I haven’t bothered to complete the transaction because I’m only making around £1.50 in total. It’s just not worth it. Ziffit however, are giving me over £15 for a bundle that would have been thrown away. That’s a trip to Nandos in the bag.

Worth noting this though. I got 8p for a copy of Oliver Twist. After the transaction was completed, my husband tried scanning the same book and was offered 59p for it. Do they offer more for books that have already been added to their collection? Do they offer less for books that are unfamiliar on their system? Do search results affect this? I’d be interested to know and I’ll be asking Ziffit for an explanation before I update this post next week.

We Buy Books did however, want some music. Bizarrely, the only two CDs they wanted were PJ & Duncan’s 1994 release, Psyche (don’t judge, I was 14 at the time and subscribed to Britannia music – I had to buy a CD every month) and my copy of Patent Pending’s Other People’s Greatest Hits.

Interestingly, the most valuable book, according to Ziffit, was my Open Uni Creative Writing workbook. It’s worth £4.50. However, I’m still using it and it’s annotated to the MAX so I doubt I’d get any money for it in the end.

ziffit review money making apps old books

My worry was this: I would have to pay more to send them the items than I would make. That’s a valid concern. I mean, books are heavy. When I completed the trade, they asked me to box them up and take them to a local convenience store, where a courier will pick them up. They emailed me a label and then after approval, I’ll find out which books they want and which they don’t. At that point, I’ll update this blog post to let you know if they really do pay out – which is the most important issue. I just wanted to share today because it’s worth letting my readers know that this app exists!

UPDATE: They accepted all the books I sent and the payment was in my account within a week.

If you use my referral code, you can get an extra £5 on your first trade over £10. You’ll also be given your own referral code to give to friends! The code is JZRP1NJXW. I also receive £5 for every 10 friends who sign up and complete a trade.

ziffit review money making apps old books

While we’re here though, do you know of any other apps where I can make money from spring cleaning? Let me know in the comment box below.

Disclaimer: I am not an affiliate of Ziffit. I tried to sign up for their affiliate scheme but their sign up site isn’t secure so I wouldn’t recommend that anyone else try either until they resolve this. I have received no money from Ziffit for this review. However, if you use my sign- up code, I receive £5 for every 10 referrals made. You can earn  this too if you sign up and request a unique referral code.