Local author spreading timely message
It is true irony that children's author Jon Riggs published his first book just ahead of the current COVID-19 pandemic, and when the entire world was paying attention to hygiene, coughs and sneezes.
Ironic because the title of his children's book is "Frank Has the Sniffles."
Riggs self-published his book last year, and with the current focus on prevention and hygiene, he indicated that the book has recently received more attention.
"At the time I started writing the book, I was living with a couple of good friends," explained Riggs. "They had children and they coughed and sneezed into their hands or just didn't cover at all. It got me to thinking, was there a way I could teach children to be more cautious with their coughs and their sneezes?"
"I thought of a cute jingle and the characters in the book and put it all together."
He added that when he first published the book, it was hard to get traction in marketing it. Getting through to schools and daycares proved to also be difficult.
"With everything going on now, I saw the opportunity to show the importance and the benefit of learning a new way of doing that," he noted of the content of the book, which focuses on covering coughs and sneezes.
Riggs, who was born and raised in Battle Ground, Washington, has lived in Prineville for approximately two years. He also has a small engine repair business.
The children's book involves a character, Frank, a young monkey, who goes through a small journey where he is taught by the elders in his community on how to deal with coughs and sneezes. It is a colorful picture book aimed at a young audience up to 11 years of age.
Currently Riggs is utilizing social media to market his book and considering a follow-up series if things pick up. He commented that self-publishing poses a challenge, and he currently sells his book through Amazon.
"If you search in Amazon, "Frank Has the Sniffles" will come up. Also, the video as well on YouTube," he added.
Riggs explained that there was a substantial investment in the formatting, illustrations and the self-publishing costs of bringing his book to market. The book has colorful illustrations throughout and is written for a young audience. The artist who did the pictures was Ian C. Bristow, from Battle Ground, Washington.
"It all depends on the success of this book," he said of the potential to write more books. "I'm going to give it a real good go."
He said that it took approximately one year to write and finish the book.
"I definitely didn't realize how much work goes into it, and how much you need other people."
He added that he still needed another person to help edit, even though it was mostly a picture book.
To purchase "Frank Has the Sniffles," go to Amazon and type in the name of the book.
To view the video on YouTube:
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