Talking with Our First "Rising Star" Winner

July 2004
by Jan Nathan, Executive Director, PMA

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This year at the Benjamin Franklin Awards, a wonderful new event occurred. Publishers Weekly joined with PMA to give the first Rising Star Award to a new publisher. PW presented a monetary stipend to the winner, and the magazine will feature the publishing company in an upcoming issue.

The company chosen? Thomas George Books of Rosemead, California. Since its story parallels the stories of so many other PMA startup publishers, I’m sharing a Q&A exchange between the publisher, Shirley Torres, and PMA’s publicist, Carol Fass. I think it will be uplifting to many of you who are starting out and a pleasant reminder to those of you who have grown over the years but can still remember when.

Q. Tell us about the history of your company. When was it founded and why?

A. Thomas George Books is a small, independent children’s book publisher located in Los Angeles, California. It was founded in 2002–by three individuals with little publishing experience, a small bank account, a genuine love for children’s literature, and an adventurous, entrepreneurial spirit–to produce the very best in children’s books. Our goals are simple, and our values are positive. We wish to enrich the lives of young people by creating books that will inform and inspire them, that will encourage them to think about the world around them, and that will open their hearts and minds to a lifelong love of reading and learning.

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