Spotlight: MaryAnn Kohl, IBPA Board Member

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February 2014
by Linda Carlson

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Outgoing and enthusiastic, board member MaryAnn Kohl has spent almost 30 years in publishing, and she’s still excited about it. And, despite nearing traditional retirement age, she’s adding services to her Bright Ring Publishing company and pursuing another writing genre.

Because Kohl lives in Bellingham, WA, about 90 miles north of Seattle, she is among the IBPA members I know personally, someone it’s a delight to see at industry functions. In part that’s because Bright Ring demonstrates what so many experienced independent publishers advocate: Find a niche and focus on it.

Kohl started out as a teacher, so she knew children’s art well when she issued her first book in 1985. Scribble Art sold out its first press run within months, and similar titles soon followed. In 1994, Gryphon House published its first Kohl book, and for decades afterward, Kohl wrote a book a year, alternating between publication by Bright Ring and Gryphon House. Today, with national distribution handled by Legato, she has more than 2 million copies of her titles in print. Thousands of libraries—from Kohl’s hometown to Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Greece, Germany, and the Netherlands—have her books….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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