“Don’t settle for anything less that what you really love.”
Why did you become a book publisher? We work, live, and travel on a sailboat. We we were having a hard time finding publishers that wanted the work we were generating. It was very niche. Everything from children's books and postcards about local areas, to articles about the health of marine life. It was too specific, not enough people understand boats, lots of reasons. But we had important things to say, and we found that there were people interested. We didn't just want to write about boats, or just children's books, or just environmental topics. So we did it ourselves. We write it on a boat. It's about the everything from minimalist living, to living off the grid, to appreciating nature. It's for adults and for kids. It's not for anyone specific. We don't see ourselves as niche. We see ourselves as for everyone. We're a breath of fresh air.
What do you like best about publishing? I enjoy being free to create what I think needs to be out there. I get a great idea, and I bring it to life with no limitations except myself. I like that we work on the boat. I enjoy the physical and intellectual challenge of bringing together the things we experience and presenting that to other people.
What do you publish? Children's books, postcards, posters, essays
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? Instagram, Goodreads, Twitter, Facebook, word of mouth
How do you define a successful title? I love it. The people who get it love it.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. I just finished a new one, that isn't available for sale yet, that I am very proud of. I think of all the ones that are available, I am most proud of how much Lightning Fish took off. We even did a project with an ESL class, so that it was able to be translated into Spanish. They learned tech skills and also realized during the project that knowing multiple languages was a good thing, and not something to be embarrassed about. That was really something to be proud about.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? I get impatient, and the entire process of writing, of illustration, of creation, is something that demands patience. So it is frequently a challenge for me. It pits the worst parts of myself against my desire to make something I'm really pleased with.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Don't settle for anything less that what you really love.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? I have a couple more years worth of ideas of books and posters planned out, so I'll be working hard in 5 years I think.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? Kayak, hike, sail, bike, binge watch HBO, paint, and of course read.
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