“I decided that it was time to get these stories out of my head and in print. Children’s literature seemed to be a perfect fit.”
Why did you become a book publisher? After working in the private sector in excess of 30 years, I decided to reinvent myself by joining the rapidly growing field of children's literature. In third grade, I remember walking downtown to the public library with library card in hand to check out another Nancy Drew mystery. In fifth grade, I won first place for a story I wrote. These stories have always been in my head. I decided that it was time to get these stories out of my head and in print. Children's literature seemed to be a perfect fit.
What do you like best about publishing? What I enjoy most about publishing is being my own boss and making decisions that will ultimately affect my future in this business. From working with the illustrator, who is responsible for bringing my words to life through illustration, to setting the price for my creation (which can be daunting) to seeing my dream come alive is very rewarding.
What do you publish? I publish children's literature for kids between the ages of two and seven. As I progress in this business, I plan to branch out and write stories that will attract an older audience.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? Currently, the most effective form of marketing for me is word of mouth and the social media site Facebook. Although, the Twitter page for my children's books is fairly new, the newly contracted ad space in a children's magazine might help drive business and new followers to my Twitter and Facebook pages. In addition, visiting children's museums, churches, daycare centers, and local bookstores are also good forms of marketing.
How do you define a successful title? A successful title, in my opinion, is one that is fun and draws you in at first glance. That title should be one that makes a potential buyer take the book off the shelf, run to the checkout, and curl up with the book.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. I am especially proud of my first book Charli's Fantastic Day at the Park. It is about a 5-year-old girl who has a wonderfully close relationship with her grandmother. I got the idea for this book about two years ago after the birth of my first grandchild who happens to be named Charli. I felt it was a wonderful way to memorialize her.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? I would consider getting my first book published on my own a huge success; however, it was a challenge for me. I knew what I wanted but wasn't sure how to get there. Consequently, I did a lot of research in my spare time until I found an illustrator I could work with (who happens to be in California). In addition, making decisions about print on demand or keeping inventory at my place of business was yet another conundrum. However, I decided to go with print on demand so as not to have the additional overhead.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Being a newcomer to this business, the only advice I have to offer is to not give up. I ran across a quote recently that resonated with me. It is as follows: "To accomplish great things we must not only plan but also believe." -- Anatole France
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? In five years, I anticipate my company being well established in the community with several books published.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? When I am not writing or publishing books, I like visiting with my family, cooking in what I affectionately call my "test kitchen", reading, exercising, or listening to jazz.
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