“My definition of success for a title is one that receives feedback that readers are touched and find the book to be compelling in so far as changing their perspective on an issue.”
Why did you become a book publisher? I worked in the corporate world for more than 30 years and wrote a myriad of documents. I have always enjoyed writing and desired to manage the direction of my personal work and to help others who have a passion for writing and need a channel to get their work out in the public domain.
What do you like best about publishing? I enjoy the freedom to perform all the processes without oversight and approval of another individual or entity. I enjoy being able to simplify the process for others who have the same aspirations for writing and who want access to distribute their work to the public.
What do you publish? I publish our work (children's books) as well as our clients work which range in a variety of genres.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? We are using social media (Facebook), newsletters and working within our community to network for fairs and public events. We could certainly use more targeted marketing campaigns and would like to learn more about other strategies including SEO and Internet campaigns.
How do you define a successful title? My definition of success for a title is one that receives feedback that readers are touched and find the book to be compelling in so far as changing their perspective on an issue. Or that it has provided insight that was not previously known or considered. Of course there is the unit/volume/sales criteria as well.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. I am especially proud of two titles and they are both part of a 3 book series. The series is titled: 'Michelangelo Tangelo' and the first book is 'The Search For Self Identity'. This book was my first book and is written from my personal struggle as a bi-racial child who wrestled with identity issues. Later in life as I became a Christian, I began to understand that God has a perfect will for all of us and that identity is not a function of race, but of who He created us to be. I know that many biracial children have this same concern (the question of 'what are you'?). Our third title in the series is: 'Michelangelo Tangelo - A Bully No More'. This book addresses peer pressure issues for elementary age children as a function of bullying. It seeks to cause children to become more aware of the peer pressure aspect of bullying and to self check their behavior so as to decide not to become a bully.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? Great question! Im still wrestling with this one! Perhaps my biggest challenge is truly believing that I can make a difference in this industry and or in the lives of some child. But then that is also my greatest motivator as well!
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Learn from reputable sites such as IBPA. Learn the business side as well as the creative side (I am a publisher, writer, illustrator, web designer). Wearing too many hats makes one a 'Jack of All Trades and Master of None' so besure to know what to outsource and know your skill set, its strengths and weaknesses!
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? My aspirations are to be able to specialize in fewer tasks and to afford to outsource more tasks to other specialists. I would like to grow our business in revenue 30% to 50% and to be able to participate in more events that build on core marketing and strategic business practices.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? I write about children's issues and to keep my finger on the pulse of their world perspective; I teach as a substitute teacher at the elementary school level. I so enjoy seeing their interaction, their concerns and issues and that helps me to validate many of the concepts in my 'Michelangelo Tangelo' series books. Prior to this, I had a 32 year career in the corporate world as a Project Manager. I managed major projects for an electric utility in Southern California (SCE). Now, that I successfully completed that career, I get to do what I really love!
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