IBPA Member Spotlight: Lee Ann Mancini
Thursday, June 27, 2019
Posted by: Christopher Locke
Author Publisher Lee Ann Mancini Lands Television Show for Adventures of the Sea Kids
|IBPA member Lee Ann Mancini pictured with the cover of her book, Fast Freddy, and scenes from the new animated series, Sea Kids, based on her children's book series, Adventures of the Sea Kids
“I am excited beyond words!” says IBPA member Lee Ann Mancini about having her children’s book series, Adventures of the Sea Kids, turned into an animated show, Sea Kids, on Trinity Broadcasting Network. “Our producer, P23 Entertainment, did such an excellent job bringing our books to life! To know we will be reaching thousands of children for Christ is a dream come true.”
The TV deal came together as a result of Lee Ann marketing her books in the right setting. “Two years ago, I attended the National Religious Broadcasting convention in Orlando, Florida, after I was assured that I would do well in selling my Christian children’s books. After setting up my booth, I wondered why I was there as I was the only bright-colored booth selling children’s books amongst a sea of green, grey, and brown podcast, television, and radio booths. However, I sold out of all my books, even taking orders to be shipped. Then, one nice gentleman walked up to my booth and started looking at the books. As he flipped through the pages, he asked if I had ever thought about creating an animation series. I said, ‘I wish I had a nickel for every time someone asked if there is a DVD or animated show to go with the books.’ From that first meeting two years ago, P23 Entertainment produced the 26, 11-minute episodes and pitched the idea to Right Now Media and Trinity Broadcasting Network, solidifying signed contracts!”
It is not uncommon that authors and publishers have to give up creative control when they sell the dramatic rights to their books for film and television, but luckily this was not the case for Lee Ann. “I am one of the Executive Producers. My assistant and I wrote each synopsis and we were involved in approving the final scripts; the choosing of the voice actors; picking the new logo; and so much more. I did not have to give up total control and it was an honor to work with P23 Entertainment in creating this series.”
|Author publisher Lee Ann Mancini's book series, Adventures of the Sea Kids
A TV show can bring excellent attention to a book series, and Lee Ann is counting on this. “Tapping into the television and streamlining markets will afford great exposure of our products, and we will use that to reach a larger audience for the books. I intend on writing more books, creating games, toys, and merchandise as well.”
For Lee Ann’s next project she is working on “a guide that will help parents, grandparents, teachers, ministry leaders, etc. raise the next generation to have a strong foundation in Jesus.”
Three Questions with Author Publisher Lee Ann Mancini
IBPA: Can you share advice for other writers looking to have their books adapted into a TV series?
Lee Ann Mancini (LM): I personally believe if you have a unique product that fulfills a need; is of excellent quality; in addition to having funds for marketing, anything is possible if it is the will of God. You must be diligent and patient. Learn everything you can about the industry. Join IBPA and other organizations pertaining to your book(s) because networking is a key element. Florida Authors and Publishers Association (which is an IBPA affiliate) is also an organization that I highly recommend as an excellent resource in the industry. Do not listen to naysayers, everyone has an opinion. Listen to those who are successful and who offer advice that is beneficial.
IBPA: Can you list three key lessons you’ve learned about how one can succeed as an independent publisher?
- I would purchase Sarah Bolme’s book, Your Guide to Marketing Christian Books, as it was a treasure trove of information, or any other guide that is informative. Education is a key element in understanding the how, when, where, and what of publishing.
- Know your audience and your competition within your genre. You need to write something that is unique and produced in high quality. Also, submit your book for awards. My first award was a Silver IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award winner. It opened doors for me as I could now say I was an award-winning author publisher.
- After you educate yourself about the publishing industry, write a business plan and a marketing plan. Know what needs to be done each step of the way. Never overlook or assume something is correct. Double-check everything. I once had to destroy six thousand books because when I met with my printer to approve the final layout of the book, I assumed my illustrator sent the correct manuscript to the printer. When marketing, be wise and target your audience, and don’t waste time and money marketing in general publications. I remember paying $2,000 for an ad that I was talked into and I received zero return on the investment.
IBPA: How has it been beneficial to you to be a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association?
LM: IBPA is invaluable to those who are in the publishing industry. After I received my IBPA Benjamin Franklin Award, and after I educated myself by reading many articles written by the best in the industry in the IBPA Independent magazine, I was ready to start my new career. The people who work at IBPA are not only extremely knowledgeable but are ever so kind and willing to help their members achieve success.
IBPA: Thank you, Lee Ann, for sharing your story with the IBPA community! We wish you all the best with your books and the television show!
Click here to learn more about Lee Ann Mancini’s Adventures of the Sea Kids book series!
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