Your book is interactive, what does that mean?
We’re Three is interactive and asks children to draw pictures on the blank pages inserted within the book. This makes the book more than just a storybook but a pictorial journal of the child’s personal experience. The best part of these pages is that if there is only one parent or a new addition to the family arrives the child can write them in to the book! We also have copies of these pages on our website so if you want to make a change as the years go on you can print out a new sheet and add it to the book!
What inspired you to write about single child families?
I was inspired to write about single child families when my daughter was in Kindergarten. One of the assignments was to draw a picture of her family unit. All the pictures were displayed in the hallway of the school for open house. For the first time as she looked at all of the other drawings she noticed that the other children had MORE. That moment made her feel different. To a child MORE is always better than LESS. As a parent, that made me sad. I went on a quest for a way to show my child that her family unit was just as normal as any other. I searched to find a children’s picture book about the only child. I found only two books and both were sad with stereotypical messages of the only child. Neither of these books was going to help me show my child how special her family unit was. With single child families are an ever-increasing market, I was shocked that there were only two books to be found on the subject! That’s when I said to myself its time for another book! And this one will be a positive story leaving out the stereotypes of the only child!
You’ve won awards. You’ve got 5 star reviews. But what’s the feedback been like from parents and their children?
The awards are great. It’s a great validation for your work. The awards I have received have had an even greater meaning to me because the judges at the “Creative Child Magazine Awards” are individuals that are educators and parents. The awards really speak on behalf of the individuals that are purchasing the books, parents.
As for the reviews, many of the reviewers have commented on how the children enjoy the book especially the interactive quality that really personalizes the book for them. Some years later now, the book connects to our online game site lounge which adds another dimension to the book experience.
The parents that I have spoken with have been very pleased to find a book that speaks directly to the only child and focuses on the family aspect. Leaving out the negative stereotypes is an important part of raising a confident child. Additionally, some only child adults have commented that they wish they had We’re Three when they were growing up.
How did winning the 2011 and 2010 Book of the Year for Children’s Interactive books, and the 2009 Creative Child Magazine Seal of Excellence help the progress of your book?
Naturally, I feel complimented by the recognition, but the awards have definitely been an excellent marketing tool. The awards give the book more attention on the shelves and the consumer is motivated by that recognition as well.
You’ve been an actress and a model, so was it a difficult transition to writing?
I have always gravitated to the creative fields. I’m a graduate of the Fashion Institute of Technology. I also work as a visual planner in Display and Exhibit Design, decorating home furnishings manufacturers showrooms. To me writing is just another layer. Each field is using some form of creative expression to convey a message, whether it is in the form of a photograph, a voice, a room setting, an illustration or the written word. My experience also has networked me to other creative individuals and has exposed me to editing catalog designs for one of my former employers. This was a very helpful process to have been exposed to, especially when laying out a picture book! I also met my wonderful illustrator, Christina Simcic, this way!
When your book first came out, how did you spread the word about its release?
Spreading the word means everything! When We’re Three came out I purchased a box of books. I gave some away and I sent many out to different television shows and magazines hoping for a plug! Christina and I worked together reaching out to a few NYC establishments to set up a few book signing events. Christina also created our web site and I went crazy setting up online accounts for social networking and sending out press releases.
What is the most successful thing you’ve done to market and sell your book?
I believe social networking is a key factor in marketing to today’s consumer. The Internet gives us the opportunity to reach consumers throughout the world. In the past this would have taken much greater effort.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
YOU ARE SPECIAL!
What’s next? Do you have any plans of writing another book?
Yes, I am working on two additional children’s books. One is about a misunderstood child and the other is about the beauty of the birth of a robin.
How did you learn about Trafford?
I learned about Trafford while researching publishers online.
What was the deciding factor that made you choose to publish with Trafford?
The deciding factor that made me choose Trafford was book size and format. I found that the other print on demand publishers had limits on the book size and layout. Since it was a picture book I wanted a certain size and a landscaped format.
What was your favorite part of the Trafford publishing experience?
Seeing the book for the very first time! And the first royalty check!
Would you recommend Trafford to others?
What do you think is the most important thing to consider in choosing a self-publishing company?
I think there are a few things to consider when self-publishing. Self-publishing is a quick way to get your message out to the consumer, to most this is a key motivating factor. You also need to look at the out of pocket cost involved, the royalties, the distribution channels and the quality of the finished product. It is also wise to look at the cost and selection of marketing packages offered once the book is distributed.
What should an aspiring author prepare for when planning to pursue self-publishing?
An author planning to pursue self-publishing should be prepared for being part of every step of the journey. It is very hands on but this gives you a lot of control over the destiny of your book.
What advice would you give to an aspiring author?
GO FOR IT! IF YOU WANT YOUR MESSAGE TO BE HEARD YOU MUST PERSERVERE!