Those of you who are long-time readers of this blog know that I am passionate about several things, including but not limited to:
Inspiring creative and open-ended play
Making science fun
Making learning and play accessible to all kids
I wanted a way to bring all these things to an even larger audience on an even larger scale. After writing my first book, 150+ Screen-Free Activities for Kids, with a large publishing house, I knew that I wanted to create (and have a hand in creating) more books that featured thinking outside the box and child-led learning -- and that also highlighted diversity. I quickly realized that the best way to do just that was to create my own publishing company. A company where, in addition to my own books, I could publish other quirky, fun books that were in-line with these goals.
And so, The Innovation Press was born. SURPRISE! 2017 was our first "real" year (since it's the first year we've published more than one title), and was been a BIG year:
So what does this mean? Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and their answers:
DOES THIS MEAN THAT YOUR BOOKS ARE SELF-PUBLISHED/PRINT ON DEMAND?
Nope! The Innovation Press is a traditional publishing company. We publish books from a variety of authors and illustrators from all over the world. As for me, I have to submit my books just like everyone else and the whole team votes on them just like all of our submissions from other authors. To be accepted, any manuscript we're considering has to have 100% support from our acquisitions team which is composed of publishing consultants, education consultants, teachers, librarians, parents, and of course KIDS! Just like the other The Innovation Press books, mine are reviewed in journals and adopted by libraries and schools (things that wouldn't be possible if they were self-published). My books also have their rights sold to other countries and we even sold Scholastic the rights to have Dragons and Marshmallows and Monsters and Mold (the first two Zoey and Sassafras books) at Scholastic Book Fairs and in Scholastic Reading Clubs (which is SUPER EXCITING!!!!). Several of our titles are recommended by A Mighty Girl (YAY!) and our books have received recognition from the New York Public Library, the Chicago Public Library, the National Science Teachers Association, and the Dolly Gray Children's Literature award, among others.
ARE THE INNOVATION PRESS' BOOKS ONLY AVAILABLE ON AMAZON?
Nope! We aren't a self-published or print-on-demand company. We are a traditional publishing house with international distribution and offset printing. Our books are available everywhere books are sold worldwide (both online and in physical stores, schools, and libraries). So even if you live overseas (like Australia for instance), your local bookstores and libraries can still get our books (you can request them if they aren't already there). Several of our books are currently on the shelves of Barnes and Noble and Chapters Indigo and most can be found at your local indie bookstore (or can be ordered easily if they aren't currently in the store). Our books are also represented by a foreign rights agency and are frequently sold for translation into different languages.
DO YOU ACCEPT SUBMISSIONS FOR BOOKS?
Yes, we do (and you can find our submission guidelines here), BUT we turn away thousands and thousands of manuscripts for every ONE we accept. Remember any submission must get 100% support from our acquisitions team to be considered -- which is a tough thing to accomplish! You are absolutely welcome to send us your manuscript, but please know that the world of children's literature is incredibly competitive. If you're new to writing for children, we highly recommend joining SCBWI as well as a critique group. Most of our authors have been working on writing children's books for 5-10+ years and/or have been successfully published prior to working with us.
HOW ARE YOU MAKING THESE BOOKS ACCESSIBLE TO KIDS?
One of my favorite things about running a publishing company is that it gives me the ability to make our books available to all kids. We've partnered with an amazing non-profit, First Book, who gets books into the hands of children and teachers in low income areas to make sure our books reach as many children as possible. And YOU help us with this mission when you buy our books (or when you request them at your library!). For every 10 books we sell, we donate 1 to children in need via First Book (or on a case-by-case basis, directly to Title 1 schools and/or public libraries that serve low-income areas). We were able to donate $129,098 of books in 2017 and with your support we're hoping to DOUBLE that in 2018.
I REALLY WANT TO SUPPORT YOU, BUT I CAN'T AFFORD TO BUY ALL THESE BOOKS! WHAT CAN I DO TO SUPPORT YOU?
Books are expensive, no kidding! It's one of the reasons why we donate 1 book for every 10 we sell. I wouldn't expect anyone to buy all of our titles. BUT they are SOOO COOOL, so I really hope that you will at least READ them all. The best way to do this is to check them out at your local library. Most libraries have all of our titles, but if yours doesn't, you can request them! If you have any questions about how to do this (the process varies library by library) just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your library's name and we'll let you know how to go about requesting our books there.
The other thing you can do to help us is to tell others about our books! The sea of children's books is ENORMOUS and we rely very heavily on word of mouth about our titles. Our absolute favorite thing is when people take a photo of one of our books (library or purchased) and share it on social media. That is a HUGE HUGE help. Same with leaving a review for the book on Amazon or Goodreads. If you are passionate about the kind of books we are creating here, we would love your help spreading the word!
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR BOOKS?
You can see the full line up of our books here. Additionally, all of our currently released books have the Look Inside feature enabled on Amazon and we have sample PDFs of the first few pages of several of our books available for viewing or download at the links below:
We have videos of flip throughs of our fall 2017 titles accessible on our YouTube channel here.
You can also find out more about our books and get a TON of FREE activities, resources, and printables on the books' websites: