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Publisher Interview - Maria Dismondy

Q: What is your publishing process?

A: Here at Cardinal Rule Press, we begin with an open submissions period. This time is usually 6-8 weeks and begins in the fall. We have our submission guidelines listed year round on our website but we limit the time to submit in order for our team to properly manage the amount of manuscripts we receive. Once that submission period closes, we read and review all of the manuscripts sent out way. We respond to every submission and narrow it down. Team members review the manuscripts and we reach out to possible clients about a phone call. We learn so much about the project in this call, even more than the cover letter. We get to hear about the purpose of the author’s writing and we get the chance to learn about what the author is passionate about. We are looking for authors who are excited and motivated to share their work with others and to make it beyond the launch period. We have seen success in our company when authors, publishers and the distributor work together on the marketing process, rather than depending on one of those parties.

Q: Do you actively seek authors or do they come to you via submissions?

A: We do not actively seek authors but rather accept submissions during a specific time period (fall). We do however, spend time through out the year connecting with talented writers and artists on social media. We believe in the power of social media to connect people in project based businesses like publishing.

Q: What made you chose this for a profession?

A: I studied Child Development in college and taught young children for over a decade in public schools. First hand, I saw the power a book had on making a difference in a child’s life. Literacy is the foundation of a child’s education and I always loved learning about different types of books. After 10 years as an author, I was ready to open up a company that served talented creators in producing quality picture books that empowered children.

Q:What's your take on the current industry?

A: We are seeing publishers take big risks in releasing books on topics that are diverse and much needed, but not quite tested in the market. I love this because companies are doing what’s best for children, showing them that diversity is something to be celebrated, not frowned upon whether or not they have the track record of sales to back up the risk.

Q: What advice can you give?

A: Writers will benefit from connecting with others writers either locally or in the online space. Work with critique groups and have your work edited before submitting it to publishers. Be sure you are sincere in your submissions, meaning, you pay attention to the guidelines and you don’t simply send your work out anywhere and everywhere. There is a publisher out there that is a good fit for you. Take your time researching them and make the process easier on yourself.

We also think it’s important to think about yourself as a small business. We highly recommend building your author brand before being published. Having an online community and network will increase your chances of signing with a traditional press.

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