Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Interview With Cardinal Rule Press Publisher & Children’s Book Author Maria Dismondy


Author and founder of the publishing company, Cardinal Rule Press, Maria Dismondy inspires and educates others in the book industry. Below is an interview with Maria: 

1.      Why did you become a children’s book author? I was a teacher for many years and found there was something missing on my bookshelves in the classroom. We needed more books that featured children as characters instead of animals. We needed books that represented the children in front of us! 

2.      Do your books have messages that kids need to embrace? All of the books I have written and the books I've published with my company Cardinal Rule Press focus on providing social emotional learning tools in the messages within the pages. The books are meant to entertain, but also highlight the Golden Rule. 

3.      As a mother of three, what do you feel is needed in children’s books today? There are so many tough topics that we are having to address with our children today. Books are a beautiful way to bridge the topic and get the conversations started.  

4.      As the CEO of Cardinal Rule Press, what types of children’s books are you green-lighting? We are a niche publishing house and only accept manuscripts that are realistic fiction. We think there is a need for several different genres in today's society, but we find that to focus on a specific area, we are able to not only produce quality picture books, but content for our readers around the themes as well. We are dedicated to offering community events that are free to classrooms and homeschool families. We sent out email newsletters with advice to families on raising kind and caring kids, based on today's research. Last, but certainly not least, we have created a family-like community with our CRP authors. We are there to celebrate their successes and support them outside of their work with our company. 

5.      Curious George. Dr. Seuss. Do we really need anything else? Yes! Yes! Children's literature is growing and evolving. While I certainly enjoy some of the classics, like every single book written by Tomie DePaola, the world is a different place than it was 20+ years ago. Our books can be timeless but sometimes need to be current to address specific topics. 

6.      What trends are you seeing in children’s books today? We are happy to see a focus on diverse families and neurodiversity. We are also seeing really great historical fiction for young ages like preschool on up. Back when I first started in the industry almost two decades ago, the average word count was much higher than it is today. We are seeing messages shared in less words that really reach our children today, especially with shorter attention spans since the gigantic increase in screen time!   

7.      Is today’s youngest generation in need of a different kind of children’s book than what you read as a kid? I believe so. As mentioned before, our children live in a very different world. They don't have to have the patience to wait an entire week to have a new episode of their favorite show to come out. As writers, we need to look at the challenges our readers are up against and consider those issues as we write.   

8.      Why should a children’s book author get published by Cardinal Rule Press? Do they need to have a literary agent? We are a small but mighty press. Our books are well known because we educate our authors on marketing in ways that feel authentic to them. We have created a solid team between our authors, our team and our distributors. We have fine-tuned our campaign strategies over the years to see our backlist titles continue to live a long shelf life! We accept unsolicited manuscripts but we only open our submissions periods to twice a year!   

9.      How can we improve literacy in America? ALL children deserve access to books. The question is, how can we get books into the homes and hands of ALL of our readers? We have been partnering with some generous non-profits to answer these questions!   

10.  Lastly, where do you see book publishing in five years? I see sustainability teaching us ways to produce books at lower costs and in ways that we can afford to reach more readers that are from lower socioeconomic communities. I see more Indie publishers doing really BIG things!   

About Maria: Her first book was called Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun. When Maria isn’t working, she can be found embarking on adventures throughout southeast Michigan and beyond, where she lives with her husband and three book-loving children. Find out more at 



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Brian Feinblum should be followed on Twitter @theprexpert. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog ©2022. Born and raised in Brooklyn, he now resides in Westchester with his wife, two kids, and Ferris, a black lab rescue dog. His writings are often featured in The Writer and IBPA’s The Independent.  This award-winning blog has generated over 3.2 million pageviews. With 4,400+ posts over the past decade, it was named one of the best book marketing blogs by BookBaby and recognized by Feedspot in 2021 and 2018 as one of the top book marketing blogs. It was also named by as a "best resource.” For the past three decades, including 21 years as the head of marketing for the nation’s largest book publicity firm, and two jobs at two independent presses, Brian has worked with many first-time, self-published, authors of all genres, right along with best-selling authors and celebrities such as: Dr. Ruth, Mark Victor Hansen, Joseph Finder, Katherine Spurway, Neil Rackham, Harvey Mackay, Ken Blanchard, Stephen Covey, Warren Adler, Cindy Adams, Susan RoAne, Jeff Foxworthy, Seth Godin, and Henry Winkler. He recently hosted a panel on book publicity for Book Expo America, and has spoken at ASJA, IBPA, Sarah Lawrence College, Nonfiction Writers Association, Cape Cod Writers Association, Willamette (Portland) Writers Association, and Connecticut Authors and Publishers Association. His letters-to-the-editor have been published in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, New York Post, NY Daily News, NewsdayThe Journal News (Westchester) and The Washington Post. He has been featured in The Sun Sentinel and Miami Herald. For more information, please consult:



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