Monday, November 9, 2015

"Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession." Gabrielle Bernstein

I just arrived back in Pittsburgh on Sunday after a whirlwind weekend in New York City with Tate Publishing, the publisher of my new book for children  ages 2-8, GRADY GETS GLASSES (the first in a series). The weekend was all about marketing and strategies, and various venues of selling books, since the traditional manner of selling books changed years ago.  (You have certainly noticed the demise of the old brick and mortar stores.) I enjoyed a book signing with other authors in Logos, a historic bookstore on the East Side; a group dinner cruise around the Statue of Liberty; a group tour of Fox News, including meeting important people who work there and discussed what authors had to do to get there; a meeting with a Hollywood producer who is looking for books to be made into film;  and an iconic radio show host who is ardent about interviewing new authors. The trip was a blast!

All of the presenters and the experiences were intended to show new authors just what they needed to learn in order to sell their books. Informal meetings were held with Tate Publishing executives and an enthusiastic marketing team, and the essence of what I gleaned from those meetings is in this list: be passionate and energetic about your book; engage others; extend yourself to others and be your authentic self; present yourself in a positive manner;  find a "hook" to grab your prospective audience; and work hard to put the best YOU forward.  After all, selling is all about making relationships. 

As I listened to each presenter, I immediately thought of everything I had learned in my 37 years as a teacher. You, my loyal readers, know that I can always find a lesson about teaching and education (in virtually any situation), and this weekend of Grady's debut in NYC was no different.  Guess what? Selling books is just like teaching 10th grade! Selling education and selling books are pretty much the same: be passionate and energetic; engage the learners; extend your real self to your students; be a positive person; create a "hook" to make your students want to learn; and work hard!  

If you are a teacher, none of this information will be a surprise to you, as you have already learned that teaching is all about creating relationships. If students trust their teacher and the teacher performs well, mutual respect becomes not only a part of the classroom experience, but also a part of the learning experience.  Do you know that students actually try harder when they think the teacher "likes" them?

I urge all of my teacher readers to revisit the list in this blog.  Are you putting the best YOU forward every day? Are you creating "hooks" for learning that inspire students to learn? Are you working hard to be positive, both in and out of the classroom? Are you passionate about teaching? Does the energy for your teaching spill into the students in your classroom and inspire their efforts? All of these attributes will make you a more effective (and memorable) teacher. If you are a reader who is not a teacher, I believe that the same formula for professional success applies to all aspects of life.  The key - being passionate and genuine.

I LOVE writing. And I love writing children's books- my newest passion. Although it will be a ton of work, I am looking forward to selling my books.  Since I was a secondary teacher, I know that I have much to learn about elementary students, and I will have to follow my own advice and be my genuine self.  However, I also know that I am passionate about helping kids who have to wear glasses, and that GRADY GETS GLASSES sends a positive message. I am willing to work hard and do all the things that also made me a successful teacher for 37 years. I remain inspired! 

Teacher friends- let me know if you want me to read GRADY GETS GLASSES at your school. I am willing to come in to discuss the creative writing process, why writing is important, and personal fulfillment through writing, along with reading my book.  I would appreciate the exposure, and i would make signed copies avaialble for purchase in your classrooms following the reading.  Please email me at .  The website will be up and running within the next week.  Signed copies will be available!   

Please like Dede's new page Grady Gets Glasses for updates about her soon-to-launch children's book. 

Rittman Publishing, LLC ®

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Visit Dede's webpage for complete details on her award-winning book, STUDENT TEACHING: THE INSIDE SCOOP FROM A MASTER TEACHER 

Dede is the co-host of The Total Education Q & A, which can be heard on Blogtalk Radio at

Dede could really use your financial help to make her dream of helping kids who need glasses come true. Please visit for complete details about her upcoming book GRADY GETS GLASSES!

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