Children’s Ebook Press Rises From the Ashes — Literally

We received this email today detailing the inspiring story of a small digital children’s press that literally rose from the ashes of a tragic fire:

Rising from the ashes may be an overused metaphor but, in the case of Lucky Penny Press, it literally describes the origins of a fast-growing children’s e-book publishing company.

In 2008, entrepreneur Melissa Marsted lost her home in the brutally destructive Santa Barbara Tea Fire. A passionate collector of children’s books, Melissa’s losses included her entire library of what she estimates to be over 2,000 titles, including rare and first edition prints.

As she began the task of rebuilding her life, Melissa decided to pursue a long time dream and self-publish her own children’s book. The experience was eye-opening. It took over a year to complete the process and, along the way, she realized that, financially, it would be very difficult to ever recoup her investment.

Melissa’s epiphany was that the fire actually put her in the fortuitous position of being able to build a nurturing home for other children’s authors. Using the insurance money from the fire, Melissa launched her new children’s publishing company in November, 2011. She called it Lucky Penny Press after two piggy banks that were among her few possessions to survive the devastation.

Today, Lucky Penny is a compelling new channel for children’s literature. With a catalogue of titles written by both adults and children, and a target audience of ages 3-8, Melissa is actualizing her vision of connecting authors and readers in a way that is interactive, personal, empowering and intimate.

As Lucky Penny has grown, Melissa has stayed true to her brand vision. The catalogue is guided by a search for titles that nurture the creative spirit, introduce new cultures and empower children to believe in their dreams. The stories focus on adventure, nature, and the environment. Each book is connected to a non-profit organization which receives a portion of the proceeds.

All of the e-books are published in multiple languages and have professionally recorded audio versions. At a price point of $4.99 for books with text only, Lucky Penny has also achieved another of Melissa’s goals – the titles are affordable for those who may not be able to buy a hard-cover illustrated book or who want to be able to buy a quantity of books. Text with audio is $6.99 and audio only is $2.49.

LPP’s e-books are available for iPad, iPhone, Kindle and Nook. Every eBook can be downloaded in eReader and audio format either as a package or separately.

Lucky Penny Press currently sells its eBooks through the LPP website and a number of its eBooks and Ibooks are available on iTunes.


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