Hello! We’ve talked so much about the beginnings of ImagineWe Publishers. You’ve learned about the most important aspects of our mission, as well as how the company was created, but one of our favorite parts of the company is the fact that it was launched as an independent study.
When our CEO decided that this was going to be the business she started, and the plans started coming together for the books, it seemed right to include the degree that started it all in the beginning plans of the company. She had this awesome idea to turn it all into an independent study. The way Jessica saw and understood, what better way to start a business than as something that could give her 3 credits, and increase the incentive to do well while the net of the college was there to catch her if she didn’t do well. This is what she tells everyone, anyway. Strategically, it makes sense, but Jessica never doubted the concept and idea she was building even once.
She went to her advisor, Dr. Susan Keller-Mathers about the idea. Being that this was still only in her first semester, the graduate program professors had yet to learn just how committed she was to her education, and career. She came to her advisor with the idea to not only launch this business the following semester on January 1st but also to release four books during the semester at a frequency of one per month.
She remembers her advisor's face showed feelings of slight disbelief as she asked Jessica, how about one book instead? Jessica smiles, remembering it all fondly. She wasn't your standard graduate student, lady, or even person. Her drive, personality, and fortitude are often the most memorable things about Jessica. Jessica negotiated a deal; she said IF it turned out to be too much stress on her, she would come back to her to reassess her goals, BUT that moment would never happen. Her advisor agreed to these stipulations. No professor is ever in a place where they want to prove a student wrong. They just want to know their students are not setting their sights too high and making unreasonable goals that will end up disappointing the student. Jessica understood everything about where Dr. Keller-Mathers came from her point of view, but she knew in her gut that this would all do well.
The company launched on January 1st with a grand opening, and the release of the first book, Skipping Stones The second month’s book, We Heart Nolan, was ready as well so for everyone that came to the Grand Opening event, they could also purchase book two as a prerelease surprise! March’s book was the first Eloina Spelloina book, and people LOVED it. Our fourth book came out without a problem and featured children on the spectrum. This book is actually being rereleased THIS MONTH as a second edition! We are very excited. The kids that helped to write this book came to the first book signing, and all got to sit and meet their readers, and fans. They signed their book full of smiles, and laughter. Each individual book was signed with cute words about how they were feeling about that person, and about that individual book.
Every single month came and went without a problem. The cherry on the top was that we landed our first author outside of Jessica Cassick writing and working with people to create books. It was a huge moment! May’s book was written and illustrated by Kevin Luce and it was called Train Load of Trouble. We were so thankful that the company was starting to take off and it was only four months launched.
At the end of the semester, Jessica was able to bring in the tangible, professional copies of the books that she promised her advisor she would create, format, design, get illustrations done, and publish. She promised to never underestimate Jessica again, and it was a moment Jessica realized she was capable of so much that not even she knew yet. She started to realize just how much a person can grow when they truly push themselves to conquer things that *sound* impossible!
We are so very proud of where the company has come since that point in the very beginning. Check out our next blog to learn more about our most requested illustrator!