When local author Rochelle Carithers, author of “The Purple
with Pink Polka Dot Ponies,” finished writing her book, she turned to Steve
Groner, Director of the Small Business Development Center for advice on
publishing and promoting her work.
“My husband I went to a small business class together
through the KC Small Business Center,” Rochelle said. “I remembered that class and contacted the
office to talk to someone about how to proceed with selling and marketing the
book. I made an appointment, and met
“Steve gave me list of local contacts and possible
publications to advertise in,” Rochelle continued. “He also showed me how to write a press release
- something I have never heard of before.
The press releases were a great success, and I plan on sending another
round of them out when I start the Rural King book tour. He also went the extra step, and had me send
him a draft so he could give me advice on the press release. The Center also sends out monthly letters
that have lots of great info in them.”
Rochelle plans a series of “Pony” books. “I have my second book completed. I have always planned for the pony books to
be a four book series based on the seasons.
First book spring, second summer, third fall, and last
winter/Christmas. I also have a dragon
manuscript I am working on that I would like to publish, it is about a little
boy, and a pink dragon named Susie saving a baby gargoyle. I have a picture book completed, I am
pitching both that book and the second pony book to agents right now, but it is
a long process.”
Rochelle has advice for new authors. “Research, research, research! I researched my publishing company - but did
not know much about social media. I
didn't know authors need a social platform.
As a result I have to fix all the mistakes I made. I would also suggest subscribing to the
Writer’s Digest, it has been a wealth of information, and I wish I would have
subscribed earlier. There is also a St
Louis Publishing Association that is very good too, they are very
dedicated. Also, while self-published
books are getting more and more attention, know that big publishers don't
really like them, so you have to know up front that it is going to be an uphill
The Small Business Development Center is a boon for small
businesses and startups of all kinds, in Rochelle’s view. “They are very dedicated, and have tons of
information to help you grow as a business.
They want you to be a success, and will do everything they can to help
you achieve that goal. The contacts
alone are worth a meeting and visit to the office. I would recommend them to anyone wanting to
start a business. I have been
communicating with Steve and the center for four years now, and he is just as
interested and motivated now as he was at that first meeting.”
Rochelle Carither’s book, “The Purple with Pink Polka Dot
Ponies,” is available from Amazon.com.
For more information on the Small Business development
Center, contact Steve Groner at 618-545- 3262 or by email at