Book, Doll, Download and More
by Mary Padron
(Memphis, TN, USA)
A Magical Christmas Dream
Out on a Limb...or Who's the New Doll in Town?
"Most everyone has a dream cradled in their heart that they want to give life to," says Mary Padron, author and publisher of A Magical Christmas Dream and creator of the new Anna Victoria™ doll. "The problem is we're often afraid to go out on a limb to make the dream come true, or we give the dream up when we encounter resistance.
Self-published 5,000 quality paperbacks but now Ebook and MP3 Audio file on www.Lulu.com.
"It's no wonder," adds Padron, "that fairy godmothers, wizards, and magicians are popular fairy tale archetypes, because they give people what they want instantly. Unfortunately, this instant gratification mindset can often kill a dream, especially if you are easily influenced by a Big Bear 'No,' or if you are easily defeated when things don't happen as quickly as you think they should."
Padron, who graduated summa cum laude from the University of Memphis with a Bachelor's Degree in Communication and Fine Arts, has heard the word "No" on numerous occasions.
After several unfruitful attempts to sell a children's Christmas story about Anna Victoria's magical adventure inside her Christmas tree to the New York publishing community, Padron took the common dream of creating a book into her own hands.
"I simply grew tired of waiting for a 'yes' from someone else, so instead, I said 'yes' to myself. First, I read four books on self-publishing, placed an order with R. R. Bowker for an International Standard Book Number (ISBN), and met with Diane Frye of Trust One Bank in Germantown, TN, to see if I could acquire a business loan.
"Next, I rallied my networking resources by contacting printing and paper companies with whom I had done business in my eight-year marketing and advertising career at Federal Express.
"Then I called my Alpha Delta Pi sorority sister and friend Patrice Pendergast to see if she wanted to submit an illustration for the upcoming children's book."
Padron looked at four different local artists but said she loved the sweetness of Pendergast's illustrations and hired her college roommate to create black and white keyline illustrations, similar to a coloring book. Padron then added the three-colors to the book and prepared it for the printer using an old-fashioned method that used frosted acetate, charcoals, pencils and markers.
In December, 1995, Padron went out on a limb and contracted with B&M Printing to produce 5,000 high-quality paperback books. Padron sold the majority of books locally, mostly in the Memphis school system and at local bookstores, where she dressed up as the Christmas Fairy and performed a dramatic reading of the story.
She also received a National Library Week Director's Award for her contribution to the Memphis literary community for reading to over 500,000 children.
In January of 2002, Padron decided to go out on a limb again and began researching doll manufacturers.
"Every time I saw a Ludwig Bemelmans Madeline doll, something stirred inside me, and I had this incredible desire to create a soft doll to go along with the book.
"At first, I was discouraged," says Padron. "The doll design fees were astronomical, and the production minimums were unrealistic for my budget. However, I continued my search and found a plush animal and doll company on the internet called D&F Corporation from Monterey, CA, that was willing to work with me on both the design fee and the quantity. We spoke briefly, and I sent D&F a copy of the book so they could become more intimate with the Anna Victoria character.
"What is funny," says Padron, "is that I started to feel anxiety about producing the doll and almost aborted the doll dream, but Diana Wang of D&F ran with it so quickly that I didn't have time to let the fear of the unknown cripple my whim. Within two weeks of our initial consultation, Diana sent me a picture of the first prototype. As with any new project, several changes had to be made, especially regarding the hair and body shape. However, when I saw the prototype, my heart literally jumped with joy, and it's hard to explain the magical feeling I felt when 3,600 Limited Edition Anna Victoria Dolls were delivered to me."
Because Padron has sold out of the original book and doll and it is now the digital age, she just scanned the book and has made it into an Ebook. She also recently revised the story and changed the title to Anna Victoria & the Christmas Fairy, available as an MP3 downloadable audio.
Her next dream is to find a children’s literary agent or mainstream publisher to bring her Anna Victoria series to the masses.
In the meantime, she is starting a marketing campaign where she is pitching both small and large corporations to send an MP3 audio download and an autographed copy of the new manuscript as their Christmas card this year.
She will offer the Corporate Christmas Card Package via a subscription where the company can send multiple downloads of the audio and the autographed manuscript at a price that is substantially less than mailing thousand of Christmas cards (and also much more personal and much more GREEN).
Visit Mary Padron's Anna Victoria - a book and doll.