Publisher works to spark reading interest in boys
BEACON FALLS — For Eileen Robinson, opening her own publishing company wasn’t as much about going into business for herself as it was about getting young boys interested in reading.
Robinson, a 20-year veteran of the publishing business, started her own publishing company last year.
Robinson, 42, who loves to read, began the businesses after noticing that her son was not enthusiastic about reading.
“He was a reluctant reader. It was difficult for him to find books that drew him in,” Robinson said.
Robinson spoke with her son’s friends and her nephews and found that there were a lot of young boys who did not enjoy reading.
“They thought of reading as a chore rather than something to be enjoyed,” Robinson said. “I wanted to tackle that. I wanted to be part of that change.”
Robinson decided that, not only would she open her own publishing company, but she would market it specifically to boys.
“I wanted to develop a company that would focus on just that thing,” Robinson said. “Our mission is to inspire boys to read on their own. Books they choose on their own, and they don’t have to be led to.”
Move Books, Robinson’s publishing company, launched of in August 2011 and in October 2011 Robinson was interviewed by Publishers Weekly.
“After that, manuscripts began to increase to where I had to go to the post office every other day,” Robinson said.
Robinson began her publishing career at Scholastic, a company that publishes both educational and fiction books. Robinson left Scholastic for a career with Harcourt, another publishing company, but ultimately returned to Scholastic.
“Publishing is sort of in my blood,” Robinson said.
When Robinson left Scholastic for the second time, she still wanted to do something involved with publishing. She created a company called F1rst Pages, which helps authors of children’s books get published.
“I changed my role to go to the other side to teach authors about marketing as well as critiquing their manuscripts,” Robinson said.
She explained that she had been working with that company for a few years before she decided to try out opening and running her own publishing company.
After receiving multiple manuscripts, she came across one that caught her attention.
“From the moment I sat down to read it, I was drawn in. And that’s what you want a manuscript to have,” Robinson said.
That manuscript, by V. L. Burgess, would go on to be a colorfully illustrated book, “The Mapmaker’s Sons,” which was released on Oct. 26.
The book is about a 13-year-old boy who can make maps come alive. The book is exactly what Robinson was looking for to spark an interest in young boys to read.
“The great thing about it is that the only edge this boy has is that he can make maps come alive. And he’s got to use this skill in order to survive. It’s fast paced and action packed. Once you get into the story in doesn’t stop,” Robinson said.
Robinson, who has lived in Beacon Falls for the past eight years, is grateful for the support she has received throughout the town.
She said that the library has been very supportive of the book, and it was stocked in the library when it was released. Laurel Ledge School’s library also stocked the book and it was the second book the Laurel Ledge Book Club read. It is also for sale at the Beacon Falls Pharmacy, in addition to Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other bookstores.
Robinson is already working on what to publish in 2013. Whatever Move Books puts out next, it will be something that boys will love, Robinson said.
“My goal is to get boys to be as emotionally invested as girls are in the books that they like,” Robinson said.