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Meet Leslie Crawford of Exposed Books Publishing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Leslie Crawford.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Leslie. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I took a chance one day and wrote a book. Growing up, I always loved reading. I would always ask my mom to buy me books and my favorite ones were The Babysitters Club. During that time, I didn’t think about not being able to relate to any of the characters, I just enjoyed reading the books. In 2018 when I started my writing program, When Children Write, a lot of my students would tell me they didn’t read because there were no books they could relate to. Pre-school and early elementary school kids could find picture books, but for the older kids, there were no chapter books. I knew I needed to start writing books for all ages. Just before the pandemic hit, I came up with the idea of The Literacy Shop. It initially started off as a website for me to sell my own books. I had a list of books I was going to write for all ages.

Weeks into the pandemic, I realized that I wanted to help promote other authors. It’s not easy getting your book inside of a bookstore when you don’t go through a traditional publisher. I wanted to not only promote reading for all ages and sell my books, but I wanted to help promote other authors. That is how The Literacy Shop was created. Our goal is make reading dope. I have several businesses that I run and they all surround reading and writing. My children’s program, When Children Write is about fixing the literacy problem our kids face inside of schools. I help kids write and publish a book while focusing on reading and writing. Exposed Books Publishing is a consulting agency where we offer editing and mentoring for those that’s seeking to learn how to properly publish their book and build a business from it.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The road to entrepreneurship is not easy. I have been doing this full-time for two years. I started my company Exposed Books Publishing in 2013, but I officially took it full-time in 2018. Since then, I have created multiple companies under it When Children Write and The Literacy Shop. Everything I do is about promoting reading and writing. Whether it’s helping adults get their story out there or getting children to read more. Throughout this process, the biggest challenge for me was and sometimes still is, funding and grants. It seems no one is interested in promoting literacy. It’s often looked at as something that schools should worry about and not something that should be invested into. I don’t agree with that. Even though I have been turned down for grant after grant, I never received funding from a loan I applied for, I keep moving forward. I have funded my business on my own and will continue to do so. I believe in my assignment.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Exposed Books Publishing – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
My business Exposed Books Publishing is all about reading and writing. The business started in 2013 when I was annoyed with the traditional publishing industry. I wasn’t satisfied with the royalty checks. As an author, I’m doing all the work but everyone from the publishing company is getting a percentage of my sales before me. I did my research and started my company. I initially started it so I could publish my own books. As the years went by people started asking me for help. I would give out free information because I wasn’t ready to start charging people, I still had a lot to learn. It took me years to learn this industry and I’m still learning more and more everyday.

Exposed Books Publishing is a consulting firm that shows new authors how to publish their work the right way and build a business from it. What’s the point in putting all of this work if you don’t make any money from it? I teach my clients how to properly create a reputable business and build wealth. We also offer editing services. Under Exposed Books Publishing, I created a program called, When Children Write. When Children Write is all about fixing the literacy problem our kids are facing. I walk each student through the process of writing and publishing their own book. During my time with the students, we don’t just focus on writing a book but we help them with enhancing their reading skills. Before the pandemic hit we were in six different schools as an after school program. Now I am able to offer what I taught in the classrooms online as a self-paced course. Finally, there is The Literacy Shop. The Literacy Shop is an online children’s bookstore. I offer books for all ages and from multiple authors.

My company is different from others because of what I offer. My mentoring programs are not group sessions. I offer private sessions to my clients for their privacy and so they could feel comfortable about being open. I have not found a writing program for children yet that offers what When Children Write offers. We’re fixing the literacy problem. There are a lot of children bookstores out there. What sets The Literacy Shop apart from others is what we offer. Most online children bookstores only offer books geared towards elementary school-aged children and younger. We want to promote reading for all ages which is why we offer books for middle school and high school-aged kids.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My biggest goal is to keep pushing and moving forward. I plan on making The Literacy Shop the largest online bookstore for children and youth. When Children Write will be a nationwide program that’s offered in schools across the country. My overall company will continue to grow and create business owners from new authors. Within the next two years, I will be starting a non-profit where I will be able to offer tutoring sessions to kids in low-income neighborhoods and scholarships for high school seniors that will be majoring in education.

Pricing:

  • The Literacy Shop products start as low at $9.99 for books.
  • When Children Write online courses start at a one time investment of $200.00

Contact Info:

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