Compelling Reasons Why This Book Should Be in Your School Library


Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Book Cover

Put Me In, Coach!

Children’s rhyming picture book, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, tells the adventurous story of Sam, a tenacious land and sea fiddler crab who finds himself on the sandy shores of an idyllic island named Corte Magore. He wants to stay there and live there forever, but he’ll have to overcome obstacles to accomplish his dream. This book teaches children about courage and tenacity – to stand up to bullying and to fight for what they believe in, while also teaching them the importance of dreaming. Sam’s story is told in one big epic poem. This book is geared towards children ages 4-7, although all young children seem to enjoy it. Here’s why: 

The book is written in rhyme. Rhyming verse aids in early-development learning and recall. The British Council writes about teaching children English:

“…playing with the short texts of rhymes, children explore the mechanics of the English language. They find out how language works and become familiar with the relationship between the 44 sounds of English and the 26 alphabet letters – information which helps them when they begin reading to decode the sounds that make up words. The value of this type of language-play with rhymes in early learning is both underestimated and undervalued.”

The book utilizes many different poetic devices – typically difficult to teach children –such as alliteration, point-of-view, stanza, meter, repetition, assonance, personification, and my personal favorite, onomatopoeia. Poetic devices are used to take the reader to a different time or place and helps with imagery. Education Portal says:

“Poetry can follow a strict structure, or none at all, but many different types of poems use poetic devices. Poetic devices are tools that a poet can use to create rhythm, enhance a poem’s meaning, or intensify a mood or feeling. These devices help piece the poem together, much like a hammer and nails join planks of wood together.” 

Books Written in Prose May Be a Dying Art. Authors like Seuss and Silverstein paved the way for poetry in children’s literature, yet it’s hard to find new children’s books today written in prose. Carol Hurst intimates why it’s best to not let this great art die in the following excerpt taken from Hurst’s article on the website:

“…along came Shel Silverstein. He wrote poems about picking your nose and selling your baby sister and adults (some of them) winced and kids guffawed and kids’ poetry was changed forever. Now we’ve got the gamut of emotions and subjects in kid’s poetry. Poetry, of course, be it for child or adult (and the distinction is not always clear) is very much a matter of perception. Poems speak to the individual, even more than stories do, and some are not speaking to you — at least not right now. The rules of poetry selection are the same as for the selection of any kind of literary material that you’re going to use with your kids. It must speak to you as the living breathing adult you are before you can help it speak to kids. If it’s supposed to be funny, it should make you laugh or at least smile. If it’s supposed to be sad, it should choke you up a bit. If it’s a description of a thing or a feeling, it should help you see it or feel it in a new way. So, which of all the books of poetry will you choose for your classroom? Every one you can afford.”

Erin Koehler writes, “The more picture books I read, I start to notice the ones that catch my interest the most, and the ones I end up re-reading several times in a row, are the ones that feel the most poetic. By that I mean that even though the language may appear to be “simple” the language is actually rich in complex diction, syntax, and imagery–not to mention attention to rhythm, sounds, and pacing. Sound familiar? Like a poem maybe?”

Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore is published in more formats than the average book. In addition to hardcover, softcover, an audio version, and a soon published Spanish translation (being published for the Finding Corte Magore project) did you know this literary gem is also available in a picture book app available exclusively for the iPad? The iPad version, for all you tech-based schools, boasts interactivity, professional narration, full animation and an original musical score produced by Nashville singer and songwriter, Robby Armstrong. (Hint: Sam is a “fiddler” crab.)

Finally, have you ever heard of SpongeBob SquarePants? Of course you have! Kids love sea creatures! What we all admire most about the television series are the unique characters, setting and bold use of color. When one of my good friends told me her brother, a Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants would be interested in working on the book, I knew I had found the right art director. “Mr. Lawrence” -who incidentally is also the voice of Plankton, then brought in his colleague, another SpongeBob storyboard director, Marc Ceccarelli, to produce the original character art and many of the final illustrations.

So, as promised, these are succinct, definitive reasons why this book should be in a school or public library, despite my newbie authorness and utter lack of literary famelessness (I’m a writer, I get to make-up words.)

As always, thanks for the ear!

Tonia Allen Gould, Author

Click here to Order Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore on Amazon.

Publishing a Book is Only Half the Battle. Now Try Marketing It.


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Promotional Product Marketing for Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. Mood Magnets.

A friend of mine suggested I re-write a previous post I made here on my blog about marketing and publicizing a book.  He told me that very few people understand that, while a major a coup, publishing a book is winning only half the battle.  He suggested I write about what I have been doing, specifically, to get the word out about my picture book app, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, particularly since I’ve taken a somewhat unique and varied marketing approach to the matter.  Taking into account my almost twenty years of marketing experience, owning and running a promotional marketing company, Tagsource, perhaps I do have something to contribute in helping others on marketing and brand messaging a children’s picture book, or any book for that matter.  I don’t know.  But believe me, even with my professional background, even I am still feeling my way.  All that said, in just three months, I do feel I’ve made significant progress, and hopefully, if you are a writer, you can benefit from my experiences.  So what did I do?

I hired a Publicity Agency:

I knew that I needed to get the word out exponentially to the masses, and the best way to do that was for me to hire a publicity agency, right off the bat.   After thorough research, I selected Smith Publicity, a global publicity firm, and contracted with them on an initial, six-week publicity campaign.  Special thanks to Lauren Covello, Publicist, at Smith Publicity for her work on publicizing, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore.  With the help of Smith Publicity, I’m happy to announce we are off to a great start!  During and after the campaign, Smith continues to deliver some interesting results.  The most notable:  InformationWeek asked me to be a contributing, bi-monthly writer covering the educational and mobility segments on their online digital publication.  As a busy executive, I have to look at the investment of time and weigh the ROI on the writing obligation.  For me, this was a no-brainer.  InformationWeek is one of the world’s largest information technology publications.  They have over 220,000 subscribers and receive something like 2.4 unique visitors to their website each month.  My profile picture and bio will be positioned on their website with each article they publish, which will link back to my businesses and my book.  Publicity turned marketing.  I like it.  Not to mention, this “writing gig” is a pretty major bio booster.

In addition, Smith Publicity lined-up numerous radio and print article interviews for me.  iMedia interviewed me about approaching technology use for children.  Recently, I wrote a bi-line article for Today’s Parent, “Coming Soon to an Electronic Device Near You.” Today’s Parent boasts a readership of over 100,000 site visitors a month, and the article included a blurb about me and the book.  I have also enjoyed being on various talk radio programs. I really enjoyed this particular radio interview on Tots and Technology on IMI Tech Talk with Tom D’Auria. (Move ahead to about the twelve-minute mark to bypass all the tech news at the start of the show.) I am in the process of putting all my radio interviews up on SoundCloud, so stay tuned for links to all of those. This interview with Derrell Connor on 620 WTMJ Wisconsin Talks was another one of my favorites, if you haven’t heard it yet.   In addition, I’ve been interviewed on the Kim Pagano Show, Manchester University’s radio program, and several other programs throughout the country and Canada.  The goal is, with each interview, people will act and download my book.

I Collaborated with Connected and Celebritized People Who Helped Me Produce My Book:

Aristo Media, the publicity agency who represents Robby Armstrong, the Nashville star who wrote and produced my book app’s original Americana-style musical score, pressed news about Robby’s involvement with Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore. That press release went out to many country radio news outlets, and the release has cropped up all over the web!  It was pretty neat to see Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore mentioned on a CMT site! Country Pulse also wrote up a nice story called, “Catch a Rising Star,” about Robby and mentioned his collaboration on my book.  You can read about Robby on his website, here.  In addition to Robby Armstrong, I selected Mr. Steve McCoy, a renowned radio broadcaster to narrate the book.  Steve boasts a huge fan base and has a lot of clout in the world of broadcasting.  Mr. Doug Lawrence and Mark Ceccarelli, both notorious illustrators, and former original storyboard directors for SpongeBob SquarePants, co-illustrated my book.  When I produced my book, I knew that each of these unique collaborators would have vast networks of their own.  I wanted to cast my personal net out as far as it reached through my own network, but I knew that having networked, connected people working on my book would do nothing but bring more recognition to my project.

Something Interesting Happened, I Became Perceived as a Bit of an Expert:

Being an author who produced an animated book straight-to-digital through my publisher (Skies America)brought me some publicity I didn’t expect.  All of my work garnered me a bit of attention as a tech expert. Recently, I was asked to write a bi-line article on app development :  http://www.beginningiosdev.com/app-case-studies/children-book-app.  Circle back to the radio interview on Tots and Technology, being interviewed for the iMedia article on kids and technology, and then being asked to write on mobility topics for InformationWeek.  It’s all connected, and was an outcome I wasn’t expecting.

I Put My Experiences to Work:

I’m a marketing entrepreneur, a conversationalist and a networker, and I put all that experience to work for me.  I set up a Facebook page where I dialogue with my fans, and tweet about my book and experiences on Twitter via @toniaallengould. I converted my existing blog to an author’s page and changed the domain to www.toniaallengould.com, to brand myself. There, I continuously pressed new articles about my road to publishing and authorship.

I take pictures of kids who are engaged while reading the app:

Jacob, age 6, with his Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore App on the iPad
Jacob, age 6, with his Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore App on the iPad

I’m producing swag and giving it out to various contributors and people who have become book evangelists.  I produced coloring t-shirts with washable markers and posting pictures of kids coloring the t-shirts.  I produced magnets, and microfiber cleaning cloths for electronic devices.  I deployed the services of the promotional company, at www.tagsource.com, for the swag.

Sam's Kids Coloring Their Shirts
Sam’s Kids Coloring Their Shirts

I’m in the throes of being scheduled to speak at an elementary school that has recently moved to an iPad only curriculum (notable since I have an iPad only book), and really do hope to start working with children on writing and going after their dreams, and will invite the press to be there whenever I have a speaking engagement.  I can’t wait to spend more time in the classroom with kids engaging them about reading!

I created several videos featuring kids who enjoy the book while showcasing the music and the narration:

Through all this marketing effort, the book made it to the 2nd Best App in the App of the Week Contest at iHeartThisApp. This is a parent/teacher/peer voting opportunity and you can help by voting anytime for the book by clicking the link above. Sam also reached the Top 100 Books in the App Store list for iPad, which in my elated and humble opinion is a major feat, given the legions of books out there! Recently I saw that we are at #100, if those stats are even accurate.  But, oh what it would be like to reach #1!

Even better, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore just got a 5-Star Video Review at Give Me Apps where also the reviewer mentions the great functionality and the collaborative efforts that went into the book. At one point in the review, he describes the animation as “something that almost looks like a Hollywood movie!” Here’s their Blog Review as well. Right after the review, Best Preschool Books, put Sam on their list! That’s some really great news and hopefully will continue to help me reach my target demographic, children ages 4-8.

Hard Work:

As you can see, I have a lot of great things in the works after just three months since my book app went live in the App Store on iTunes. Writing a book is one thing, getting it published is another, and marketing and publicizing a book is still another. I can honestly say—it’s all hard work.  I can’t tell you if I’m doing it right.  I can only firmly say, at this juncture, that I’m laying down some important groundwork for the future success of my book.

Finally, I’m Still Marketing: 

If you don’t have an iPad, and want to hear the book, you can download the full, narrated book with music here.  If you do have an iPad, you can download my book in the App Store at iTunes.  Next up?  I hope to have a hard copy, conventionally printed book published by early 2014.

Giving Proper Credit Where Credit is Due with Some SpongeBob Crew and Who Knows Who?


Scene 1 Final Illustration by Marc Ceccarelli.
Scene 1 Final Illustration by Marc Ceccarelli.

I failed to give proper credit where credit is due! “Mr. Lawrence” (incidentally, also the voice of Plankton), and Storyboard Director for SpongeBob SquarePants, creatively directed many of the Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore Illustrations in cooperation with Marc Ceccarelli, also a SpongeBob SquarePants StoryBoard Director, who mastered most of the final illustrations. Michelle Fandrey, from Skies America Publishing, also contributed to the illustrations. I had failed to mention Ceccarelli leading up to this point, but without him, this story couldn’t have come to life. Dmitriy Toloknov performed all the illustrations seamlessly working with Mr. Lawrence’s, Marc Ceccarelli’s, and Fandrey’s illustrations.

And, while I’m at it; let’s not forget the book was narrated by two-time Marconi Award nominee, and a top radio personality, broadcaster, and voice-over in the country, Mr. Steve McCoy, who lent his charming voice to the project. In addition to narrating Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore, McCoy has voiced the narration for a children’s book app for Dream Works “Rise of the Guardians,” and legions of other high-profile works.

Country artist Robby Armstrong wrote and produced the Americana-style musical score for the children’s eBook/app, Samuel T. Moore of Corte Magore (Skies America Publishing, 2013), which is now available on iTunes. One of my favorite people of all time, Emily Kilimnik (violinist/fiddler), put the finishing touches on the story with her exceptional fiddle playing for the app–because no self-respecting fiddler crab on Corte Magore can be seen and heard without his fiddle and his bow! Kilimnik was working in conjunction with Armstrong on the project, and Armstrong can also can be heard on the guitar. The release of the professional narrated and musical eBook/App coincides with Armstrong’s single release, “Rodeo,” which is currently at Country radio. Written by Armstrong and Darrell Brown, the toe-tapping track is Robby’s first single from his forthcoming 2013 full-length album, which is additionally produced by Brown (LeAnn Rimes, Ty Herndon, Radney Foster). Robby has three songs, including “Rodeo” in the major motion picture, Gambit (featuring Cameron Diaz, Colin Firth), wherein he and his band make a cameo appearance. The songs are also on the official soundtrack. Additionally, “Rodeo” is featured in The Sims video game and has been heard at Angels’ stadium as the Los Angeles Angels’ rally song. The dance remix for the song is circulating through line dance clubs across the country. Robby’s “Rodeo” video was also selected for pre-race entertainment for the upcoming Indy 500. For more information, visit http://www.RobbyArmstrong.net and on Facebook and Twitter.

Many, many special thanks to Jacqueline Merrill, Creative Director at Skies America publishing, for all of her important contributions to the story once it entered the animation stage.

A children’s book written by Tonia Allen Gould (moi), the story is of a tenacious land and sea fiddler crab that will stop at nothing to build and save his home from his rival. Complete with a fiddle and his bow, Samuel T. Moore marches forward with his mission, even though he is met with adversary while onlookers and naysayers mock him in disbelief. The book teaches children about courage and tenacity, to stand up and fight for what they believe in.

Yes, little old me produced, authored and hand-picked the celebrity talent to make this eBook/app an engaging experience for children ages four to eight years old, and only for the mere price of $4.99! Please buy Samuel T. Moore here!