Sunday, May 25, 2014

Books: Public speaking engagements are valuable

I was happy to address an educators' conference that was recently held at DeSales University. The Diocese of Allentown (Pennsylvania) invited me to speak about my background, professional experiences, and having made a mid-career change to become a teacher within the last decade. I also was asked to share the story of how my illustrated children's book (Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile) was conceived, written, and published. 

Connected to the right people

I was humbled that the Diocesan Office of Education purchased copies of Maddie leading up to the conference as well. This real-life story about how a young girl responded to being diagnosed with alopecia and has taught others to embrace differences is now available in every elementary school in the Diocesan's five-county area. 

I requested the inclusion of Jeff Woytovich as part of my presentation as well. Jeff founded the Children's Alopecia Project (CAP) in 2004 and has addressed many groups in the years since. He's Madison's (Maddie's) father. 50% of all book sales are being donated to CAP.

Generosity and kindness

Every children's book author knows that opportunities to speak publicly are valuable. Bulk book purchases (that are also then made available within a school system for student use) are clearly welcomed as well. 

Thank you to everyone connected to the Diocese for your generosity and kindness. You are helping to raise awareness about a cause that affects many children in our world.


My illustrated children's book: Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile officially became a Top 10 Amazon best-seller as of January 29, 2014. The print and ebook editions were initially released in August, 2014.

This amazing real-life story remains within Amazon's Top 100 rankings this month (April, 2014). The book previously appeared within Amazon's Top 50, 40, 30, 20, and 10 illustrated children's books during the past five months. 

I couldn't be more pleased at the worldwide response to this story. Every connection helps to raise awareness about an important children's cause. 

Children's Alopecia Project

50% of all proceeds from the sale of our book (in both print and ebook forms) are being donated to the Children's Alopecia Project (CAP).

What a ride

This incredible and unexpected ride began in the spring of 2011. By August 2013, the book was published by the Children's Alopecia Project in print form. We have been very pleased with sales of that edition. Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to purchase the printed book directly from CAP.

I published a special ebook edition within weeks of the print book release. After starting in the tens of thousands (in terms of Amazon's children's book rankings), Maddie broke into the Top 50 just prior to Christmas. It climbed through the 30s and settled in the upper 20s before breaking into the Top 10.  

Use, or share, this link --->>Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile to see a 'free-view' of the special ebook edition. 

I've included extra bonus features in this version that provide background information, extra photos, and illustrations. Each item helps to tell the complete story of this book's birth. 

Here's a link to this great (print and online) article that the Reading Eagle recently published about our story Maddie: Teaching Tolerance with a Smile: Book chronicles Wyomissing teen's journey since being diagnosed with alopecia


Thank you to Stacey Stauffer (Fox 29 Philadelphia). She interviewed Madison Woytovich, her parents (Jeff and Betsy Woytovich) and me about the latest chapter in this inspiring story. Here's a video link to Stacey's wonderful feature. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------- is the number 1 online publishing platform in the world. That's why I used it to publish my first ebook: 

This mini-tome is a collection of stories and poems for readers who don't take themselves too seriously. I hope that you enjoy it and am always interested in your feedback. 


Let's connect on Twitter @SeanyOB, through Facebook, or on LinkedIn.

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