Happy Dolphin Press represents a combination of visualization and value grounded in the belief that the past offers lessons and the future offers promise. It is a reflection of this core philosophy that drives our mission. Our goal is to produce educational entertainment in a form that will grow with the reader and establish building blocks to a lifetime of enjoyment in the pursuit of learning.
Happy Dolphin Press is committed to developing children’s books with solid, well-written stories that evoke critical thinking and create a lasting element of value to the reader. Following the formula of using highly detailed images coupled with the mnemonic technique of rhyming we have and will continue to create books that are enjoyable, useful, and most importantly, loved by the earliest reader to the more fluent elementary or ESL/EFL reader. In a time where everything old is new, Happy Dolphin Press is proud to integrate the timeless bonding with literature to rich, full illustrations packed with bright colors and contrasts to engage the visually sophisticated modern child. Our goal is simply to create books that don’t just excite the senses but also challenge and entertain.
Our mission is, and always will be, to make learning FUN!.
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The Happy Dolphin Press Story
Once upon a day in 2015, a grandmother and grandfather wanted to buy some bright colorful, fun, and educational books for their three-year-old granddaughter. They wanted books that would spark her imagination and be entertaining enough to capture her attention plus have words that not only an early reader could understand, but would challenge and grow with her reading and speech skills for several years. Just like the books, they had cherished as children, and that had driven them to a lifelong love of reading and learning.
When they got to the bookstore, they searched in the new books. The grandfather said these, “ these books are too bland”…the grandmother said, “these books are not educational and too simple.” So they roamed around and came upon the books that were almost ‘ just right’! Unfortunately, they were the same books that they and their parents had grown up reading; Classics like Dr. Suess, Maurice Sendak, Shel Silverstein, and Rold Dahl. Knowing the generation, their granddaughter was growing up in they wanted to find books like these classics that also mirrored the bright, bold visuals that Disney Pixar was using, and that was such a favorite of hers. But there were none to be found in any of the bookstores that met their standard or criteria. So the grandfather who was a writer, and the grandmother who was very computer savvy decided to write some books for their granddaughter! Although this is a true story of how initially the Zaniac Books Series was born it was only the beginning of an emerging and utterly unique movement and business…Happy Dolphin Press.
I am Jennifer Smith, the grandmother in this story, and the owner and Editor in Chief of Happy Dolphin Press. When we started on our journey to create visually stunning, fun, engaging, and educational books, we discovered we were not alone. Many others were wanting to find the same type of books we wanted to publish, and there were also others wishing to publish their own books. However, the publishing industry has dwindled and limited their acceptance of children’s book publications to mostly those that are already tried and true, socially topical only, or merely fun fluff for early readers. The independent presses we dealt with made it hard to understand the process and didn’t offer just the services we needed without us investing exorbitant amounts of money in packages and inventory we were prepared to finance.
For over 20 years I have spent my life building, managing, and developing businesses through constantly learning new technology and business practices, developing services and products that fill gaps in those areas, and then creating and marketing those “gap fillers” to meet the need. When I personally experienced the lack of service and support that was available I reached out to other people in the industry and learned all I could from them about what solutions they found and still wanted. After a solid year of intense education through Adobe graphic design, one on one mentoring, and group classes and educational panels I struck out to publish my husband’s work, Zaniac Books.
We couldn’t have asked for a better response! Other authors noticed and respected our work, as well as did many of our peers in the independent arts and bookstores. Before long I had authors contacting me for advice and to ask for my services. Gradually I built a sterling reputation in my field and began receiving referrals from other well known local publishers who did not specialize in children’s books, and the rest, as they say, is history. Or as I say the future!
I have developed a “Concierge Publishing,” model that allows self-published, independent, and hybrid publishing authors to get the support and services they need on an a la carte basis. They can simply hire us to format their book, edit it, digitally edit their own artwork, or a myriad of other individual services. Or if they choose they can have a complete publishing package customized to make their dream into a high quality published book (soft or hardcover). We always offer FREE advice, tips, tricks, and insights into new trends or tech in our industry, as well as a 30-minute analysis of author’s books and their goals with no obligation.
Our success is based on being honest, fair, and always taking fun seriously! Thanks to support from our local community we are proud to have been chosen as a co-host with the incomparable Leoma Lovegrove for the first annual Matlacha Island Reading Festival this year on March 10th. Many of the details are still being ironed out by the Matlacha community organizers and our committee. It is expected to be epic! We will have Indie Authors of all genres with books, presentations, and readings for everyone. There will be a Hyde Park soapbox style arena where authors will do pitches and read excerpts throughout the day, special event pricing, meet and greets, costumed characters for the children, and of course, we will be placing ourselves near the artist’s shops and all the great restaurant and food vendors!
SWFL has so many wonderful things to offer everyone. Most everyone knows of its natural beauty and ecological treasures, some know of its amazing festivals and arts, but few realize it’s a mecca for the Indie art and book community. SWFL and Fort Myers embrace and strive to fill the gaps in learning, education, and just being a great place to live for people of all ages and interests. I am thrilled to be a part of the movement and community that genuinely represents building a better future through community and personal development.
This story does not have an ending…