In the hyper competitive world of children’s book publishing, it’s not only important to stand out, but also to give back, according to Roslyn native Stephanie Sorkin.
The children’s book author donated 100 percent of the proceeds from the sales of her first book, 2013’s Nutley, the Nut-Free Squirrel, to FARE, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to food allergy resources and education. It was a personal project for Sorkin, as two of her youngest children have severe food allergies. What began as a simple bedtime story blossomed into something more.
“Once I realized it had a beginning, middle and end, I was encouraged to publish it,” Sorkin recalls. “I really didn’t want to profit from it, especially because I was impacted from children with allergies, so that’s when I decided to make the move to donate.”
She continued the benevolence with her next two books. Chocolate Shoes with Licorice Laces donated part of its profits to Soles4Souls, an organization dedicated to providing footwear to those in need worldwide. For her most recent book, Frenemy Jane, the Sometimes Friend, Sorkin partnered with the national anti-bullying prevention center PACER.
Sorkin spent 25 years prior to her books’ publication as a freelance writer for various publications. She started writing children’s books in 2011 without financial backing AND shopped the “Nutley” manuscript to publishing houses, but decided to try the self-publishing route.
“Luckily, I was a mom of three children, so I knew what a book was supposed to look like, and I knew also what a book was supposed to cost,” she says. “To write a story, sometimes it’s just about being creative and sometimes it’s just about entertaining people.”
Sorkin believes in both entertaining her audience and educating them. Though she is aware that her audience is primarily school-age and younger children, she makes it a point to never patronize them.
“I would never want to sound preachy in my books, and I hope I never come across that way,” she notes.
As Sorkin continues to move forward in her career as an author and an advocate, she is hopeful that her work will continue to find an audience, not only because of her storytelling acumen, but for her ability to make a positive difference for children worldwide.
“I hope that there is no ceiling,” she added. “I just hope that it keeps growing and growing.”
To purchase one of Stephanie Sorkin’s books, visit stephaniesorkin.com