Meet the Team! Q&A With Blue Manatee Press's Nicole Smith!

Here at blue manatee press, we’re a small but mighty team, working hard to get the best baby and children’s books out into the world! We’d like you to get to know us a little bit better!

Get to know our Marketing and Sales Associate Nicole Smith below!


Q: Briefly describe what you do on a day-to-day basis.

One of the cool things about working at a smaller company is that no day is exactly the same. Although my title is Marketing & Sales Associate, I’m able to dabble in various roles. One day I may be looking up comparable titles and creating web copy for our upcoming books, and another day I’m going to the warehouse and sending book orders to our nonprofits!

All in all, though, my main duties include focusing on running our social media, analyzing sales data, reaching out to nonprofit organizations, and expanding our retail and consumer markets with bookstore and social media influencer outreach.

Q: Growing up, what were some of your favorite books?

I loved, loved, loved Sweet Dream Pie by Audrey Wood and Mark Teague. It’s about a whole town coming together to create a huge, delicious pie, and the strange dreams everyone had after eating the pie. I remember asking my mom to pick it up from the library every time we went.

Nicole has always been a reader! Here she’s clutching her copy of “My Book About Me” in kindergarten!

Nicole has always been a reader! Here she’s clutching her copy of “My Book About Me” in kindergarten!


Where the Wild Things Are was another that I had my parents read over and over again. Looking back on it, I guess I was the most drawn to books with fantastical or magical elements. I loved (and still love) getting lost in an unfamiliar world every time I opened a book.

Q: What blue manatee press book do you love to recommend?

It’s so hard to pick one, but a favorite board book is What is Soft? written by Susan Kantor and illustrated by Erin Barker. I love this one because it has such a calming effect. Not only does the book explore things in this world that are physically soft, but it also highlights that a whisper can be “soft,” too, and shows children the value in stopping to notice and appreciate the world around them.


My favorite thing about working for blue manatee press is being able to connect with our readers. It’s such a joy to hear when a parent and child love a book, and how it’s impacted them. We so appreciate the support of our readers, and hope to keep connecting with you during the journey!

One of my favorite picture books is Lloyd Llama, written and illustrated by Sarah Jones. Not only are the illustrations adorable, but the moral of the book is about meeting someone who seems so different from you, and after getting to know them, you may realize you have a lot in common. I really value all my friendships, whether they are similar to me or very different, so this one really strikes my heart.

Not to mention, I love alliteration!

blue manatee press_picture book_lloyd llama_sarah jones.JPG

Q: What has been an exciting aspect of working in book publishing?

One of the most exciting things is going to a trade show to talk about our books, and then the following few days seeing noticeable growth in the orders of our books. We’re in the middle of some busy and exciting growth, and that’s a really cool thing to be a part of.

Also, to be able to see a manuscript transform from a Word document into a beautiful, hard cover picture book is just magical.


Have any questions for Nicole? Ask in the comments below, and be sure to follow us on instagram @bluemanateepress for your daily dose of books, art, and inspiration!