Advertisement
business

An Author Swims Against the Tide

John Mese co-creator of Flippy the tadpole formed a company with his wife to self-publish their book and merchandise their character. <b>As told to Jane Bennett Clark</b>

How much start-up money was involved? Dawn and I put up $2,000, and illustrator Chanler Holden and her husband, Major Mittendorf, put up $2,000. For $4,000, we ordered 2,000 copies of our first book. That was in 2002. We have made a profit for several years but have always channeled it back into the company.

Advertisement - Article continues below

You recently sold shares in the company. Why? We wanted to break into the big bookstores. So last year we began working with a distributor for independent books. We didn't have money to buy another 15,000 books to send to a warehouse, and to pay marketing and other costs. So we approached family and friends and sold 80 shares of stock at $1,000 a pop. The books are now being sold on Amazon.com, Barnesandnoble.com and in some stores. It's up to the distributor to get the books in stores nationally.

What's the payback for investors? Once the investors have been paid back in full, they'll get a percentage of the dividends based on how much of the company they own. We think we'll reach that point in three to five years.

What's the deal on stuffed animals? Our goal and love is the books, but we stand to make a lot more money off the merchandise.

Has it been all you had hoped? I'm an actor. I love the creative endeavor and creating the books. Figuring out the business side has been way more involved than I ever imagined.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What Trump's Payroll Tax Cut Will Mean for You

President Trump has issued an executive order to defer the collection of payroll taxes. How much will it save you?
August 9, 2020
What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You
Tax Breaks

What a Payroll Tax Cut Would Mean for You

If Congress can't pass another stimulus bill, President Trump says he will initiate a payroll tax cut by executive order. How much would that save you…
August 8, 2020
7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement
happy retirement

7 Surprisingly Valuable Assets for a Happy Retirement

If you want a long and fulfilling retirement, you need more than money. Here are the most valuable retirement assets to have (besides money), and how …
August 3, 2020

Recommended

Answers to PPP Loan FAQs (Now That There's Fresh Funding for the Loans)
small business loans

Answers to PPP Loan FAQs (Now That There's Fresh Funding for the Loans)

Small business owners are getting another crack at Paycheck Protection Program loans. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about the lo…
July 21, 2020
8 Tips and Warnings on PPP Loan Forgiveness
loan forgiveness

8 Tips and Warnings on PPP Loan Forgiveness

Not having to pay back Paycheck Protection Program loans is a huge benefit for small-business owners. But there are a lot of rules that must be follow…
July 21, 2020
Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year
tax law

Tax Changes and Key Amounts for the 2020 Tax Year

Americans are facing a long list of tax changes for the 2020 tax year...and it's never too early to start thinking about next year's return.
June 22, 2020
7 Ways PPP Loans Just Got Better
small business loans

7 Ways PPP Loans Just Got Better

The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act makes a number of changes to the popular small-business loan program. See how your business might bene…
June 5, 2020