I recently had the opportunity to chat with Writer’s Life Magazine’s founder, LaDonna N. Smith. During our conversation, she talked about the company, how it’s doing and where it’s headed. Smith started Writer’s Life Magazine in 2016 to provide a platform for independent authors and publishers to showcase their work and talents. Now, Writer’s Life Magazine is taking off! Read the full interview to learn more about her amazing success story!
Q: Hello! Please tell us about yourself and your magazine company.
A: Hi! I’m an award-winning author, youth financial educator, and small press publisher. Along with running my publishing company, I recently launched a program called S.W.A.G. (Saving With A Goal), where I partner with both schools and banks in an effort to provide students in grades K-12 with high-energy and interactive financial literacy workshops. Through my publishing company, I create and publish a plethora of items including: children’s books, financial literacy-based games, and educational music for children.
I’m also the founder and publisher of “Writer’s Life Magazine.” Writer’s Life is a digital and print publication designed to acknowledge the hard work and talent of independent authors, screenwriters, songwriters, literary organizations, and rising illustrators.
Each issue of Writer’s Life Magazine provides professional advice and insider tips on writing and self-publishing books. There is even a small-business spotlight that highlights bloggers and individuals who provide services to authors.
Q: What inspired you to start Writer’s Life Magazine?
A: “Sorry – no self-published books accepted.” After hearing those five little words from literary agents and bookstores over and over again, I decided to create an avenue for myself to promote my own books and products.
Once I realized how many other authors were experiencing the same issue and struggling with the “self-published” stigma, I decided I to create a publication to not only showcase my work, but to also showcase the work of amazing independent authors all across the country.
Q: Any business success stories you want to share? What’s next for Writer’s Life?
A: For Writer’s Life to be a new publication, we have made tremendous progress already. The publication has featured the stories of and interviewed over 100 authors, as well as celebrity authors like NBA champion Metta World Peace (Ron Artest).
Writer’s Life Magazine has so many amazing things in the works, from networking events and book fairs, to celebrity interviews (including a veteran NFL-Player turned author, a New York Times best selling author, and a WNBA player who recently released a book).
Q: What is the most rewarding thing about your company?
A: It’s simple, Writer’s Life allows me to help other authors while doing something that I love, promoting my own work and the importance of early financial literacy.
Q: In addition to publishing Writer’s Life Magazine, your company also publishes financial literacy books, music, games, and more for children. Why financial literacy? Tell us a bit about your products.
A: As parents, it’s up to us to teach our children how money works. If children are properly educated, when they are out on their own, they don’t have to learn about money the hard way. However, no matter how enthusiastic you are, trying to formally teach finance to young children can be extremely difficult. To help parents along the way, I have created products that keep money lessons relevant, age-appropriate and a bit playful.
Remember: Personal finance is not taught in most schools. Yet, money management is something we all will need to understand if we want to survive out in the real world. Teaching your kids even the most basic money management concepts such as the importance of saving, and the difference between needs and wants, can serve as a huge payoff later in their lives.
Here are some of the financial literacy products and programs that I have created:
The Money Tree
The Money Tree explains basic financial concepts and practices in plain and easy-to-understand language that children can comprehend and use in their day-to-day lives. The clear text and playful illustrations aim to simplify financial concepts like earning, saving, interest, the difference between needs and wants, and the joy of running one’s own business. To make the otherwise boring topic interesting, the concepts have been explained through small anecdotes accompanied with colorful illustrations to stimulate children and ignite a love of saving.
In 2014, The Money Tree won the title of Children’s Financial Literacy Book of the Year from The Institute for Financial Literacy.
Saving With A Goal ~S.W.A.G. Workbook
This workbook was designed to be used in conjunction with the award-winning children’s book, “The Money Tree”. It provides over twenty practical activities to teach school-age children, third-grade through sixth-grade, basic money management. Each activity was designed to enforce a key personal finance concept and provide an easy and fun way for children to learn about money management.
Money In The Bank Card Game
Money In The Bank! is an educational financial literacy game where your child will need to use their critical thinking skills and make some tough spending decisions. As you may have suspected, the player with the most money saved at the end of the game wins.
The Money Tree Board Game
The Money Tree (The Board Game) was designed to make learning about money fun!!! Players will move across the board while making decisions about earning money, spending money, saving money and investing money.
Saving With A Goal ~S.W.A.G. (Financial Literacy Song)
SWAG is the first song released in a series of high-energy songs that teach money concepts so children understand them.
Saving With a Goal ~ S.W.A.G Program
S.W.A.G. is a financial literacy program that provides a platform for children between the ages of 7 to 13-years-old to learn (with the help of their parents) the knowledge, tools and practice they need to make informed financial decisions for their future.
Q: As a woman entrepreneur, do you have any tips for other women entrepreneurs?
A: Network, Network, Network!!!
If you want your business to be successful, you can’t do it alone. You have to network like it’s your job. Many of the connections and business relationships that you make will be invaluable to your successes.
Q: How can authors or others interested in your service contact you?
I’m also on social media: Twitter -Instagram – Facebook @writerslifemag
My personal social media: Twitter @LaDonnaSmith522 _Instagram- Facebook @authorladonnasmith.