Arianne McHugh – Writing and Publishing Educational Books

On February 2nd, 2012 Irene Watson and Victor R. Volkman spoke with educational publisher and marketing guru Arianne McHugh. She is the President and Co-Owner of Saddleback Educational Publishing. She has revamped Saddleback into the country’s largest publisher of high-interest, low readability material. Saddleback kicks off its 30th anniversary with thirteen Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (2012) for its series, Urban Underground. She took the time to educate on several important aspects of the industry including:

  • What is educational publishing exactly?
  • What is a high-interest, low readability book and who is the market?
  • How does an author write for educational publishers (versus the trade)?
  • What are the relationships you use to sell books and keep customers?
  • How does an author market themselves to educational publishers?
  • As an author, how do you stay relevant in this industry?
  • What is one thing you get asked all the time?

Arianne McHugh

Arianne McHugh

Arianne McHugh earned her bachelors at San Diego State University. Previous to publishing, Arianne was the Director of Clientele Development for Bloomingdales – assisting in the planning, training and complete operations for the opening of the California Flagship Store. She also created a mom’s blog that received national attention from General Motors as well as TV Dr. Phil, to name a few. Saddleback publishes over a thousand titles including Urban Fiction, Hi-Lo Chapter Books, Nonfiction, Graphic Novels, Interactive Smartboard Lessons, Low Level Supplemental Curriculum and more.

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About Victor Volkman

Author of "Beyond Trauma: Conversations on Traumatic Incident Reduction" and six other books.
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One Response to Arianne McHugh – Writing and Publishing Educational Books

  1. Lee B. Woods says:

    Hello, I woul like to hear more about marketing a book on writing skills for the home school community, specifically the middle grades (5-8). My new book, “Finding King Onomatopoeia and Other Stories,” uses storytelling techniques to lure students into the art and craft of writing. Twenty five traditional publishers rejected it because, in their words, “…it did not meet the criteriea for preparing students to pass standardized tests.” That I can understand, because although the book still teaches students what they need to know, it doesn’t do it with old-school lectures and old-school prompts that stiffle a student’s creativity. It’s what one student called, “not your father’s book on writing skills.” Professors, middle school teachers, students, all have praised the book for its creativity and bold approach to teaching students how to write through imitation and exercises in sentence patterns. With so many publishers saying no, I stuck with the reviews and looked for another market. Based on new comments from moms, I think I’ve found it: the growing home school market, with its flexible cirrculum and need for teaching techniques that will engage students, not bore them. Now, I’m looking for someone like you, someone who can tell me the next step to take and with whom (book marketing group? publicist?). I thank you for your time; I realize you have little of it.
    Lee B. Woods
    Cocoa, FL

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