HISTORY | Black Owned Book Publishers | Lauren Simone Pubs

The idea of Laur​en Simone Publishing (LSP) House began in 2016. It was formally established as an entity of Front Page Talent LLC and functions as a publishing company in the State of Connecticut. The publishing house was birthed by two sisters, Olivia Lauren John and Alyssa Simone John who enjoy the arts. They acted, modeled, drew, painted, played musical instruments, and most recently wrote and published their own children's books. They wanted to expose young readers to the things that they had experienced, as well as create a platform for other authors and artists to share their talent and diversity.  

Timeline

2017
January: Alyssa Simone, Olivia Lauren, and their mother, Dr. Melissa-Sue John created the Olivia Lauren book series.
February: Olivia Lauren Occupations A to Z, a children's career guide was released.
March:  Alina Dowe, Princeton Dowe, and Brazil Dowe joined Lauren Simone Publishing House and released the first edition book of the He and She Series Siblings Fight. 
April: Olivia Lauren's Olivia Travels was released.
June: Books available in Bookclub Bookstore in South Windsor, CT, Mahogany Cafe Bookstore in Florida, and the Prosser Public Library in Bloomfield, CT.
July: Olivia Lauren had public readings of Olivia Travels at the Hartford Public Library, Albany branch and the Brooklyn Public Library.
August: Lauren Simone Pubs garnered their official illustrator team: Leo, Niquey, Simonne, and Zach. Olivia Lauren was interviewed on the Ernee Pepper Show. Olivia Lauren's Olivia Connects is released. Olivia Lauren featured in the Hartford Courant. The first edition of the Dowe Twins More 2 Learn Series' Days of the Week is released and distributed by Book Club Bookstore, South Windsor, CT.
September: Olivia Lauren's A Guide to the Things We Wear was released. Olivia Lauren did a story time at Jack and Allies Bookstore in Vernon, CT.
October: Olivia Lauren and Dr John was invited to Career Day at Laurel Elementary in Bloomfield, CT.
November: Olivia Lauren attended her first Book fair at the Connecticut Children's Book Fair. 
December: Olivia Lauren read at the Wood Library and Museum. 

2018
January: Sabrena Bishop and Elijah Bishop released Elijah and his invisible friend.  Dr John featured on Smile Jamaica on TVJ. Dr John did a book reading at Bookaphilia bookstore in Kingston, JA. Lauren Simone Publishing added tote bags.
February: Dr. John was featured author at the Local CT authors visit Prosser Library. Dr John and Sabrena Bishop got Black history month feature from Atlanta African American Book Festival. Imani Ariana Grant's Disco Balls of the Universe was released. Lauren Simone Publishing attended first Black Wall Street event in Bridgeport.
March: Imani's book launch took place in Bloomfield, CT. Lauren Simone Pubs now available at Brown Boy, Brown Girl Bookstore. Dr John spoke at the Wallingford Public Library with other esteemed authors. Dr John invited to read for Black history month at school in Principal Nick Jones school.
April: Sabrena Bishop released I May Not Be Like You, But We Could Be Friends.  Lauren Simone Pubs attends book fair in Philadelphia, PA. Sabrena does a story time at a Florida school. Olivia reads at the East Hartford Learning Center. Authors featured on Path to Greatness podcast. Sabrena interviewed  by Bev Jones. Lauren Simone Pubs vend at Pitkin Elementary School. Olivia reads at Wesleyan RJ Julia Bookstore. NBC Reporter Keisha Grant shares daughter in Olivia Lauren tee. 
May: Imani reads book at the YMCA Vernon. Authors attend UCONN Barnes and Noble Children's Book Day Event in Hartford. Olivia Lauren's Things We Wear and Occupations A to Z receive Readers Favorite Five Star seal. Sabrena reads at Northwest Regional Library.
June: Imani reads at Bronx School. Imani and Olivia display books at the Hartford Public Main library and get featured on NBC. Olivia and Imani attend Black Wall Street New Haven and sell out again!
July: Blog created. Sabrena attends South Florida Book Festival. Sabrena and Melissa attend Atlanta African American Book Festival. Imani reads at the Rockville Public Library. Books in Tall Tales Book Shop. Lauren Simone Pubs attend Freedom Community Festival in Bridgeport, CT. Disco Balls gets Readers Favorite 5 star.
August: Imani attends Fun in the Son event in Bronx, NY and Jack and Allies Bookstore, Vernon, CT. Books sold at That Book Store in Wethersfield, CT. Olivia meets award winning children's book author, Jacqueline Woods at Mark Twain Center, Hartford, CT.
September: Olivia, Alyssa, Imani, Madison, and Elijah featured in Writer's Life Magazine. Book fair at the Bloomfield Congregational Church.
October: Sabrena presents at the ESE Family Forum in Dade County, Florida.
November: Olivia and Imani read at Annie's Bookstore, MA.
December: Yvette Phillips released The Tale of Princess Alicia, a chapter book and has book launch in Bronx, NY. Authors attend Winter Book Fair at UCONN Bookstore. Sabrena's book I may not be like you but we could be friends is a featured book at the LOL Book Club. 

2019
January: Lauren Simone Publishing House created an online bookstore hosting other diverse children's books, toys, puzzles, accessories, and apparel. Dr John hosts book event at Kozy Korner Bookstore in Jamaica. 
February: Lauren Simone Pubs authors featured by Red Clover Reader. Olivia and Imani are featured by Inspo Mini Style. Imani presents at Kids Week event at the Intrepid Museum. Miss Florida Teen reads Elijah and his invisible friend to class in Florida.
March: Dr John reads Things We Wear at Sunset Ridge Elementary School. Olivia reads Things We Wear at LOL Book Club. Lauren Simone Pubs partners with Vintage Radio and Communication Museum of Connecticut. Imani hosts Paint event at Painting with a twist. Olivia and Dr John featured on Both Sides with DJ and Hanee podcast.
April: Olivia reads Things We Wear book at That Book Store. Imani releases her second book, The Golden Life of Sally Sunflower right in time for Earth Day.
May: Olivia and Lauren showcase books at the Hartford Public Library. 
October: Lala and Henry Wingo by Ayana Bando and her daughters was released.
June: Imani showcases books at the Ever Wonder children's museum and Strong Family Farm.
July: Yvette showcases book at Kozy Korner Bookstore, Kingston, JA. Imani showcases books at Discovery Museum.
September: Lauren Simone Pubs books featured at the UCONN BN event.
October: Dr John speaks at the CT Lit Fest, showcases books at the East Hartford fall festival and Strong Farm Harvest Festival. Olivia showcases books at Auer Farm Festival.
November: Sabrena Bishop named in Author Academy Top 10 Finalist.
December: Yvette Phillips released an accompanying Princess Alicia Activity Book to accompany the chapter book. Lauren Simone Pubs participated in the Bloomfield Backpack Program and UCONN Barnes and Noble Holiday Bazaar.


2020
January: Priscilla Morgan published a Gratitude Journal for Kids
February: Yvette Phillips featured on News12 reading for Chinese Lunar Year.
March: Lauren Simone Publishing House became eligible to participate in the State of Connecticut’s Supplier Diversity Program certifying as an official Small/Minority Business Enterprise. 
May: Sabrena Bishop and her son, Elijah released Elijah's Birthday Surprise
July: Sabrena Bishop and her daughter, Madison released Madison explores paint. 
Olivia Lauren and Dr. John read Things We Wear on the CaryLee  Show.
August: Lauren Simone Pubs in collaboration with the Love of Literature host virtual camp.
October: Rabbi Donna Berman released The Painted Sky.
Lauren Simone Pubs featured by the Greater New Haven Arts Council.
December: Lauren Simone Pubs chooses Charter Oak Cultural Center as its official charity, giving 10% of proceeds of the Olivia Lauren series. 

2021
February: Educators, Ryan Parker and Justis Lopez, released Happyvism: A Story about Choosing JoyImani Ariana featured on NBC.
March: Imani Ariana released her third book, Virtual Lift Off. 
April: Imani Ariana featured on The Weather Channel
May: Lauren Simone Pubs receives Citizens Bank Small Business Community Champion Award; Ryan Parker featured as  Poet Laurette of Manchester on Fox; Olivia Lauren's poem featured on CT transit bus.
June: Aaron Gordon and Fitzroy Gordon released Cybersecurity Explorers.
July: Proskater by Amari Bingham was released.
September: Lauren Simone Pubs accepted into the Girls for Technology Building for Equity Pitch Competition.
October: Lauren Simone Pubs was nominated ShopBlackCT professional service and they won!
Lauren Simone Pubs was invited into the 2021 Inner City Capital Connects (ICCC) cohort. 
November: Lauren Simone participated in GFT Pitch Competition and was voted Audience Favorite at the Girls for Technology Building for Equity. Editor Stephanie Clarke joins Lauren Simone Publishing.
December: Melissa-Sue John was featured by Boceto Media for the Olivia Lauren series representing diversity in the community and on the front page of the Hartford News; Rosamond White releases Home, Where is Home?; Youth Illustrator, Zachary Clarke's art makes the cover of the Bubblah Children's Magazine. 


2022
January: Lauren Simone Publishing was accepted into Operation Hope Business Accelerator.
February: Dr. John and Dr.  Fitzroy Gordon were featured on East Hartford Library's Author Showcase; Lauren Simone Pubs was accepted in 12th cohort of the Reset Impact Business Accelerator; Dr. John was a featured on New Haven Arts Council Black Children's Book Week, and Jenny Boom Boom's Small Business. 
March: Dr. John was invited to UCONN Werth Coffee Chats and featured on Royal Lilac for Women' history month; Joseph Inigo released Music Note Kids;  Willona Y. Amoakoh joined Lauren Simone; Yvette Phillips spoke at a Women's conference; Lauren Simone Pubs selected as a finalist in A Billion Black Business; Olivia Lauren's books featured in Children's Lending Library in Florence, Italy. Dr. John was accepted into the reSET Business Accelerator. 
April: Nichole Hawkins joined Lauren Simone Publishing House. 
May: Carol Cross joined Lauren Simone Publishing House. Loreal Harris joined Lauren Simone Publishing.
June: Nichole Hawkins released You are the U in Unique; Illustrator Aadil Kwan joined Lauren Simone Publishing. Author Cheryl Baldwin joined Lauren Simone Publishing.  Imani Grant, Olivia Lauren, and Dr John presented at the Black Children's Reading Lounge. Dr John presented at Career Week at O'Brien STEM Academy. Dr John presented at the reSET Social Entreprise Venture Showcase. 

​Currently, Lauren Simone Publishing House has 26 authors (11 youth and 15 adults) and 12 illustrators (6 youth and 6 adults). Click on the link to learn more about the authors and illustrators

MISSION STATEMENT  

The mission of Lauren Simone Publishing House is to tackle the issue of lack of diversity in children's literature by being completely inclusive in terms of gender, race, nationality, religion, and ability by publishing the works of diverse authors and illustrators thereby creating literature for all to enjoy. 

CORE VALUES

Our core value is to D.R.E.A.M.

  • Diversity. We seek to promote children's literature that have diverse characters in age, race, nationality, gender, and ability so that all parents and teachers can find books that their children or students will enjoy. 
  • Redefine. We seek to redefine diversity by creating inclusive publishing which includes the work of authors and illustrators of all ages, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, and ability so that our customers recognize that this publishing house is for them.
  • Envision. We envision books that are entertaining but educational books to increase the joy of reading, the love of STEM, and therefore reduce disparities in education.
  • Act. We seek to provide acceptable and satisfactory service to our clients and customers by providing efficient communication, professionalism, honesty, and transparency.
  • Manifest. We seek to manifest impact and empowerment in the communities we serve in our donation of our time, effort, talent and wealth. We have committed to giving 10% of proceeds from Olivia Lauren series to Charter Oak Community Cultural Center. Charter Oak Cultural Center is a vibrant multi-cultural arts center committed to doing the work of social justice through the arts. We seek to hire employees in our local and national communities, rather than outsourcing internationally.

VISION 

Our vision is to improve the lives of people and communities we encounter. By raising the self-confidence of the authors and illustrators we represent; empowering the children who read our books by letting them see positive representation of themselves; and challenging preconceived narrative of  BIPOC students' worth, abilities, and talents, we hope to accomplish this vision. 

SOCIAL IMPACT

We are committed to have an impact on the world by spreading love, education, and inclusion. We will continue to provide diverse children's books, serve diverse clients, hire diverse talent, participate in mentorship program Read to a Child, and donate a portion of proceeds to a worthy organization.  We will measure our commitment to social impact in the quality and representativeness of the products sold, the diversity of clients served, vendors used, volunteer hours, and financial donations.