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Publisher Profile: Story Monsters

The CBC asks Linda Foster Radke, president of Story Monsters LLC, questions about the publisher on their anniversary.

2024 marks the 39th anniversary of our publishing company while marking 10 years of Story Monsters LLC! 

Throughout our 39 years as publishers, we have learned the invaluable lesson of surrounding ourselves with an exceptional team and ensuring that we strive to do everything right or not at all.

How did your publishing house start out?

Story Monsters LLC was originally founded in 1985 as Five Star Publications, offering book marketing and publishing services across multiple genres. However, the company shifted its focus solely to children’s books 10 years ago.

What is your publishing house most known for?

Story Monsters LLC is widely recognized for its excellence in book production, marketing, and all aspects related to children’s books. It leads the way in this field and was honored by two organizations as one of the top five book marketing companies.

Where in the country is your house based? What do you love about being based there?

Our headquarters is located in Chandler, Arizona. We have a virtual team, so we also have associates in Massachusetts, North Carolina, and Indiana.

Where did the idea for the Story Monster character come from?

The idea for the Story Monster character originated from our passion for creating performance puppets for children’s books. My goal was to develop a universal puppet that could be utilized by any author or publisher to promote the benefits of reading. The Story Monster puppet was introduced and received an incredible response from students and educators during school visits and talks. This inspired the launch of Story Monsters Ink, a magazine dedicated to children’s books and authors. The very first issue garnered significant interest from well-known authors, publishers, and book publicists, and continued to grow into an international publication.

Do you have a favorite issue/cover of Story Monsters Ink?

It’s quite challenging to select a favorite issue or cover of Story Monsters Ink as each new cover becomes yet another favorite. Our Jamie Lee Curtis issues are always a favorite. She has graced our cover more than once, and her talent and generosity never cease to amaze me. She is such a wonderful advocate for children’s literacy.

Are you still publishing books as well?

Yes, our Story Monsters Press division actively engages in traditional publishing and partnership publishing. One of our more recent titles is Marky the Magnificent Fairy: A Disability Story of Courage, Kindness, and Acceptance, written by Cynthia Kern Obrien and illustrated by Jeff Yesh, and is a perfect example of a successful partnership in publishing. The author entrusted our team to provide guidance through minor editing and proofreading, as well as a collaboration with Yesh, our graphic designer extraordinaire who brought her work to life. This effort resulted in multiple awards and the book was selected by the San Diego International Kids Festival for a special performance at their prestigious award ceremony, performed by 16 incredibly talented children and a film director. Another title is I am Monster Magnificent, created by Story Monsters LLC, curated by Raven Howell, and published by Story Monsters Press as a way to engage teachers and encourage their students to submit poems, artwork, and illustrations. As a former educator myself, I’m driven to help children showcase their unique talents. Every student possesses distinct strengths, whether it be in writing, drawing, or photography. I am Monster Magnificent provides a platform for these talented individuals to truly shine.

Why did you decide to start a magazine?

The decision to start a magazine was driven by my long-held dream of publishing one. I patiently waited for the right concept to emerge. After the successful launch of the Story Monster character, I knew it was the perfect time to create Story Monsters Ink. Our aim was to establish a platform that would become a trusted resource for educators, librarians, and parents, and I believe we have achieved that.

Thank you, Story Monsters!

Story Monsters LLC is the publisher of Story Monsters Ink magazine and the publisher of Story Monsters Press. Story Monsters also includes the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards, the Royal Dragonfly Book Awards, and the Story Monsters Approved! book awards program.

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