As published by by Joe Meyers for CT Post
Thanks to the wonders of the Internet and digital communication, Saira Rao was able to move from Greenwich to Denver recently without ever interrupting the work of her young adult publishing company, In This Together. Rao founded the company last year with her college pal, Carey Albertine, in an effort to produce books that empower young women rather than talk down to them or exploit their sexuality.
“I was so shocked by the dearth of racial diversity and the complete stereotyping of girls in television,” she recalled in a recent phone interview.
“My friend Carey had two small children, too, and with complete hubris we decided to create the next `Dora the Explorer,’ but with girls who were neither tomboys nor princesses,” she added.
After meeting with Disney and PBS about some of their ideas, Rao said, the duo “realized our goal was right, but the medium was wrong. … We saw that we should be doing books.”
“He said, `If college is anything like preschool, I’m moving to Siberia,’ ” Rao said of the conversational spark that launched “Personal Statement.”
With the rise of Amazon and digital publishing Rao and her partner realized that the old rules of publishing were disappearing.
Soon they came up with a book called “Soccer Sisters” and before you could say “instant success” professional soccer player Brandy Chastain had endorsed the book and it was the subject of a segment on NBC’s “Today.”
“The moral is, if you ask people for things, nine times out of 10 they’ll say `yes,’ ” she said of getting Chastain’s endorsement.
The new book from In This Together — “Personal Statement” ($12.99) — is about the crazy competition to get into good colleges.