Local Author Rochelle Carithers Receives Help from Kaskaskia College Small Business Development Center

When local author Rochelle Carithers, author of “The Purple with Pink Polka Dot Ponies,” finished writing her book, she turned to Steve Groner, Director of the Small Business Development Center for advice on publishing and promoting her work.


“My husband I went to a small business class together through the KC Small Business Center,” Rochelle said.   “I remembered that class and contacted the office to talk to someone about how to proceed with selling and marketing the book.  I made an appointment, and met Steve Groner.”


“Steve gave me list of local contacts and possible publications to advertise in,” Rochelle continued.  “He also showed me how to write a press release - something I have never heard of before.  The press releases were a great success, and I plan on sending another round of them out when I start the Rural King book tour.  He also went the extra step, and had me send him a draft so he could give me advice on the press release.  The Center also sends out monthly letters that have lots of great info in them.”


Rochelle plans a series of “Pony” books.  “I have my second book completed.  I have always planned for the pony books to be a four book series based on the seasons.  First book spring, second summer, third fall, and last winter/Christmas.  I also have a dragon manuscript I am working on that I would like to publish, it is about a little boy, and a pink dragon named Susie saving a baby gargoyle.   I have a picture book completed, I am pitching both that book and the second pony book to agents right now, but it is a long process.”


Rochelle has advice for new authors.  “Research, research, research!  I researched my publishing company - but did not know much about social media.  I didn't know authors need a social platform.  As a result I have to fix all the mistakes I made.  I would also suggest subscribing to the Writer’s Digest, it has been a wealth of information, and I wish I would have subscribed earlier.  There is also a St Louis Publishing Association that is very good too, they are very dedicated.  Also, while self-published books are getting more and more attention, know that big publishers don't really like them, so you have to know up front that it is going to be an uphill battle.” 


The Small Business Development Center is a boon for small businesses and startups of all kinds, in Rochelle’s view.  “They are very dedicated, and have tons of information to help you grow as a business.  They want you to be a success, and will do everything they can to help you achieve that goal.  The contacts alone are worth a meeting and visit to the office.  I would recommend them to anyone wanting to start a business.  I have been communicating with Steve and the center for four years now, and he is just as interested and motivated now as he was at that first meeting.”


Rochelle Carither’s book, “The Purple with Pink Polka Dot Ponies,” is available from


For more information on the Small Business development Center, contact Steve Groner at 618-545- 3262 or by email at​

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