Cardinal Rule Press produces high quality children’s literature, empowering children with timeless messages of hope, courage and the Golden Rule.


We are a non-traditional publishing company that produces a select number of books each year. We work diligently to release children’s literature that represents today’s diversity while at the same time remaining dedicated to messages that make a difference.


Tell Me More

About Us

Cardinal Rule Press is a hybrid publishing company located in Michigan.


We offer authors an opportunity to get published in a way that is not the traditional or self-publishing model, but more of a partnership between the publisher and author (which is called hybrid publishing). Therefore, we charge a fee to produce and print our books.


CRP titles are traditionally distributed by retailers nationwide with IPG, one of the industry’s top book distribution companies. Our books are printed here in the United States, and we have team members across the globe.


We work with our authors to design traditional marketing plans as well as innovative social media campaigns to release and sell their books. We expect our authors to play a large role in the marketing of their titles, before, during and after the publishing process. Authors are given the chance to collaborate on several aspects of their project, which is rare in this industry. 

Our talented staff is a community of individuals who care about the quality of books we are publishing, along with the impact the messages our titles have on their readers.


Some of our team members work from home as freelance writers and designers, while others work with large companies that are well known in the industry.


Among us, you'll find: Production Directors, Ghost Writers, Graphic Designers, Book Designers, Freelance Editors (Copy & Content), Copyright Attorneys, Marketing Directors, Publishing Associates, Administrative Assistants, Web Designers, Videographers, Accountants, Business Coaches, Printers & Distributors.

Reader's Guides


Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Pink Tiara Cookies for Three

The Potato Chip Champ

Chocolate Milk, Por Favor

The Little Linebacker

The Jelly Donut Difference

Meet Our Founder


Maria Dismondy


Maria Dismondy is an award-winning author who has taken her love for children’s literature and her success in the self-publishing industry to start Cardinal Rule Press. Maria lives in Michigan with her husband and three book-loving children.


Learn more about Maria  »

Our books are sold and distributed to the trade by IPG.


Contact at, 1-800-888-4741 or


For translation rights inquiries, please contact: Linda Migalti, Susan Schulman Literary Agency


Contact: 454 West 44th Street, New York NY 10036

+1 (212) 713-1633 ext 1102

How It Works

What type of publisher is Cardinal Rule Press?


CRP is a hybrid publisher, also known as a boutique publisher. Cardinal Rule Press works with a full service independent publishing model that combines self-publishing control with high-quality book production, marketing and distribution. We are located in Southeast Michigan.

What types of books does Cardinal Rule Press publish?


CRP only publishes children’s picture books at this time. We are known for our aesthetically pleasing titles. We know what it takes to edit a story that is up to the industry’s top standards. Each of our titles have won awards and are well known in the market.

How much does it cost to work with CRP?


After we review applications, you will receive a custom estimate for your project if we feel it is a good fit. Proposals will vary depending on which stage of development an author may be in with their book. We manage the entire process from start to finish, providing authors access to creative control. Therefore, we do charge a production fee that authors have to pay. It will include a detailed list of recommended services and associated costs. Production related costs depend on a variety of factors such as book specifications (softcover, hardcover, number of copies being printed, etc.).

What types of services are included in the production package with CRP?


We offer writing support, editorial services, full color illustrations, layout and design, printing, warehousing, national retail distribution, online distribution, marketing services along with a launch campaign. Cardinal Rule Press also works with authors on the reprinting of their titles if need be.

How do I submit my manuscript to CRP for review?


Please look at the qualifications for our authors on our "Work With Us" page, and see if we would be a good fit before beginning the application process.

How will books produced by CRP be distributed?


Books will be distributed by leading distributor IPG and all will be available to online and physical book retailers here in the United States. The book will also be available at online retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and more. Our relationship with our distributor is positive and gives our titles the opportunity for national coverage and attention.

What type of marketing plan is offered as part of the production package?


There will be a baseline marketing plan offered for each title. Our team will send out review copies and submit the book to media outlets for coverage. There will be a virtual book tour set up as part of the book launch along with other social media campaigns.

How does CRP handle fulfillment for their authors?


CRP works with a distributor to fulfill retail orders. It does not offer fulfillment services for authors from their own websites. Authors can arrange to store a supply of their books in their home or office and organize their own fulfillment this way.

What is the publishing timeline?


We have a process that is much faster than a traditional publisher, yet does not take away from the integrity of the project. With a small team, we are able to put the attention needed to each idea to get it into a book and on shelves in no time! Our average length of time from start to finish is 7-9 months.

Do authors have the intellectual rights to their books?


All of our authors retain 100% of the intellectual property rights associated with their book. There are several reasons we are a desirable company to work with, one being that our authors have the capability to review and approve their work through out the entire process.

What if I want to self-publish a book under my own publishing title (not CRP). Do you help individuals do this?


Look over the requirements in the Work With Us section. Then, if it seems like a fit, fill out the application. You must already have an established platform/brand for us to consider managing your book project. Your fee will be slightly lower because you are opting out of retail distribution and will be selling your book on your website and at non-book trade locations or events.

How do authors with CRP get paid?


We do not technically pay royalties, because our company works on a partnership (hybrid model), which means our authors pay to publish under our imprint. We pay our authors their earnings within 30 days of the close of quarters.


Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun

Having the Courage to Be Who You Are




"Lucy, Lucy, eats stinky food that puts us all in a big, bad mood!” How can Ralph be so mean, Lucy wonders? Lucy is one of a kind, and Ralph loves to point that out. Lucy’s defining moment comes when Ralph truly needs her help. 

Read More Buy Now

The Little Linebacker

A Story of Determination


By Stephen Tulloch & Maria Dismondy


Stephen is a little kid with big dreams of playing football. The odds are against him when he is tested and faced with challenges. This is a story of a boy who worked hard to defy the odds and become a leader.

Read More Buy Now

The Jelly Donut Difference

Available March 2017!


By Maria Dismondy


Leah and Dexter are brother and sister. They don’t always get along. In fact, there are times they can be downright mean to each other. The ooey, gooey jelly donuts in this story are a testament to the power of kindness, caring and generosity.


Find out if Leah and Dexter will ever learn to get along! Bite into the power of paying it forward by adding The Jelly Donut Difference to your family’s home collection or classroom library.

Pre-Order Now

Sneaky Spinach

Published by Nékter Juice Bar


Production Services by Cardinal Rule Press


By Alexis Schulze


This is a story about a boy named Nick who refuses to eat his vegetables. When a group of super spinach leaves get together they come up with a clever little scheme to make sure Nick understands how important fruits and vegetables are for his brain and body.


Will their sneaky plan finally show Nick the power of fresh fruits and veggies?

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The Potato Chip Champ

Discovering Why Kindness Counts




Champ and Walter Norbert Whipplemoore are about as different as two kids can be … Well, except for their love of baseball and potato chips. Champ had everything but always wanted more.

Read More Buy Now

Pink Tiara Cookies for Three




Sami’s perfect life falls apart when the new girl moves in next door. Sami doesn’t need another friend, she has Stella. They are the perfect example of best friends. Mittens come in pairs and so do friends, according to Sami.

Read More Buy Now

Chocolate Milk, Por Favor!

Celebrating Diversity with Empathy


ILLUSTRATED BY donna farrell


Johnny is a big fan of school but that all changes when the new kid, Gabe arrives. Gabe doesn’t speak any English, and that doesn’t stop Johnny from going out of his way to be unkind. What will Johnny do when Gabe starts to make new friends? Will he join in the fun of making a new friend or turn the other way?

Read More Buy Now

Spoonful of Sweetness

And Other Delicious Manners




What's more fun than showing your baby how to blow kisses? Teaching children how to display respect, empathy, and other powerful traits that will support them on their journey through life.

Read More Buy Now


At Cardinal Rule Press, we understand that one shoe doesn’t fit all.


It’s important to us to recognize the various publishing paths authors today can take. That is why we offer a course in publishing for a small fee, to teach aspiring writers about options that are available to them.

Course: "From Passion to Profession"


This course will teach you everything you need to know to discover which path is right for you in publishing a book.


You will learn about the industry, decide on your next steps, and learn how successful author, Maria Dismondy, sold over 26K books in just six short months. This course will provide you with proven principles and a step-by-step system to turn your idea into a book.


Content Valued at Over $2500. Course Includes:



Five Modules

Each with 3-5 Subtopics


To Watch Over & Over


Listen to the Course on the Go


Videos, Handouts & How-Tos

Case Studies

Stories from Leaders in the Industry


Stay Organized & Finish the Course

Bonus Handouts

Valuable Content with Proven Results

Lifetime Access

Continue to Access Materials, Even as the Course Changes


Email Assignments with Instructor for Accountability


( *Included in Support Option only )


Purchase Options:


Basic Course: $247

See Details & Buy Online »

Basic Course + Support: $397

See Details & Buy Online »


Mini Courses for Aspiring Writers:


Writing & Publishing LIVE Workshop: $0
See Details & Sign Up


Writing Email/Video Mini-Course: $0

See Details & Sign Up


Five Day Writing & Publishing Challenge: $0

See Details & Sign Up


Education for Published Authors:


Group Coaching with Maria Dismondy

See Details & Sign Up


Bi-Monthly Marketing Newsletter: $0

See Details & Sign Up


Audio Series-Book Sales Virtually: $0

See Details & Sign Up


Five Day Marketing Challenge: $0
See Details & Sign Up


Virtual Visits Video Tutorial: $27 

See Details & Buy Online

Course Testimonials


Realizing I had much more to learn, I purchased your publishing course, have listened to probably every podcast interview you’ve had and follow you on the social media platforms I use.


I have learned so much from connecting with you on all these platforms, not only about this business, marketing, etc. but also about what it means to be an entrepreneur, a business woman and a mama.


I am currently at work on my second book and I know that other books will come after it.


Gabriel Garcia , Listening to my body
Visit Website »

I took Maria's course and it guided me so much on the dynamics of the book publishing world.


It also gave me the tools to really move my book forward! I love how she broke down the various aspects of how you can publish along with pros & cons and next steps. She answered many questions for me along the way. I'm now a published author! I only wish I had taken this course and met Maria years ago


Jen Dean, Fit Lovin Mama: A Guide to Getting Strong, Fit And Sane Post-Baby
Visit Website »


Maria has been great to work with.


Right from the start, we got along great and really were able to collaborate and tell my story through my first children’s book, which is something I’ve always wanted to do.


Stephen Tulloch, NFL Linebacker
Visit Website »

Maria was AMAZING to work with! She provided me with an abundance of knowledge prior to self publishing my first book.


Maria explained the different types of publishing, and the pros and cons of each avenue. She shared several reputable contacts and connections with me and answered numerous questions that guided me along the path to success.


She was so influential that I dedicated my first book to her. Maria is someone I will always look to for guidance. If you have the opportunity to work with her, take advantage of it!


Kendra Montante
Visit Website »

Work With Us

We strive for excellence in every project we take on. Our way of doing this is selecting only a few titles to produce each year.


CRP is an ideal fit for you if…

  • You have an established brand and platform.
  • You believe in making a difference through children’s literature and fully support our mission statement.
  • You have the budget to invest in this project.

You are an ideal fit for CRP if…

  • Your target market is parents, teachers, and caregivers.
  • You have a large following on social media.
  • You have experience in marketing a product.
  • You want to play a role in spreading the message in the children’s book we create with you.

What We Require:

  • Query letter & manuscript (attached with your application)
  • Please do your research before submitting your application and use the proper formatting for a children’s book manuscript.

Additional Information:

  • Our response time is 4-6 weeks once we receive your application.
  • We respond only to submissions that follow our guidelines.
  • We do accept simultaneous submissions.
  • Manuscript must be in English.
  • We only accept children’s picture book manuscripts at this time.
  • Any writing that promotes hate or violence will not be considered.

Founder of CRP, Maria Dismondy, uses her experiences as an award-winning author for nearly a decade to work one-on-one and in small groups with other writers.


Group Coaching | Cost: $497

Maria offers coaching sessions to published authors who have an already developed platform and are looking to increase book sales. Group Coaching lasts 6 weeks and takes place weekly on a video call. There is 24/7 access to Maria via a private FB group during the session.  


90-Minute Strategy Call |  Cost: $249

Three Calls over a 6 week period | Cost: $597


These options do not include editorial services but focus on the business side of writing with a special focus on proven marketing strategies for authors.


Cardinal Rule Press: Application

About You

Social Media

Query Letter

Please include word count, brief synopsis, information about your already established platform, a statement as to why you believe the book will sell, and the target market for this book.


Formats Accepted: PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT.
Max File Size: 30 MB.



Please do your research before submitting your application and use the proper formatting for a children’s book manuscript. Manuscript must be in English. We only accept children’s picture book manuscripts at this time. Any writing that promotes hate or violence will not be considered.


Formats Accepted: PDF, DOC, DOCX, TXT.
Max File Size: 30 MB.



Our response time is 4-6 weeks once we receive your application. We respond only to submissions that follow our guidelines (as outlined in the Work With Us section of our site). We do accept simultaneous submissions.

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For Aspiring Authors

Contact Us



Cardinal Rule Press

P.O. Box 930237
Wixom, MI 48393

Are you already published and looking for tips on marketing your book? Sign up to receive proven marketing strategies right to your mailbox along with a free download-Three Ways to Boost Book Sales!


For Published Authors


Books That Make a Difference

View Our Catalog



Timeless Messages of Hope, Courage and the Golden Rule.

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