“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right.”
― Henry Ford
Mexican-American, multi-Emmy award-winning journalist, speaker and author, Naibe Reynoso, has worked and contributed to various regional, national and international networks including KTLA, Univision, CNN, and has even filled in as a co-host on ABC’s “The View”. As an entrepreneur, Reynoso co-created the one-hour talk show “The TRENDTalk,” and co-founded the events company Latinafest which has produced over a dozen successful events in the Los Angeles Area.
In 2018 she ventured into publishing and created Con Todo Press, a publishing company that creates books to amplify the voices of underrepresented communities and her first book landed her on Amazon’s best-seller list.
We chatted with Naibe, a Latina who is the definition of what it means to be an Influenser, about her latest children’s bilingual book, “Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos Who Made U.S. History“, and how she’s coping and pivoting during this time of crisis.
What made you enter the publishing industry?
As a journalist, it has always been my mission to tell stories about my community. I have been a media professional for over 20 years working for various companies, but I felt a sense of urgency to start a business in children’s publishing when I heard my community being unfairly targeted by political leaders. As a mother, I was really concerned about the long term effects these negative messages would have on our children. Words are powerful, and hateful words that have been used to describe Latinos especially immigrants, can seep into the collective consciousness of our little ones having irreparable damage to their self esteem. When you are a child, you are just starting to understand your own sense of self. When I kept hearing the leader of our country saying hateful and stereotypical words about us, it worried me about how the children from our community would feel about their place in America. I made a decision to fight words of hate with words of hope. I decided to use all of the skills that I had learned as a journalist, to create pieces of media for the youngest segment of my community, so that they could read inspirational stories about Latinx leaders that have made U.S. History, and provide a type of immunity to such hate speech.
What inspired you to write this book?
My first book,”Be Bold, Be Brave” focused on female Latina leaders, so I wanted my second book “Fearless Trailblazers” to highlight Latino men that have made an impact in our country too. I have a son, and I think it is also important for Latino boys to see role models from their own community. “Fearless Trailblazers” highlights eleven exemplary Latinos like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Cesar Chavez, astronaut Jose Hernandez, politician Julian Castro and other trailblazers that have made valuable contributions to science, arts, politics, sports and more.
What is your definition of an INFLUENSER?
I truly believe that the measurement of true influence isn’t in popularity,
but it is in impact. If you lead by example and inspire others by living with authenticity and purpose, you can influence people around you, and that can become a ripple effect with far–reaching impact.
How have you used your influence for good?
As a journalist with over 20 years of experience in media, I have used my experience, contacts and connections, which are also a valuable source of “influence”, to bring more awareness to my books which in turn have the purpose of doing good for our community. The whole mission of Con Todo Press is to have the new generations of Latino children
feel visible in media, and feel included as a valuable part of the fabric of the United States. I hope to use my influence as a publishing house to continue publishing books that reflect a more balanced picture of how valuable we as a community, are in America. If kids can see it, they can believe it and achieve it. My books are in English and Spanish, and I like seeing that multiple generations can connect with a book that reflects their language and their culture.
In light of recent tragic events with COVID-19, what is your company
doing to support the community?
Many parents are now finding themselves homeschooling their children for the first time in their lives (including myself) because of the massive amount school closures. As a publishing company that produces bilingual, educational children’s books, it is important for Con Todo Press
to offer resources to help cope with this new reality. Con Todo Press is offering free worksheets that parents can download via our website contodopress.com. Every week we create new printable sheets that offer a variety of lessons from art, to history, to Spanish. Most of our sheets are tied to our books “Fearless Trailblazers” which released on Cesar Chavez day- March 31, 2020 and “Be Bold, Be Brave.” These downloadable sheets fit second-grade curriculum where students in grade two explore the lives of actual people who make a difference in their everyday lives and learn the stories of extraordinary people from history whose achievements have touched them, directly or indirectly. I have also been offering all books at discount prices on our website, contodopress.com so that the books are more affordable for parents who may want to incorporate them as part of their lesson plans.
As an entrepreneur, how are you pivoting your business strategy?
This pandemic has hit the publishing industry hard, but it is affecting smaller independent publishers like Con Todo Press even harder. I had a myriad of book festivals, library and school visits I was set to participate in to help promote the release of my new book “Fearless Trailblazers,” a
bilingual biography book that features 11 Latinos who made U.S. History, and all of those events were either canceled or postponed. As a new publishing company, I work out of my home office so luckily I don’t have an office lease to pay for or full-time employees, but I still have administrative costs and other expenses to pay. The way I am coping is to have a positive attitude and find ways to collaborate with other authors and small Latinx businesses by doing giveaways, promoting each other’s free resources, and encouraging each other. I am also using this time to grow other aspects of my business, such as working on newsletters to send to my email list, doing lots of research on how to improve my business model, and catching up on administrative items. Con Todo Press has two new books that were scheduled to be released later this year, so I have been working on those projects as well. I am also focusing on creating free worksheets to keep our customers engaged with our content.
“Fearless Trailblazers: 11 Latinos Who Made U.S. History” is available on AMAZON and on contodopress.com