You may wonder what it is that I do as Art Director and Operations Manager for Gingerbread House. In the early years, I was also a home-schooler, which meant that office work was done in between lessons in all subjects.

The work then and now consists of varied responsibilities. It ranges from completely designing, decorating, and outfitting our booth at trade shows, to sorting the publishing house's mail. I create all the design, layout, and digital work for our company's web site, its print materials, and its display pieces. I enter order information into the inventory software, prepare books for shipment--which usually means applying quite a few award stickers, thank goodness!--and I help make all the company's decisions-- from which places to send out review copies, to which gauge our packing tape should be, to which colors to use for end papers. I am a partner with my mother Josephine Nobisso in all meetings and business dinners, and I attend the trade fairs in the USA and abroad. (There have been times, in fact, when I was working exhibit booths at shows for which I was too young to walk the floor!)


As you might imagine, Mom and I have a lot of fun, but we also work very hard. When our printer sends us a shipment from Hong Kong, for instance, and our books sail to California, ship by rail to New Jersey, and then are trucked to us by tractor-trailer, the delivery ends in our warehouse where Mom and I are waiting in our scruffiest work clothes to operate our forklift and unload several tons of books--in weather ranging from dreadful heat to icy snow--and then use the pallet jack to consolidate cartons onto pallets.

It's all engrossing and wonderful, and we find it really worthwhile when one of our readers writes that a book of ours is a favorite, or has significantly touched a life, or has crystallized writing tips more than a Master’s Degree did!

I've been raised in the publishing world, and I am familiar with many of the people and things that make it tick. I feel most at home when I'm doing art direction, offering suggestions to illustrators so that text, art and layout meld until it looks like one mind created a cohesive whole called a book. (You'll get a pretty good feel for my sense of design (and of organization!) when I tell you that I notice when the print on a couch's throw pillow is upside down!)

What is it like to work with one's own mother? In her, I have a teacher who loves me, a business partner who trusts my ideas and opinions, and a parent whose first priority is my happiness. It seems I've always wanted to work in the world of books, maybe even from the time I was a baby and used to chew on board books (Mom saved these specimens!) My mother used to take me to all her meetings--whether they were manuscript critique meetings with our writer friends of the Long Island Children's Writers and Illustrators Group (which she co-founded many years ago), with her editors in their offices, or with artists working even in back yard sheds when she was a senior editor of another publishing house. We work together every day, in every way, publishing the kinds of books that we would like to have in hand, and hoping that readers will love them, too!

Art Submissions

For art submissions, we accept non-returnable, color samples,

tear sheets, photocopied samples, and electronic submissions.

Please do not send originals.

Please send all art submissions to:

Maria Nicotra

Art Director



602 Montauk Highway

Westhampton Beach

New York 11978-1806 USA


if you would like to send an electronic file of your artwork,

please eMail it in JPEG or PDF form to:


Ms. Nicotra will contact you if Gingerbread House has or

anticipates a project that suits your talents.

We look forward to seeing your work!