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Tolovaj Publishing House

Updated on November 16, 2014
Tolovaj Publishing logo
Tolovaj Publishing logo


Tolovaj is a small publishing house from Ljubljana, Slovenia. It is specialized in the field of picture books and books for children. Among our recurring side projects are dramatized fairy tales on audio compact discs.

We are in most aspects one man band, made of a writer with colorful background of part time jobs and decades of experience in different areas of marketing, journalism and media (radio, newspaper, television). For every project we create a different team of illustrators, actors and designers. We always work with established professionals but try to include at least one fresh face to expand our base of coworkers and present a chance to new people.

(Intro image: our logo, all rights reserved, all other images are in public domain and royalty free, because they were first published before 1923 and authors are dead more than 70 years.)

Storytelling and literacy

Kate Greenaway: The Pied Piper of Hamelin
Kate Greenaway: The Pied Piper of Hamelin | Source

I love storytelling and with many years of experience on both parts of the microphone on radio station, I learned few tricks of the trade. Maybe this sounds a bit naïve, but if we make an improvement in the fields of literacy and critical thinking, our world would be much better place.

I write more then half of my life but unfortunately magazines, radio and TV stations and different book publishers does not provide enough to support a family.

So I decided to establish my own publishing company where I could have more control about my books and audio compact discs, particularly ones with fairy tales and short stories for children.

Of course, I had to learn the publishing business and here are the basics everybody should be aware before he starts his own venture. As a small publisher I hoped to reach some audience through the internet and after many mistakes I learned everybody, big or small, needs some kind of support.

Rene Bull: illustration from Arabian nights Entertainment
Rene Bull: illustration from Arabian nights Entertainment | Source

Why are fairy tales so important to me?

When I decided to leave the spotlights of media and become a full time writer, writing for children was not on my to-do list.

But after more detailed examination I noticed new stories for children are much more wanted then writing for grown ups (I wrote my first full length novel at 19 years and it was published by the biggest publishing house in Slovenia, so I had pretty high standards to achieve).

Very specific problem of writing for serious audience was my already recognizable style. I was writing humorous texts and everything funny was in our country for most of the history considered as a second class literature.

Many doors were closed for me because of this. But on the other hand humor was preferred in literature for kids.

Fortunately I found a lot of inspiration in fables where the messages are clear and with some imagination I managed to write my first fairy tales. So I wrote few for national radio station and they were all published. I have met few folks, used my knowledge of media and wrote few radio dramas (for kids and for adults) too. After a year or so I already had more than 50 written texts, some published, some on the waiting lists and some even got awards.

It sounds cool, but it wasn't enough to make a living.

All media houses air premieres and reruns. Premier is your initial goal, but with one rerun you can get about 30 percent of the same amount.

After few years reruns can sum up to pretty solid stream. It has to be well written of course and I started to study the genre to improve the quality of my writing because only quality got reruns.

Check our video channel

This is one of fairy tales from the series about two squirrels who are best friends but always have some kind of problem. Problems are part of everyday life, and we all, not only children, have to learn how to solve them.

I would be delighted if you become one of our subscribers!

Storzek v tezavah (Coney in Trouble)

Sladko tekmovanje (Sweet Competition)

Moja, moja, moja (Mine, mine, mine)

Becoming an expert

In few years I became an expert in the history of fairy tales and many possible hidden meanings they carry with them. I prepared lectures for educators in schools and kindergartens and I share some of my knowledge in dozens of lenses.

I like to use all kinds of trivia to get attention of the reader. For instance, we all have heard about Disney princesses, but these girls from classical fairy tales can quite differ from their popular images. Did you know Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty had children in earlier versions of fairy tales?

And because every 'classic' tale was presented in many different versions depending who wrote it down, I decided to present some of the most important writers and collections. Every one of them made important part of the literary history and because a fairy tale is never 'just a fairy tale', knowing their biographies and backgrounds help us to understand our society better.

I present some of the most influential authors and explore their collections in lenses about Andersen, Perrault, brothers Grimm, and Wilde. When I was studying about all these interesting people and their work I found many great illustrations and this inspired me to write few lenses about their lives and work as well.

And last but not least ...

I have written a lens about writing fairy tales, which proved to be my biggest hit on Squidoo so far. It got Purple Star and Lens of the Day awards in November 2012 and it was boosted to number 25 overall position in Squidoo for one day!

Not too bad for a little squidlet with not so good knowledge of English, right?

Well, Squidoo's story is over now, but I am glad to find a new home for my articles on HubPages!

I hope you'll join me at my many trips in the mysterious fairylands. To learn more about our history. Our world. Our relations. To learn more about ourselves!

Useful resources

My study of theory of fairy tales really started Uses of Enchantment by Bruno Bettleheim. Although there are many better books from this field available, I strongly believe it provides the best possible start for everybody who wants to start studying fables and stories for children.

I have read many more scientific and better supported theoretical books but this one is still THE ONE to start with.

I highly recommend reading the book by Bruno Bettleheim to get some basic insight (it doesn't matter some things written in this book are just simply wrong) in mysterious backgrounds of tales and start building the knowledge of this important subject.

Enough about me - What about you?

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    • TolovajWordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      3 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thanks for you visit and nice words, vocalcoach. Always a pleasure to see you:)

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      3 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Your work is amazing. I enjoyed reading about your publishing house. Your hub is well-written and interesting. Thank you.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thanks for stopping by, aesta1, I hope you don't have too much of cold weather in Canada. We actually have pretty mild climate with a piece of Adriatic Sea and some Alps as well, so you can definitely swim and ski in the same day ... I also have a Canada on my wish list, I suppose this would be great experience to visit so huge country as opposite to our pocket size state:)

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I enjoyed reading about your publishing house. It's a very interesting work you're doing. I wish to visit Slovenia but my husband does not like the cold as we have enough of it in Canada. When it is fine there, it is our time for Canada. One day...

    • TolovajWordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thanks, favored, all the best to you too!

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      You do what you have to, we all understand. There is life outside the web :) Happy for your success in publishing.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thank you very much, DealForALiving, for stopping by. This article is actually part of my old project on another site, where we were obliged to make so called lensographies where our work should be presented with more details to achieve so called giant status. Now the site is gone and I have to figure out what to do with the article which is in pretty big mess after the transition.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      4 years ago from Ljubljana

      Thanks for stopping by and heads up about the video. I'll fix it when I could find time to edit all the hubs. We are in the final process of getting published five books at the moment, so this problem with transition from Squidoo unfortunately has to wait for few days.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 

      4 years ago from Earth

      Really well written article and I love the idea of writing about a publisher/publishing house.

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 

      4 years ago from USA

      Like Janis I too think your work is so inspiring. I hope you get your video channel link up again so people can take a look.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile imageAUTHOR

      Tolovaj Publishing House 

      4 years ago from Ljubljana

      @WriterJanis2: You are too kind:)

    • WriterJanis2 profile image


      4 years ago

      You know how much I love your work. One would never know that English isn't your first language. I just always hope that you keep publishing more lenses as I so love to read them.


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