13 Million Copies and Counting: The Free Spirit Publishing Story

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October 2013
by Linda Carlson

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Judy Galbraith insists that she no longer has the energy to work the 60-hour weeks that were common when she was starting Free Spirit Publishing at age 29, but she bubbles with enthusiasm for the company’s new lines, her staff, and even the building where she recently moved all its operations. She’s also full of advice for new and would-be publishers, including, “Be willing to do the work: if publishing were easy, lots more people would be doing it.”

That’s a statement that led to chuckles during our recent conversation, when Galbraith confessed that her first book resulted from an effort to get out of work. A middle-school teacher who had moved into the management of programs for gifted kids, she was completing a master’s degree when the question of a thesis arose. She says she couldn’t bear the idea of writing a traditional thesis that would then get shelved, never benefiting anyone, and she asked if she could instead survey gifted students and report on the findings. “Little did I know how much more work that would be!”

That first survey resulted in The Gifted Kids’ Survival Guide, introduced in 1983 and now in its fourth edition as The Gifted Teen Survival Guide: Smart, Sharp, and Ready for (Almost) Anything, with 280,000 copies in print, and copies in more than 400 libraries….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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