“The process of publishing provides a learning curve that amazes me every day! …The level of honor bestowed upon an author is mind boggling. In some ways, I don’t “feel” like an author, but people keep referring to me as one. It’s an honor, truly.”
Why did you become a book publisher? Insomnia causes me to get up and write down ideas that keep me awake at night. So the creative process that naturally flows from my head, through my fingers, and onto a keyboard was taking up too much space on my hard drive! It started with song writing ideas that led to story ideas and if that wasn't enough, I realized I had volumes of writing that needed to be shared. When I was introduced to a woman who dreamed of illustrating a children's book in 2012, and I inquired if she could draw facial expressions such as surprise, worry and happiness, she said, "That's my specialty." And the story board for my book was drafted in pencil one week later.
What do you like best about publishing? The process of publishing provides a learning curve that amazes me every day! Especially in regard to E-publishing. Apps for me in 2014 are like photographs for my grandmother in 1914: both were astonishing forms of media. The process of printing my hardcover book has been very hopeful, and the level of honor bestowed upon an author is mind boggling. In some ways, I don't "feel" like an author, but people keep referring to me as one. It's an honor, truly.
What do you publish? Music and children's books. My song catalog has more than 300 song titles. Dozens are published with ASCAP. My first children's book "Mama Bird Papa Bird" is volume 1, and the following volumes are being put into story board form, waiting for illustration.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? The last twenty years I have acquired an arsenal of friends, business networks, national and international artists who travel the world. Ranging from housewives to talk show hosts, the expectation of me writing a book has been overwhelming. The effect from meeting thousands of people in person, reaching out through radio or TV, and now globally via social media, (whew!) what is most effective? Being there, available to meet people en masse, is quite effective I'd say.
How do you define a successful title? In the music biz we say things like hooky, or what's your hook? In the children's book arena, a title with a universal appeal, rather than a specific cultural appeal is more successful, I think. The element of being timeless will also be successful. Think classic, not pop; universal, not local. These titles are far reaching and translate into several languages and cultures. If reading truly is essential, then a successful title will translate into any language and be relevant to most countries world wide.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. Mama Bird Papa Bird is fun to say. It's musical, yet simple. Being a children's book, toddlers can "read" the words, probably due to the fact that these words "mama and papa" are the first words spoken by most children all over the world. I value literacy among little ones. They can read along and begin the process of literacy as soon as they open their eyes and follow a picture, and turn their heads to follow our words. I'm a firm believer in reading to children at an early age. In fact, my son could "read" before he could walk! So yeah, I'm proud of the title because it reflects me (Mama Bird), my husband (Papa Bird) and the surprise (Baby Bird) we meet later in the story.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? E-Pub, that little demon of a software program that eludes my computer tech guru and my web master! Seriously, have you tried to self-publish to the various e-book sites? Who knew that there was a war between the letters A, B & N? Without slandering anyone, all e-books are not formatted the same, in case you haven't tried one yet! Learning about .com and .net was easy way back when. However, .mobi and .epub are not so easy! And what is green about batteries for e-books anyway? The challenge for me is knowing how to bend with e-books, when book on demand, or print books seem so much more earth friendly, and renewable. Sorry for the vent, but you asked the question!
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Don't be fooled by the lure of E-books. Twenty years from now, my book will be on the shelves. Where will your e-reader be? Don't worry if you think the process of publishing is going too slow. It's worth the wait. You will improve your craft as time goes by.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? Wherever I go, there I am. I'm chasing the airwaves that carried my music to Australia, while I lived in the United States. I'm following the wave of the Internet that broadcasts my voice in Poland, via the lady that translated my songs there. I have the luck of the Irish man who exposed my song that earned royalties in Brazil, Canada, England...and I see Adnaw Publishing sponsoring a kid's show on PBS, combining my music, animation of my book(s) and a cast of characters that appeal to all cultures in the form of a family of animals.
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? Five dollar movies every Tuesday is a real deal, and the popcorn is free! The soda costs more than the ticket, but the refills on soda and popcorn are free! My four-year-old grand daughter reinvented fun for me! I never knew that putting together a puzzle sixteen times a day could be such fun! Or that reading the same book, night after night...I digress that I'm being drawn back into a form of publishing, rather, the output of publishing, reading is fun! Well, I guess that makes me an accomplice to somebody else having some fun! Lastly, as you read all of my comments, I'm a publisher, not an editor, so be gentle with me. Thanks for the opportunity in this forum.
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