“Don’t try to “figure it all out by yourself.” Believe me, things will come up that you can’t possibly even imagine when you first start out.”
Why did you become a book publisher? Retirement was far too boring.
What do you like best about publishing? Interacting with my authors and the creativity of "giving birth" to books.
What do you publish? Cozy mysteries.
What is the most effective form of marketing for your press? Blog interviews, online reviews, author presentations at libraries and book clubs.
How do you define a successful title? If my author is happy with the book, I'm happy. Some of them are more concerned about sales, and some are more concerned about the book itself--what it looks like, ironing out every minor error, and making it as polished as possible. Whatever their goal, is my goal.
Tell us about one of your titles about which you are especially proud. That would be like asking a parent which of their children makes them the most proud. I love them all for different reasons.
What has been your biggest challenge in achieving success? There are so many. It has really been trial and error and--believe me--I've made my share of errors along the way. I'd say my biggest challenge has been just not having enough information and not knowing where to get answers. I've gotten help from a variety of places, such as SCORE when I was first setting up my business, a local author marketing club I belong to called AUTHOR AUTHOR, a local accountant and a local intellectual properties attorney--both of whom gave me excellent legal advice that I have found invaluable, my writing partner Diane who helped me start Cozy Cat, and--of course--IBPA. You have been there as a wonderful source of information and encouragement along the way.
What advice do you have for newcomers to book publishing? Find somebody who you trust and can confide in to discuss your ideas with. Don't try to "figure it all out by yourself." Believe me, things will come up that you can't possibly even imagine when you first start out.
How will you and your company be positioned in five years? I want to keep growing and be a lot larger in five years. That is, I want to have more authors and produce more cozy mysteries. Right now, I have about fifteen authors and about 30 books published. My goal is to have at least 100 books published in five years. I'm not sure how many authors that would be. I realize that to do that, I will have to make some changes, although I'm not sure what they may be just yet. I am very hands on and spend a lot of time interacting with each of my authors. If I have a lot more authors, I will have much less time to devote to each one, and I'm contemplating even now how I will have to change my way of operating and managing my business if I really want to grow as much as I hope to do. I'm not expecting to be making a lot of money, but I want to at least break even (as I do now), and I do want my authors to be successful. And, of course, I want the process to be enjoyable for me. After all, I am retired!
When you're not fully immersed in publishing, what do you do for fun? I exercise. I belong to a Curves gym and I love to walk around Goose Lake which is behind our home and interact with the woodland creatures who venture out. But, truly, Cozy Cat Press takes up most of my time and I love every minute of it.
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