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IBPA Member Spotlight: Path To Publishing

Thursday, September 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Christopher Locke
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Path To Publishing Celebrates One Year of Successfully Relocating to Las Vegas
Path To Publishing was honored with a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

August 2018 marked the one-year anniversary of Path To Publishing relocating their business from Ohio to Nevada, and the milestone was celebrated in style. The Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the accomplishment.

“We were just blown away that the Chamber would host such an event for Path To Publishing,” says Joylynn M. Ross, Path To Publishing’s CEO and Founder. “Las Vegas has been so gracious and welcoming, and has done so much to help our business transition from Ohio to Nevada, that we never anticipated that we’d be so honored.” Joylynn founded Path To Publishing in 2016 with the goal and mission to be a literary educator, consulting firm, and service provider that delivers the tools, techniques, resources, and strategies for excellence in publishing, regardless of where an individual is on their literary journey, the genre they choose to publish, or the path they choose for publication.

By 2017, she decided that moving to Las Vegas was in the best interest of the company’s ultimate mission. “Las Vegas is the ‘convention-and-conference center of the world,’ which occurs in part because more than 40 million people each year want to travel [here]. This makes it an ideal location for an annual publishing conference for writers, which is at the core of the Path to Publishing vision.”

Path To Publishing CEO & Founder Joylynn M. Ross (left) was presented with a plaque from Lita Stein (right) with the Las Vegas Metro Chamber of Commerce

Joylynn also lists two other major factors for the move. She says that Nevada has “significant corporate tax advantages” and that the state has “a range of support services, from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) to the Metro Chamber of Commerce, that are both eager and capable of helping companies relocate to Las Vegas, and to succeed as a result of that relocation.”

One of the biggest challenges with relocating a business to another state is how to handle whether or not to relocate your staff, but Path To Publishing has had a smooth transition with this facet of the move as well. “Relocation from my native Ohio to Southern Nevada made excellent business sense, but relocating my entire staff was not financially viable. Those who did not relocate are able to continue to meet their business commitments to Path to Publishing by working virtually. In this way, we continue to offer both high quality and a real ‘bench depth’ of talent to support our writing clients. Personally, I’ve found the transition invigorating. While Ohio has a peacefulness about it, Las Vegas is pure dynamism, generating the kind of energy we can tap into to enhance our success, as well as the success of our clients.”

Joylynn and the Path To Publishing staff are now planning their “Act Like an Author, Think Like a Business” 2018 Conference, which takes place in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 20-22 at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino. IBPA members can take advantage of a special registration upgrade discount. When registering online, register for two days, and when asked how you heard about the conference, enter “IBPA” and be automatically upgraded to the full three-day conference.


Three Questions with Path To Publishing CEO & founder Joylynn M. Ross

IBPA: Do you have any advice for other businesses in the publishing industry that are looking to relocate?

Joylynn M. Ross (JR): Visit the Secretary of State website for the state you are considering relocating to. Visit the state Tax Department website. Even visit IRS.gov, if you must. Make phone calls. Talk to live people. Everyone I spoke with at the various Nevada state, city, and county agencies went above and beyond to assist in making sure we met all guidelines and laws to do business in the state . . . not to mention paid all fees that were applicable to doing business in this wonderful state. It’s important to have a clear understanding of everything involved in setting up shop in a new state before relocating. If need be, pull in your legal team and accountants for their professional assistance.

There are other factors you’ll want to consider before relocating, such as how your new location will complement and benefit your company based on its offerings. For Path To Publishing, Nevada has tremendous resources, based on location, the warm dry climate and the other businesses available to support any newcomer’s business needs. Some things that are overlooked by people looking casually at Las Vegas include our ability to fly at low cost to anywhere in America. With so many tourists and conventioneers, Las Vegas has one of the most dynamic airline service packages. This makes coast-to-coast travel far less costly and more accessible than many other locations. Another factor to consider—especially for publishers and other businesses who do business with [Asia] (such as having books manufactured and printed in China)—is that we are barely a half-day’s motor transport from the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. The LVCVA is great for businesses that need to connect with conventions and conferences, and meets the needs of conferences like ours. However, the greatest benefit comes from the dynamic efforts of the Metro Chamber of Commerce to welcome new businesses to Las Vegas, offering a helping hand—and so much more—to help them quickly integrate into this city’s high-energy business community. So, I highly recommend one of the first things you do is connect with and join your new city’s Chamber of Commerce. No matter what you need, there are first-class vendors (your fellow chamber members) ready to help you.

IBPA: Can you give three key lessons you’ve learned about running a successful business in the publishing industry?

JR: That’s a fascinating question. Publishing is a multi-faceted industry, one where change is the norm. In just twenty years, we’ve gone from a traditional business that hadn’t changed in a century, to one of the fastest-evolving industries you can imagine. In that time, the number of books published in the United States skyrocketed from 50,000 per year to something over 1.2 million books a year. Totally new versions of books include Kindle and other eBooks, which have skyrocketed in number, while Print-on-Demand—or POD—has replaced the need for self-published authors to buy a garage-full of copies of their titles to keep the per-unit costs down. And then there are audiobooks, which have become the fastest-growing segment of the market.

Of those 1.2 million books, 350,000 are traditionally published, but more than 800,000 are now self-published. Of those, many are hugely successful, while other worthy books written by visionary authors get lost in the crowd. Path To Publishing’s role in the publishing industry is to help those who might otherwise get lost to achieve the success they deserve.

The three lessons I have learned are:

  1. Be prepared for change. When I got started, Amazon was a lost continent and now it accounts for 80 percent of all book sales. A POD was what you shucked to get green peas. Now it’s the most common way that self-published authors produce printed books. Self-publishing has evolved out of what had been contemptuously called “Vanity Press” into the most common and among the most reputable ways of getting published.

  2. Everybody has a book in them. They may require a writing coach or even a ghostwriter to bring out their story, but everyone has a story, a gift, a skill or insight that others need to know about. I never pre-judge someone who comes to me with a vision for a book. Instead, I help them delve deep, looking for the true essence of that book.

  3. In today’s crowded publishing marketplace, success depends on marketing and promotion, and that success depends on a team. The team begins with the author’s platform—those people she can reach via social media, blogs or email—who self-identify as a fan, a follower or a team player. These people can launch a book to become an Amazon bestseller on day one, then deliver honest, in-depth and highly-rated reviews that are the lifeblood of Amazon and GoodReads book sales. Books don’t just happen; they require cover designers who can catch the eye in the blink of an eye, interior designers who make books easy to read. Then comes the marketing and promotion specialists and experts—people particularly adept at marketing in one or more of the social media platforms, or who know how to deal with the news media, or who can set up marketing arrangements that deliver bulk sales, or book signing events, or . . . well, you get the picture. Just as it’s said that to raise a child takes a village, so book publishing success requires a team.

IBPA: Path To Publishing guides authors (who published their own work, went through a traditional publisher, or hybrid publisher) through their literary journey. Can you give three main pieces of advice to authors who are navigating the publishing process?

JR: Absolutely. I could give a lot more than three, but here are three of the most important pieces of advice I have.

First, regardless of which path to publication you choose, you cannot count on your publisher to do your marketing and promotion for you. Most publishers reserve their marketing dollars for proven bestsellers. So, if it’s between you and Stephen King, who do you think will get the marketing support? Not who “deserves” or “needs” it, but who will get it? Right. So, be prepared to market and promote yourself and your book. To that, I’d refer to the team approach I noted above. This is essential.

Second, be flexible. Writing is an art, but publishing is a business. To succeed in publishing, as this year’s conference theme states, writers have to “Act like an Author, Think like a Business.” This means understanding margins, profits, marketing, ROI, and a host of other business factors. But not all authors have the training or experience for this. This is another role we at Path to Publishing serve for our clients who are business-challenged. This also means that it is pointless to chase trends. This year, in the romance genre (to give an example), the market trend might be vampires and paranormal romances. Next year it might be historical romances of the kind Diana Gabaldon has so successfully written. The point; write what you believe in, not what you think will sell in a year or two when your book is ready for the market. Even when the trend went toward paranormal romances, there was still a market—perhaps a bit diminished, but still there—for historical romances. And the same applies to every writing niche market. So be flexible, hold onto your dream, and remember that once you type “the end,” you’re just beginning with the business side of the process. There are an incredible number of market niches. Explore them, decide where your writing lies, then pursue your dream.

Third, be a visionary. While there is a steady market for me-too books among those who just love westerns, or Harlequin romances or Tom Clancy-like techno-thrillers, the authors who really stand out are those who create a new genre, or who go off the beaten path. Andy Weir was a space-nerd who loved to blog about Mars. He attracted thousands of like-minded individuals to his blog, including honest-to-God rocket scientists, who shared their expertise. He explored dozens of “what if” scenarios and, with his great support team, he figured out the science behind surviving on Mars. From this, he then pulled together his blogs into a novel, The Martian. That book, unlike anything that had ever been written, became a huge bestseller, and the basis for a blockbuster movie starring Matt Damon. The bottom line; seek out your own unique ideas and story, and don’t be deterred by the fact that “it’s never been done.” That could be the pathway to success.

IBPA: Thank you, Joylynn, for sharing your story with us, and congratulations again on your successful transition to Nevada!


Learn more about Path To Publishing here.

Share your own publishing news with the IBPA community! Send news about events or accomplishments to christopher@ibpa-online.org. Keep in mind that we reserve Spotlights for major news (you’re a cookbook author who won a national cooking competition), unique news (you wrote a book about cycling and now you’re riding a bike across the U.S. for your book tour), or human interest stories (you visit shelters every weekend to read books to the dogs and cats there).

Though launching a new book isn’t the focus of our Spotlights articles, IBPA is happy to share that exciting news on social media. Please contact christopher@ibpa-online.org with the launch date, your book cover, your book title, a link to where readers can learn more about your book, and your Twitter handle.

Whether you have news or not, all of us at IBPA are cheering you on!


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