Monday, August 20, 2007

Interview with Lynda S. Burch, Publisher

Shari: When did you start Guardian Angel Publishing?
Lynda: We incorporated and went online in the fall of 2004.

Shari: What made you decide to become an e-publisher?
Lynda: In the late 90’s I invented a new way of writing for kids- musical eBooks. None of the traditional publishers knew how or what to do with them. They liked the concepts but weren’t keeping up with the trends. I knew a great future in eBooks existed and I couldn’t stop reading & writing kids eBooks. And that’s how Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. came into existence. I saw the need and acted on it.

Shari: What kind of books do you specialize in?
Lynda: Our books have healthy, wholesome family values with educational activities thrown in.
We like our books rated G for an general audience of any age child from infant on up: infants and toddlers being read to by parents, siblings or grandparents; older children learning to read; easy readers; beginning readers; storybooks; chapter books for middle-grade readers and up.

Shari: How does Guardian Angel Publishing differ from other e-publishers?
Lynda: We publish eBooks in more electronic formats (FLIP; PDF; LIT; Mobipocket; Palm; HTML), on CD’s and downloads, than any others we know of and also offer a Print on Demand option for the more traditional readers.

Shari: What difficulties confronted you in the beginning?
Lynda: I think the hardest part was marketing. Having books for sale on a website is only the beginning of selling books. I’m convinced hard work in planning and distribution are what’s necessary for success.

Shari: How did you deal with them?
Lynda: We went to the big boys in the industry for sales and distribution. GAP eBooks and print are sold on own site and have distribution partners and networks to sell our books, also. Follett Digital Resources (one of the largest distributors in the world to libraries and schools) sell our eBooks. LSI distributes our books to a network of wholesalers; Ingram, Baker & Taylor, Bertrams, Gardners and retailer websites: like Amazon. We also contracted with Mobipocket, Readers Eden and are researching a few more markets.

Shari: What was the initial response from writers about e-publishing?
Lynda: The savvy writers either knew about eBooks or were willing to learn. We turn away 100 writers to every 1 we accept into our fold.

Shari: Has that changed?
Lynda: Yes, most writers would not have found us if they weren’t already online and learning about e-writing and e-publishing. And more discover us daily.

Shari: What was the initial response from the consumer?
Lynda: Kids are the knowledgeable ones that absorb computer skills like they drink water. Once they get their hands on eBooks, they adore them. Flipping the pages in the FLIP book format with kids in control sells adults immediately on the concept.

Shari: Has that changed?
Lynda: Yes, our consumers are growing rapidly as they explore more ways to read books to kids than ever before. With reader technology expanding into so many other models than computers sitting on a desk, people can read books to their kids on phones, handhelds, laptops and personal devices.

Shari: What kind of feedback do you get about your books?
Lynda: I always save comments. We like good customer service.

Here are a couple:
Thank-you, we have downloaded the story successfully and it looks fantastic.
Regards, Jane A.

I want to thank you again for the CD. I received it yesterday. We gave Noah the book this weekend and he LOVED it. I really appreciate all that you did to make up for the hassle that I went through at the beginning of ordering this e-book.
Thank you so much. C.

Shari: Which are more popular downloads or books on CD?
Lynda: Right now I would say downloads. But seasonally it changes.

Shari: What does e-publishing offer writers that print publishing does not?
Lynda: We often work with first time published authors and give them more time and effort to make their book the best it can be.

Shari: What do you think the greatest benefits are in buying e-books?

Lynda: Portability, Price and Product! You can load many more ebooks in a tiny reader and take it to the beach than packing a stack of books. Its hard to beat a great full color book for $5.00 .The quality of eBooks is quite exceptional and beautiful with our varied style of artists and wonderful storytellers.

Shari: What do you think the future is for e-books?
Lynda: EBooks are here to stay. Schools and colleges are moving toward a print free system. As our global future moves forward and our trees disappear we will soon be seeing the luxury of print books going extinct I’m afraid. I love a good book in hand to read as much as the next person ( I read a couple hundred books a year besides kids books) but traveling is so much easier with one handheld reader.

For more information about Guardian Angel Books go tohttp://www.guardianangelpublishing.com/

(c)2007 Sharon A. Soffe

5 comments:

capitoloffender2000 said...

Excellent interview, both of you. Lynda brings to the emerging topic of e-books that hardy perspective of pioneers in any new field. She shows the savvy taught by the school of hard knocks along with the care of one committed to her vision.

I learned a lot. This is an exciting, new field. Good questions. Good answers.

Hill Kemp
www.capitoloffense.com

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

Hill

Thank you for your input. I agree that e-books have a big future and we need more people with vision like Lynda. E-books need our support.

Shari

Donna J. Shepherd said...

I'm blessed to be an e-author, and feel like a bit of a pioneer.

Excellent questions with thoughtful and informative responses from Lynda. Thanks for a great interview, Shari.

Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

Donna

I know what you mean. I, too, feel like a pioneer. My granddaughter loves the books on CD.

Shari

Anonymous said...

NICE INTERVIEW!
- KEVIN COLLIER