Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in publishing but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Shina Reynolds, Founder and Owner of Wink Road Press, located in Houston, TX, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
I'm the multi-award-winning author of young adult fantasy novel, A Light in the Sky (11/9/21). Wink Road Press is a publishing company focused on publishing imaginative stories—one dream at a time. My publishing company creates and promotes my books—books I hope my readers will enjoy. And in the future, it may also assist other authors looking to publish their next imaginative story.
Tell us about yourself
I started Wink Road Press in 2019 to publish A Light in the Sky, the first book in my debut young adult fantasy series, Clashing Skies. I realized early on that I wanted to publish independently. But I also knew I would only go the independent route if I could produce a book as high quality as any traditionally published book.
Having my own publishing company meant that I could maintain creative control over my book. Publishing through Wink Road Press allows me the freedom and flexibility to choose which freelance editors, cover designers, interior layout design, and marketing and advertising companies I want to hire.
I am motivated to write, publish, and market the rest of the Clashing Skies series through Wink Road Press. And in the future, I may be interested in taking on some other authors who have a story I would love to help publish. But for now, I'm focusing on publishing my own books to the highest level possible in hopes of bringing readers some joy and happiness.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
My biggest accomplishments have been writing and publishing my debut YA fantasy novel, A Light in the Sky. It's always amazing to hear from readers who found joy in reading my debut. But hearing from one mother that said her young daughter said my book was the best she had ever read and that I was the reason her daughter started enjoying reading, well, that made me feel all the joy and happiness I hope to give to my readers. That type of feedback motivates and inspires me to write more—and even better books.
Another great accomplishment was writing, directing, and co-producing the book trailer for A Light in the Sky. It's been a dream of mine to write and direct, so having the opportunity to do that with my own book trailer was very gratifying. I'm also very proud that, to date, A Light in the Sky has won nine awards, including being the Gold Medal Winner for Teen Fiction in the IBPA Benjamin Franklin Awards.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
You are your own boss, which is a double-edged sword. You have the freedom to do as you will. But if you don't do the work, no one else is going to do it for you.
As an author and owner of a publishing company, I have to switch gears between writing and editing and then to hiring and working with freelancers, publishing, and marketing. It can be a challenge to balance it all and stay focused on getting it all done.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
- Be sure that you're ready to start your own business. And that you're willing to stick with it for as long as it takes. Growing your business and your audience takes time and patience.
- Start building your email list. It's never too soon to start building it. This is the surest way to reach your readers. Social media comes and goes. It's best to invest in building an email list.
- Think about where your passion lies in being a business owner. What goals do you hope to achieve? Who or what do you want to impact? Make sure what you're doing on a daily basis aligns with that passion and those goals.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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