Friday, August 3, 2012

Great Minds Think Aloud Publishing

Here's a first for far I have covered authors, editors and bloggers. Now if you'll indulge me, allow me take you into the world of a publisher.

Kitty Bullard, pictured here, was kind enough to do this interview, and as you can see by this picture, she's one busy (and very smart) woman.

-When I first come to know the Great Minds community, you were all about authors, books and reviews. What brought about your transition to publishing? 
You are right Deb we did start out as your typical run of the mill book club and that was as far as I had decided to take it. Then I suddenly realized there was a whole new world out there, one I didn’t know about before. I started to meet some of the greatest independent authors and I decided I wanted to help these wonderful people get the word out about their books. I began to delve into the world of blogging, doing interviews, guest posts, participating in blog tours and giveaways and I loved it! I not only met some interesting authors but I was also being introduced into the behind the scenes world of publishing and publicity. I met a lot of people and began to gain not only a great appreciation, but an interest in what they did for authors everywhere.  I continued on this course for over a year and then after Christmas of 2011 I decided to try my hand at publishing.  I was nervous, scared that I wouldn’t be able to do it and I had no idea what kind of time and dedication it took. However, I decided to bite the bullet, buckle down and just do it. It has been a learning process and still is in a lot of respects but one thing I did know that I did well was promote, and that is what I still do.  I have what I like to call a staff, a few editors, proofreaders, cover artists and a promotional assistant that help me a lot with everything the authors need. My editors have all been screened and I have seen their resumes as well as spoken with other authors they have done work for in the past. My cover artists are all very proficient in the best programs used for art design and also have been screened for professionalism.  There is no one that works for Great Minds that has not proven themselves to me as being efficient, hard-working, and interested in quality and integrity. I have 26 authors now and 21 titles with several more upcoming.  I can honestly say that I have some of the best authors out there and intend to find more!

-Could you share a little about the process in becoming a publisher?

I can tell you about my process and it was messy at first because as I stated before I was new, I didn’t really know much about what I was doing but it didn’t stop me from researching, asking questions, and making it happen. There were endless nights with little or no sleep and I still have some of those now, there were times I wanted to pull my hair out but what publisher doesn’t right? I can honestly say though that I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I love what I do, I feel I do it well and the main thing that is most important to me is representing my authors positively, maintaining a great reputation for GMTA and making sure to always do my very best for everyone involved.  I uphold certain standards for quality of work, I believe if I’m willing to work hard for an author then they have to be worth mine and GMTA’s time and they have to have content that I believe in and feel readers will truly enjoy and approve of.

-I’m only guessing, but like turning on a light in the dead of night and attracting an endless number of moths, the onrush of authors must have been somewhat similar…
To be honest I had quite a few at first and a lot of them were turned down. Some actually failed to read my guidelines of submission and were turned down for that reason. Some had material I felt was not up to par for the standards I hold and the standard potential readers would hold and they were turned down as well. Within a month’s time I only had two authors and that was because I was very selective. The authors I have now have been taken on only because I approved of the material they submitted, and because they have shown me they want success.  They want the best and I want the best for them. 

-How do you go about selecting your novels to publish?
The selection of novels is based on content, storyline, plot, characters and character development, whether or not the story is one that I believe will hold a reader’s interest.  I also try to get to know the author before acceptance to be sure if I think I’ll be able to work with them and them with me.   I do not publish Erotica, not that I have anything against it but having authors that publish children’s books as well as other more light-hearted material I do not think it a good idea to publish titles that revolve more around sexual content.  I have no problem however, publishing novels that have some sexual content though the novel must have a plot and the aforementioned criteria for acceptance. 

-What are you looking for in a novel?
When I accept a novel or read a novel I look for a story, it can be a great story or even a good story, but story is first and foremost. I look for novels that will grip the reader, interest them and take them on a journey. I want people to read our novels and feel that they have been worth the time spent. 

-How do you deal with a novel you intend to reject?

When I send a rejection letter I am professional, straight forward and always try to give the reasons behind the rejection. I don’t like sending a letter that simply states they’ve been rejected without telling them why. The reason for this is, if I can tell them why and my reason is valid it could actually help the author hone their talents more so that the next time they submit their manuscript, whether to me or another publisher, they may be accepted.

As a publisher,
-Do you offer editing services? (Something becoming more of a rarity even with traditional publishing)
-Do you create the cover art? How much say does the author have in the final result?
-Do you create the book blurb?
-Do you create book trailers?

Yes, yes, yes and yes.  GMTA is not only a publishing company we have many spokes in our wheel. We do offer editing for our authors as well as, authors that are with other companies or self-published.  Our editing services are very affordable and we put the authors in touch directly with the editor of their choice or our choice so the process is easier all the way around.  I did start out doing all the editing for GMTA on my own but I soon realized that not only was it not my area of expertise but I had no time to do anything else. So now our editors handle our authors as well. We do create cover art and there is no charge for this. The process of cover art is usually three covers created and the author gets to choose the one they like best. If for some reason they do not like any they always have the option of finding another resource or of creating something themselves if they have the ability or know-how to do so.  However, we do work closely with the author every step of the way on every process and allow them the final decision in how their book will look, and how it will be published. We even work closely with them on promotions, always giving them the ability to give us ideas on how they would like their book to be promoted and what avenues they think we should take. Input from our authors is greatly valued and we try hard to work with them on everything so they feel satisfied with what we accomplish as a team. The idea of GMTA is working as a team, I have told my authors that I do not want them to feel as though they are my employees or vice versa, we are partners working toward a common goal and that goal is to put out a book they can be proud of as well as getting them and their work noticed on many different levels.

-How much marketing do you deal with?
We do all the marketing for our authors, both online, media such as newspapers, magazines, and various other options. We do blog tours, Youtube interview videos and are now looking into doing live podcasts.  My assistant has brought a lot to the table and she is helping greatly with the improvements to GMTA as we go along. We also offer these same services to authors outside of GMTA Publishing for reasonable prices.

-Do you offer both ebooks and print copies?
Do you work with POD? 
 Yes GMTA does both e-books and print, our e-books go through Amazon and Barnes & Noble we have done Smashwords though in the near future we intend to steer away from that avenue. Amazon and Barnes & Noble just seem to be the best choices for us. As for print, we use Createspace which is a hub of Amazon. So far this has been the best choice for our print books though in the future when we have more working capital we plan to go a different route. It’s our dream to eventually have our own printing house but just as with any other company that comes in time once we have the establishment and working capital we desire.

-What is the availability of the novels once published? Are they available worldwide or only locally?
Are the novels available only through online book stores or do they have shelf space in local book stores?
Books are all available worldwide! Createspace now has a European division so that has been a great change. So far they are only available online though we are hoping in the very near future that the books will be available in stores. It’s a goal we are working toward! J

-Do you deal with the ISBN numbers and copyright?
ISBN’s so far are done either through Createspace, Amazon, and B&N or they are purchased by the author. We do have an application with the LCN for Library of Congress numbers and copyrights are usually done by the author.  It is stipulated in our contract that the author always retains all their rights even though they are published through us.

I want to thank Kitty Bullard for taking time from her busy schedule to answer these questions. If you are interested in reading the guidelines established for submission to GMTA Publishing, you will find the link below. Take a minute or two to look around their site.

The link to the site's main page is:


  1. A lot of information here that authors would love to have. Great job!

  2. I agree M.T., and I'm doing my best to pass the information around :o)