Tuesday, November 24, 2009

TAKE TEN: Author Cheryl Pillsbury

Author and Publisher Cheryl Pillsbury has been a friend of the Conversations Brand and more specifically The Write Stuff Literacy Campaign for over a year. What she has accomplished as a wife, mother, author and publisher is a testament to what can be done with hard work and the desire to make a difference.

In this interview she shares what caused her to start her publishing company AG Press, what she hopes it does for aspiring writers, how she is surviving inspite of the tough economic times and what's next for her.

Here is our conversation:

What got you interest in books?
My mother made sure we had all worlds growing up. School, television, outside playing and reading.

Did you always think you would be a published writer?
No, I studied Engineering and Computer Design; I have an Associate Degree in the subject. Writing and publishing found me and the rest is history. I love telling stories.

What titles have you currently released yourself?
Several. Angus Grady, The Beginning, Amie and The Purple Butterfly, Bradley & Farley; 33rd District Case Files One & Two, Peleport, and more coming.

Tell us about AG Press. What made you decide to form your own publishing company?
I published my first book in May of 2005 with a traditional publisher. BIG MISTAKE. They never edited my book, didn’t create the cover I wanted and did nothing in the marketing department, plus the cost of the book was way too high. I published book 2 with a POD and they didn’t edit, I supplied the cover. They never marketed it and hidden fees on my own book. I got angry knowing what they were doing to me but mostly others, so I developed a simple POD, with prices reasonable and things they don’t do that we do.

What separates you from some of the other independent publishers out there?
One, we truly care what the author wants for their dream. We have them work one on one with their team to create the book or project they want. We fully market each book every day as well the author showing off their project. They talk to people as well as emails.

How many authors have you currently published?
We have had the honor of working with 20 authors releasing their dreams and new dreamers come in about 2 a month or so.

What is your greatest reward as a writer and publisher?
Money is very important to pay bills, food and whatever else. As a writer, for me, when a person comes to me and says 'great story', they tell me what they experience and ask if there will be more.
As a publisher, it's hearing and seeing the smiles of dreamer's dreams coming true and they become storytellers. My payment is 2 words: THANK YOU.

What do you think is the greatest misconceptions of the publishing business?
Authors do pay us for their books, but that pays for the supplies, printing, ink, etc. But working as a team with them to advertise and display their dream for everyone to enjoy, no price for that. Most publishers see the dollar signs. I see and hear a dream of a story that is aching to be told and shared. The others don’t see that or can’t.

Everyone is dealing with challenges now because of the economy. What advice would you give to aspiring writers as to why they should still pursue their dreams inspite of the hard times?
The recession/depression hit us hard and we’re still trying to climb out. We seem to be still here, and plus I am not a quitter.
Be kind and work together as a team. Some things may run slow, but never surrender your dream. You may be the one to inspire someone, give smiles to a child that’s sad, etc. Dreams should never fade, but given a boost of energy. Work with the publisher to help.

AG Press has 3 payment plans because of this, assist the writer to finish their dream and someday they will remember you and return, also tell friends that want to do the same. Many of our authors are returning with new books, bigger and better, including myself.

Cheryl, what’s next for you?
Finish my vampire books for releasing, plus other books. I am writing a romance novel with a close friend and we’ll have that next year and publish new dreams for others.

AG Press has joined the cause for Desert Swap to support our troops. Authors can go to www.operationdesertswap.webs.com join in on the cause and you will be assigned a soldier to write to and send books to them to read and share with the others.
Also, Tuck-In with Sprout Online, for children who need pajamas and they receive a children’s book for bedtime. Wonderful cause and a personal one for me.
Organizations that support Autism is also a priority of mine. My daughter is Autistic. It is now 1 in 91 and growing very fast. My book, ‘Amie and the Purple Butterfly,’ and the series is a fundraiser book for research and programs for Autism.

It's been great getting to know you over the past year, Cheryl. Continued success to you and your organization. How can readers find out more about you and AG Press?
The website for AG Press is www.agpress.8m.net. It has all of our information, but if they need more I can always be reached at 978-300-5178.

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