From Concept To Hard Copy
Owner of The Moss Group Publishing
Please tell us about your business. I am a book publisher and offer services that do everything that makes a book ready to go to market – editing, layout and formatting, cover design and anything else having to do with images that are needed for a book. I send it off to the printer, and the writer then takes over the sales and marketing part. I also publish eBooks.
How did you start this business? I started my business about two years ago when I was working with a writer. I realized when I was working with them that I had learned how to do everything in school, since I studied journalism at San Diego State University. And so the publishing company was born out of that. I realized it was a good direction for me to go as far as starting my own thing, and doing something for myself and to provide for my family.
Why did you move to Kauai? I moved to Kauai after I graduated from college. I’d worked in hospitality throughout college, and I was ready to live somewhere different. Work brought me here.
What kind of costs does a writer incur with your services? I do the type of publishing that’s called partnership publishing. That means that the author covers all the costs including my services and the printing, and then on the back end, the sales and marketing. But then they get to keep most of their sales, which is different from traditional publishing.
Why do you do what you do? It came about organically that I would be a book publisher. It really just fell into my lap. And I like it because it’s stuff I learned and knew before that. It’s creative, too. I like talking to artists and writers; they’re really interesting people.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your business? Helping people achieve a goal. Publishing a book is a lifelong dream for some people. To help people feel proud and accomplished is incredibly rewarding. And to have a physical book to hold at the end of the day is really great.
What’s the most challenging aspect of your business? At this time, it’s meeting writers who have a finished manuscript. Not everybody’s walking around with a book in their back pocket.
What is an example of a book that you have published? No Money Fun Guidebook by Art Jones. It’s a guidebook for Kauai that focuses on the free things you can do here – hiking trails, beaches and road trips. It was designed to be easy to take along with you, really lightweight; something for the backpacker to pack with them. It’s concise and direct information.
What makes you get up every day and go to work? Creating a business that keeps me busy. It’s something I enjoy doing and I’m proud of. I especially like doing layouts; I think it’s really fun and like a puzzle. So, creating a thriving business and creating a community of writers on the island.
Do you have any advice for writers? Write. Put it on paper. I think a lot of people have books in their heads and have a lot of ideas that they’ve brainstormed, but they haven’t written it down yet. So, just get it on paper and let it flow out, and then from that point, we’ll edit together to make sure it sounds good in the full picture.
Can people contact you if they don’t have a full manuscript?Yes. I’m here to help brainstorm.
What sets your business apart? I’m low-cost for the industry. As far as industry standards, I’m definitely on the lower end of the cost scale. We’re a lot different than traditional publishing because the writers actually get to keep their sales. I have commission on the printing and for my services, but the rest is theirs.
If you could do anything else, what would it be? I’d be a Disney character at Disneyland. I’d get to play with kids, be happy and sing and dance and have fun. nomoneyfunguidebook.com firstname.lastname@example.org