Instructor Lynne Golodner Launches Scotia Road Books!
by Writing Workshops Staff
8 months ago
Welcome to an exclusive interview with Lynne Golodner, founder and publisher of Scotia Road Books.
Lynne is not only an accomplished author but also a renowned writing instructor and marketing entrepreneur. In fact, Lynne is one of WritingWorkshops.com's most popular instructors, leading classes on Finding Your Voice, Poetry, Writing Accountability, Building an Author Brand, and a yearly writing retreat to Mackinac Island.
The author of eight books and thousands of articles, Lynne has recently launched Scotia Road Books, a boutique press that provides a no-frills alternative to traditional publishing. This hybrid press aims to guide and empower rebel authors who want to break free from industry norms and share their important stories with the world.
Today, we have the opportunity to delve deeper into Lynne's vision for Scotia Road Books and gain insights into her approach to publishing and supporting authors.
Can you tell us more about the inspiration behind founding Scotia Road Books and the philosophy that drives your publishing venture?
I’ve been fortunate to have wonderful publishing experiences with small presses in my career, but as I ventured into fiction, I knew I didn’t want to focus on satisfying other people’s demands or writing something that would make money for others. Publishing is, after all, a business, and I understand and respect the traditional publishing route. But there is so much hoop-jumping, that so many great writers take years to find a path to publication - and some never find the right fit. I didn’t want to wait and hope and plead and change my focus to please others. I wanted to write great books and share them with an audience in real time. And I’m not alone in that. So while I got great feedback and support from agents and publishers, I decided to create my own publishing imprint for authors like me - strong women at midlife who are telling daring, important stories.
Your press specifically targets talented women authors over the age of 40. What motivated you to create a platform specifically tailored to this demographic?
As I see over and over again in my Finding Your Voice course that I teach for WritingWorkshops.com, this demographic is huge and ignored. So many women come to my classes and say things like, “I’ve always wanted to write but…” They never had the support or encouragement or self-belief that their voices mattered, and at midlife they’re yearning to finally do it and banish the discouraging voices of their collective past. I wanted to give an open path and an encouraging experience to these women to bring their stories into the light. And, I believe life really gets going at 40. We need to reclaim our own strength!
Scotia Road Books is positioned as a no-frills alternative to traditional publishing. How do you envision this approach benefiting indie authors in their writing careers?
We don’t play games at Scotia Road Books. We are straightforward, looking for strong writers who are creating the books that traditional imprints may not want to take a chance on. Plus, we have my 16 years as a marketing entrepreneur to guide the publication and promotion of books. We empower authors to own their voices and not be afraid to take risks and write out of the box. We are direct, honest and kind in our approach to working with authors. But we don’t compromise the quality of writing. Hybrid publishing is a great way to work with talented writers while applying the checks and balances that are required to put out quality work. In self-publishing, that step can be missing, but hybrid publishing applies the scrutiny and editing of traditional publishing while giving authors higher profits and more power over their books. It’s a great middle-of-the-road option for authors who don’t want to wait or play games.
As a hybrid press, Scotia Road Books combines elements of traditional and self-publishing. How does this model offer unique advantages to authors?
In the last decade, hybrid publishing has become an acceptable and respected form of putting books in the world. It’s needed! I know authors who are incredibly talented who couldn’t find a way in to traditional publishing. If it weren’t for hybrid presses, their gorgeous writing would never make it into the marketplace. Hybrid publishing gives authors a path to publishing that shepherds them through the nuances of the industry, so they don’t have to figure it all out for themselves, as self-publishing requires. Hybrid authors pay costs up front and in return they receive at least 60% of profits from books sold - compared with maybe 10% in traditional publishing contracts. We partner with our authors to birth their books. It’s really a team effort.
One of the key focuses of Scotia Road Books is author branding and book marketing. How do you guide and support your authors in these areas to help them build successful writing careers?
In addition to teaching courses and a Mastermind on author branding and marketing, we offer packages to our authors to create their marketing strategies or coach them on the marketing of their books. No one will love your book more than you, and today, even traditionally—published authors often have to invest their own time and resources into the marketing and promotion of their books. Traditional publishing houses no longer devote resources to new and smaller authors, and if you want your book to grab attention, you have to do it yourself. As the CEO of Your People LLC, a marketing company I founded in 2007, I bring nearly two decades of marketing and public relations experience to empower our authors to really build reach for their books and their author brands.
Scotia Road Books publishes a range of genres, including contemporary, historical, and literary fiction, as well as narrative memoir and essay collections. What draws you to these particular genres, and what kind of stories resonate with you?
These are the genres and I read and write, and so I feel well-suited to edit and publish and guide authors in these genres. It’s also what captivates the market, making it easier to sell and market and grab attention. As a former journalist and author of many creative nonfiction essays that have appeared in magazines and literary journals, the first-person memoir narrative style is dear to me, and it’s a format that many readers enjoy. The honesty and raw sharing of experience empowers readers to feel that they’re not alone - which is so important in these divided times. And fiction is a great escape! As a serial entrepreneur, I know firsthand how important it is to specialize so that you can excel in what you do.
Independent authors often face challenges in navigating the publishing industry. How does Scotia Road Books empower its authors and help them overcome these obstacles?
We spend a lot of time nurturing our authors and working alongside them to articulate goals for their books and their author careers. We all have inner voices that share doubts and fears - no author can escape it! But working together as a team builds up our authors. So does establishing a finite and focused Marketing Strategy with manageable steps to build reach and audience. We begin with a conversation about the author’s goals to make sure we are on the same page, and to educate authors in the idea that a book is not just a book - it’s a conversation, a relationship, an offering with a purpose and a destiny.
As a proud member of the Midwest Independent Publishers Association and the Independent Book Publishers Association, how do you see collaboration within the independent publishing community benefiting authors and publishers alike?
It’s so important to be an active part of one’s community! Upon launching Scotia Road Books, I joined both organizations to guide how we operate and also to contribute my own talents to help others. I am about to join the board of MIPA actually, to bring marketing expertise to others so we can all benefit. IBPA has great guidelines for Hybrid Publishing, and we make sure we align with their standards so that we are operating seamlessly and with integrity. We can always learn from each other!
Looking ahead, what are your future plans and aspirations for Scotia Road Books? Are there any exciting projects or developments on the horizon?
Our first book launches in September! We are currently accepting submissions from authors, and I am working with others on presentations for national conferences for writers and publishers to add our voice to the marketplace. We are excited to work with talented authors who are bringing new voices and original ideas to the world.
Tell us more about your debut novel, WOMAN OF VALOR, which will be the first title published by Scotia Road Books.
WOMAN OF VALOR is the story of Sally, a young woman who chooses to become Orthodox in Judaism and loves her life - until her eldest son faces abuse at his school. She and her husband are horrified, but respond differently, leading them into the first rift of their marriage -- just at the moment that Sally’s ex-boyfriend reappears, pleading for her to take him back. As she faces surprising responses from her adopted community, and loneliness within her marriage, Sally wonders whether the life she chose is the life for her. Sally can’t find any reprieve, or resolution – not even hitting the trails for her favorite runs along Lake Michigan. Will she lose the happy life she’s worked so hard to build, or could this shakeup be just what she needs to finally define her life for herself? Woman of Valor is a story about the courage to love the ordinary and seek satisfaction where you are, while shedding the need to please others. Through her passion for supporting rebel authors, Lynne has created a publishing venture that breaks away from industry norms and embraces the individuality and importance of each author's voice.
Scotia Road Books offers a unique blend of traditional and self-publishing approaches, providing a guided experience for authors while prioritizing author branding and marketing. With Lynne's expertise and dedication, this boutique press promises to be a valuable platform for talented women authors over the age of 40, as well as a source of inspiration for independent authors seeking alternative paths in the publishing industry.