What type of work were you doing before you launched Synergy Publications in 2004?
CM: Prior to launching Synergy Publications I worked a few odd jobs and also did lots of illegal stuff I’m not proud of. The life I was living, I am fortunate to have bypassed death or a lengthy prison sentence. I wanted money the fast way, and didn’t apologize for the ways I earned it. Then in the year 2000 I had an “aha moment” and realized that enough was enough. I was getting older. Age thirty was approaching in five years, so I was determined to get my life together.
During my enlightenment period I decided to go back to school. I enrolled in a community college in North Carolina fulltime and pursued a degree. I earned my AAS in Business Administration in 2002. Armed with blind faith and eager to make a positive turnaround in my life, I started working on a novel that was loosely based on the crazy life I had lived prior to my turnaround.
Why did you venture into the publishing business?
I wanted to be my own boss so my dream was to form a legitimate business. Overcome with the entrepreneurial spirit, I moved back New York and obtained a real estate license to supplement my income while I figured out what my calling was. I rented out apartments to pay the bills, meanwhile, brainstorming to come up with a product to sell.
I continued to work on my novel in my spare time and then made the decision to self-publish my debut novel, a semi-autobiographic tale of lust, love, and betrayal called “A Dollar Outta Fifteen Cent.” I formed Synergy Publications in 2004 and haven’t looked back. God is good.
Is it true that you consider Synergy Publications to be the home of conscious street literature? If so, what is it about the books you write and publish that makes you state this?
CM: All of the books I write and publish contain underlying messages. I make it a point to raise awareness by touching on issues that matter. Important issues that need to be addressed. I found a clever subliminal way to share life lessons, and I take pride in knowing that my efforts aren’t in vain. I get calls, emails and messages from our readers all the time. They get it! And they appreciate it. They let me know.
What is the S.O.S. AIDS Awareness Campaign? When and why did you found this organization and what types of benefits are offered through the organization?
CM: My first novel, “A Dollar Outta Fifteen Cent” was the inspiration behind me founding the S.O.S. (Saving Our Selves) AIDS Awareness Campaign. One of the main characters in the story contracts HIV in a startling jaw-dropping way, and things sort of take a turn for the worse. The feedback I got from my readers was phenomenal. I always place my direct phone number and contact info in the back of all my books, so they let me know how much they appreciated the fact that I had opened their eyes. A lot of them told me they were going to get tested for the first time.
That good news, along with the horror stories I heard about the alarming rate we (Black women) were being infected with the Virus, moved me to do something. My demographic was being destroyed by this epidemic. S.O.S. (Saving Our Selves) is a campaign fueled on educating the minority community on fighting the AIDS epidemic. This AIDS Awareness Campaign was created for us to take the initiative to protect ourselves. Women and men alike. S.O.S. does stuff like talk to the youth and hand out informative pamphlets and brochures about STDs. We also distribute free condoms and we direct folks in the right direction for counseling and testing. And we offer a platform to talk about these issues. We do it because we care.
What advice would you give to authors and other entrepreneurs thinking about starting their own book publishing company?
CM: My advice to aspiring publishers is read and research. Do your homework! This is a business that requires hard work and should be taken seriously. The market is currently saturated. It seems like everybody and their mama wrote a book. But during the years I’ve been in the business I’ve seen a lot of authors and publishers come and go. To have staying power you must stay informed and be innovative. Learn the business before you venture into it to avoid costly mistakes. Last but not least, publish material you will be proud to stand by. Go at it for the long run and don’t just try to capitalize off the here and now. This can be a lucrative business to a person who respects it and treats it with professionalism.
Why should people read your books?
People should read my books if they are looking for something outside of the norm that they will love, learn from and be thoroughly entertained by.
What’s next for Caroline McGill and Synergy Publications? Where would you like to see yourself and your company two to three years from now?
CM: We are heading for the film business. We will soon be bringing my best-selling “A Dollar Outta Fifteen Cent” book series to life as a web series. We’re currently in the pre-production stage. After that Synergy will venture into producing movies and other projects based on our books. We’re gonna try to take on Hollywood next.
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook Link: http://www.facebook.com/caroline.mcgill.142
Twitter Link: https://twitter.com/CAROLINEMCGILL
Website and bookstore where the book can be bought: www.SynergyPublications.com
Available on Amazon and wherever books are sold. Also available on Nook and Kindle… Kindle link: