1 What's your company called?
FCM Publishing. FCM stands for For Creative Minds.
2 What do you publish?
I [Taryn Johnston] am fortunate enough to be in the position that if I like it and think there is a market for it then I’ll publish it. However, over the last few years I’ve predominantly worked on business, self-help, autobiographies, crime and paranormal fiction.
3 What's the story of the company?
I have worked in marketing for more years than I care to mention and run two companies. FCM Media was my first business, and I ran online marketing campaigns and built websites, often writing and proofreading copy. I was asked to proofread a novel and thoroughly enjoyed it, and the author then asked if I could publish it. I’m a firm believer in Richard Branson’s argument that if you are offered an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes—then learn how to do it later! And so FCM Publishing was born. The first book I published was The Odyssey of Daniel Bonner by Dominic Buffery.
4 How's business?
Incredible! I published Parveen the Spice Queen last year, an Indian cookery book that did really well, and Parveen is currently in talks to create a TV show. Whilst promoting the book last summer she met Bob Champion and recommended him to me for his autobiography, which is due out this Spring. I have another celebrity autobiography due out later in the Spring, and a selection of children’s poems, two business books and the final title in the Odyssey trilogy.
5 What do you enjoy about being independent?
For me it’s the chance to work closely with authors to tell their story. I love to help writers develop and to see stories unfold.
6 What do you think is the biggest single issue in publishing right now?
The lack of regulation in the industry. While I’m totally behind self-publishing, the fact that authors can publish without any editing, formatting or professional help and upload material that is often pretty poor hinders those who do make the effort to publish quality material. I also feel that independent publishers suffer from a lack of understanding that the service we offer is on a par—if not better than—that provided by traditional publishers. As a result we can struggle to get our books into bookshops.
7 What one piece of advice would you give to a fellow independent just starting out?
It would definitely be to join the IPG! The online Skills Hub
is a brilliant asset. Talk to other independent publishers too, and find out exactly what’s involved form start to finish before publishing your first book.
8 What do you get out of belonging to the IPG?
I’ve found the support fantastic. There’s always someone on hand to answer a query or point you in the direction of someone who can help you. I genuinely feel like the IPG is interested in helping you succeed.