Friday, September 24, 2010

Interview with Publisher Lynda Burch - Guardian Angel Publishing

by Susan Berger
With the development of the iPad, I believe eBooks are going to be more popular than ever. I’d like to introduce you to Lynda Burch who is the owner of Guardian Angel Publishing - a small press which is now listed with SCBWI. Guardian Angel is an eBook publisher which also does POD.

Why did you start Guardian Angel?

Lynda: I saw a need for children's eBooks. When I started writing musical eBooks to be played on the computer, I got wonderful feedback from big publishers and agents but they didn't know what to do with them. So I started Guardian Angel as an eBook publisher and opened to submissions, but within about a year we expanded our lines of books and we started going to print with our books, too.

What are the biggest hurdles you have had to overcome?

Lynda: Our first printer although quite large had huge fulfillment issues taking up to 3 months to fill an order and the quality of the books continually grew worse. So I jumped ship and went with Lightning Source who is a remarkable innovator in the publishing industry and gave our books broader visibility around the globe.

Another big hurdle was people thinking publishers using POD (Print On Demand) printer as a business model meant they were providing services as a self-publisher- which couldn't be farther from the truth.

But that is a whole topic by itself. We are now finally recognized as a small press publisher by SCBW&I and others, as we have been all along. We haven't changed- just their conception of us has changed. And guess what? Much, much larger companies than GAP are beginning to see the benefits of Print on Demand technology.

How do you choose which illustrator to put with an author?

Lynda: Sometimes I envision the art when I first read the story and think which style would suit it and will steer a book to an artist. But usually, I allow the author to choose a style then 2 or 3 artists. And depending on work load I send the story to one of the artists to find out if the artist "sees" the story. If they do and the artist accepts then a match is made and artist agreements are sent out.

What steps do you take once an eBook is published?

Lynda: Actually all books are created in multiple e-formats, 7 or more, and they are loaded to the various sales sites. We add new formats all the time as new eBook formats are demanded- for instance, for Kindle (chapbooks), & iPod and iPad markets. When new formats are required we stop and ready them for loading to sites.

What steps do you take once a POD is published?

Lynda: After processing them through three programs, the 2 print book files (interior and cover) with the metadata are sent to our printer, the proof comes back to me to approve and then the book is released to the various distribution networks. Once the book is off to the printer the sales & info pages are built for the website.

What is the authors’ responsibility in sales and promotion for eBooks?

Lynda: Authors don't generally get too involved in selling eBooks except the eBooks on CD. And in reality when you promote a book it doesn't matter whether it’s in print or an eBook download or on CD or DVD, it is an inter-related promotion.

Which are your best markets? TOSS? Fictionwise? Amazon? etc.

Lynda: TOSS and the Homeschool market has been a good place to sell our books. They are savvy and good eBook buyers too. Our children's fiction and nonfiction books are almost always on the bestseller's list on Fictionwise. EBook markets are growing rapidly. Amazon just announced (July 2010) that they sold more eBooks than print books this year- a sign of the times. I said that was coming for over 5 years.

Our print book distribution network sells at too many places to list and grows larger each year: Amazon, B&N, Border, Books a Million, in Canada, Europe and even show up for sale in
 India. (Most English speaking countries- that's the beauty of the internet- it’s so global.) We've sold books to little islands off the coast of Africa or in the Caribbean, Australia and more. Kind of neat to see where our books find a home.

Where do you get the energy to put in these twelve hour days?

Lynda: Well, believe it or not I am not a very high energy person. And I am definitely not a morning person. I am a slow starter with my day and gather speed as the day and evening progress and usually shut down the computers at 12:30 or so every night and then read for a couple of hours. But I am very good at organizational capabilities in my head. My brain never stops and luckily my fingers and hands follow. When I swim laps I am usually planning my day's activities if I haven't already done so in my sleep.

Where is GAP headed? (I am thinking of the iPad but I bet there are more things out there?)

Lynda: Yes, the iPad is the next step, although ALL of our eBook PDF's can already be read on the iPad right now! The EPUB program just makes them a little snappier with page turns which kids love.

The innovative is another avenue for our eBooks to sell in. They are soft launching in July 2010- a great way for families to stay connected from a distance by reading and recording themselves reading books by video online to read to kids.

So I guess I'm not sure where we are going except up. Keeping up is the name of the game in this ever-changing marketplace for books. I'm on my toes to grab onto the next wave of new technology for Guardian Angel to embrace.

If you had it to do over again, would you have started GAP.

Lynda: Yes. Yes. Yes. I love what I do. I love the accomplishment of the finished product. My authors and artists and books from around the world have made me proud. They are winning awards and getting noticed.

But best of all our books are making a difference one child at a time. What could be better than that?

Thank you Lynda for your time.

Guardian Angel Submission Guidelines
Please note: Submissions will be closed between October 1st 2010 and April 1st 2011


  1. Thanks Susan and Lynda. Great informative and inspiring interview!

  2. What a wonderful interview and it's great getting to know our wonderful publisher a little better! Thanks Lynda and Susan!

  3. Lynda,
    You should keep this link to refer new authors. It educated me about how it all works.

  4. Great interview! Even though I've been with GAP for almost 3 years now, I learned even more about the process. I, too, am excited about all the developments in e-publishing. Thanks, Sue! And thanks for highlighting my sweet Dotty, too. Great pic of Lynda.

  5. Thanks, ladies. I enjoyed learning about Lynda, how GAP got started, and how GAP works. I'm soooo looking forward to my first GAP book which should be coming soon. Jack Foster did a fantastic job on the illustration I saw. Go,GAP,GO!

  6. Fantastic post. Hope you don't mind if I point a few people in this direction. I'm proud to be an Angel and this interview highlights all the reasons why! Thanks ladies.

  7. This was an interesting interview. Lynda is a creative thinker and it sounds like the sky's the limit for the guardian angels in the future.

  8. Awesome interview. I learned so much about GAP today. I know I love being a GAP author. I wish Lynda and all my fellow angels great success.


  9. Very informative, thanks. I'm not familiar with children's books on ereaders. Are they picture books?

  10. Karen Yes they are picture books. Guardian Angel also does some chapter books. I have heard Kindle is black and white and does not handle picture books well. iPod and iPad and other ebook readers do handle picture books. Some books readers take PDF's of the book. EPUB adds page flipping.

  11. Thanks, Jack, Nancy, Jess, Donna, Kathy, Kai, Janet and Cheryl for stopping by and leaving a comment. Karen,, Janet has a chapter book published by Guardian Angel : "The Sinister Scientist"

  12. Hi Sue,

    Wow, what a wonderful interview. I learned so much about Lynda's vision for GAP. Thank you for taking the time to interview our wonderful publisher.

    Nicole Weaver

  13. Very informative interview. Thanks Lynda and Sue for sharing it.

  14. Really informative interview...gonna share this one! Thanks!

  15. Wonderful interview! Thanks for sharing, Sue and Lynda. It's good to learn more after having the privilege of meeting both of you recently.

  16. Wonderful interview! And what a nice surprise to see my book featured on the post. Thanks, Susan!


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