1. What made you decide to start Blue Planet Publishing?
My husband and I started Blue Planet Publishing for new authors with extraordinary talent, but who were without a publishing home. We wanted to provide an outlet for those committed artists.
2. How long have you been doing it?
I’ve been a publisher for four years, but I’ve been writing since I was nine years-old.
3. What types of services do you offer?
As a publisher, we offer novel production services for new authors. As a literary professional, I assist new authors with developing their work for publication.
4. Who are you clients?
Blue Planet’s clients are authors with exceptional manuscripts. As a consultant, my clients are authors who are just entering the literary world and need help navigating through the many paths of novel writing.
5. What is the most rewarding aspect of your business?
As an author, it is extremely rewarding to be able see my work in print. It is equally as rewarding as a publisher to help authors realize their dreams. In terms of being a consultant, I enjoy sharing what I’ve learned as an author so that I may possibly help develop great artists who will bring positive change to the literary world.
6. What has been the most difficult?
The most difficult aspect of writing and publishing has been spreading the message that art has no color. So often, African-American authors are classified by what we look like as opposed to what we write about. This “categorization” has a great impact on literature and affects how our work is perceived and therefore purchased. When I work with new artists, I try to help them develop a good story, not a good black story or a good white story. Sometimes, the point of my message is missed or ignored and that is often difficult.
7. What has bought you the most joy?
I’ve found the most joy in sharing with the many book clubs and readers I’ve met. It is wonderful to know that others enjoy my work and understand the underlying messages. By far, the people I’ve met have made me smile and appreciate my gift the more.
8. How do you promote your services?
Blue Planet Publishing has its own website and aspiring authors are free to visit the site and make a query. I also have a website and blog for my personal writing, as well as networking pages. These venues as well as book shows, conferences, and workshops are where we promote and market our imprint and my writing. With regard to my consulting, individuals generally find me through word of mouth.
9. What do you see people do that drives you crazy?
The many contradictions of mankind drive me more to writing than anything else. I find it nothing short of interesting that people say they believe one thing, but don’t realize the conscious effort it takes to really walk in that belief. This contradiction is the premise that the Lost & Found saga series is based on.
10. Where would you like to be in 5 years?
In five years I plan to be helping to rebuild the power of art in our youth. Years ago, art was as crucial to the healthy development of our children as was math and reading. Today, art has been the easiest component to remove from the educational system. A civilization without art is a doomed civilization. I can’t stand idly by and allow that to happen.
11. Who would you love to work with?
I love working with authors who are not just talented, but who are motivated as well. I love what I do and believe cultivating my craft is as important as anything I will ever do. It is wonderful to work with artists that feel the same way.
12. Who are your mentors?
I have met a lot of great artists since my debut. I hate to name names because the list is never complete. That being said, there have been publicists, marketing specialists, readers, book club presidents, and artists that have opened up and honestly shared with me. Each of them have helped light my path thus far. I’m grateful to them for their love.
13. What makes your business or service, stand out from the rest?
There are many houses that publish authors, but not many that develop artists. Blue Planet develops authors so that their talent will grow exponentially and their visions will expand. I work to provide the same service to those I consult.
14. Are you adding any future services to your business?
Blue Planet has been developing a literary magazine for several months. The concept has evolved and emerged and we plan to release it soon.
15. Do you have a staff or is it all you?
As a consultant and author, it’s all me. As a publisher, Blue Planet does employ a staff.
16. What do you want people to know about you?
I want people to know that I love art and want to share that love with world.
17. What do you want people to know about your business?
I want people to know that Blue Planet Publishing values artists and the voice they bring to the literary world. Our house is built for the artist and the development of outstanding literature.
18. When you have completed a project, how do you celebrate?
I celebrate a completed project with a little down time and a fudge ice cream bar. From there, it’s on to the next phase.
19. What has been the most surprising thing you’ve learned from your business?
The most surprising realization we’ve had is that artists aren’t always serious about being the best they can be. I have heard more excuses and seen more fear in the literary world than I could have ever imagined. That has been both surprising and disappointing.
20. Would you change anything about your journey?
Despite the challenges and let downs, I wouldn’t change anything about my journey so far.
21. Do you have any advice for people in business?
There is so much going on in the literary field and so many paths. It’s important for those in the business to remain true to themselves and the goals they’ve established. Don’t be swayed by the latest, hottest new thing. Stay focused and do you.
22. Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow?
I’ve taken hints from not just the literary world, but from all walks of life. Those that have been the most successful have been consistent, true to themselves, and people of integrity. I believe that success translates in ways other than finances. While it is very important to follow the clues of financial success, it is equally important to observe the inspirations of personal achievement.
23. What have you realized about yourself since doing this business?
I’ve found that I know more than I thought I knew. This walk has been a learning experience and a test. While I continue to learn and grow, I find that I have that much more to give. More importantly, I’m willing to give it.
**Other than the Bible
1.One book that changed your life: Hinds Feet in High Places by Hannah Hurnard
2. One book that you've read more than once: Hinds Feet in High Places
3. One book you'd want on a deserted island: The Stone Flower Garden by Deborah Williams
4. One book that made you laugh: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
5. One book that made you cry: Can’t think of one
6. One book that you wish had been written: None. I appreciate each work for its own voice.
7. One book you loved to hate: Gone with the Wind (the longest book in mankind, but a classic)
8. One book that you are currently reading: The Art of Racing in the Rain
9. One book that you've been meaning to read: What Mother Never Told Me by Donna Hill
10. One book you've been meaning to finish: Daniel X: Watch the Skies by James Patterson
11. One guilty pleasure: PartyLite candles and accessories
12. What’s your theme song? Not so much a theme, but one I enjoy: Holy Spirit Move, Joe Pace
Sites and Contact information:
Avey World – www.avahlareaux.com
Search Avah LaReaux on FaceBook, Twitter, and MySpace.
Blue Planet Publishing – www.bppbooks.com, www.myspace.com/blueplanetpublishing
Join the Blue Planet Publishing page in FaceBook
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- My main goal is to provide you and your business with elegant ways in representing your work. Sure business cards and fliers are fine to give to customers and potential clients; however give them a complimentary item that will not end up in the nearest trash can.
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