Name: Kellie Fitzgerald
Business: IbbiLane Press
Location: Pearce, Arizona, U.S.
Industry: Media & Publishing
Reason for starting? When I wrote my book, When on the Road to Enlightenment, I realized that there were few options available to new authors that enabled those books to be found or even available through bookstores. After speaking with a number of publishing companies, I realized I could develop my own publishing company that would keep the author in mind first and foremost. I’ve always been an entrepreneur, so I knew I could develop IbbiLane Press exactly how I wanted it to be. Business and writing have always been passions in my life, and with IbbiLane Press I’ve combined both these passions into a single endeavor.
In order to keep costs low for authors, I knew I would have to think out of the box. So I called on a variety of very talented friends who would be available to my authors who needed those services, for example cover design, editing, layout or graphics. This way my authors only pay for those services they need, leaving more of their money for promoting their books.
How do you define success? I’ve been suicidal in my life so my definition of success might not be everyone’s definition. Self-development and personal growth have been and remain critical to my life. Reconnecting with that inner guidance system we all have truly turned my life around, and through developing a deep sense of self-love I’ve been able to help others do that in their own lives. Each and every day is a blessing to me now. That truly does make me want to help others let go of their past and move forward to brighter days. The fact I get to actually do this on a regular basis is true success to me.
Biggest success: With complete and total honesty, my biggest success to date is my daughter. I was a teenaged parent in a horribly abusive relationship. In order to get away from that situation, I moved across the country not knowing anyone or how I was going to be able to provide for my daughter. We truly grew up together. Times were often very difficult, and there were many nights I cried over how I couldn’t give her all the things I really wanted to give her. Today she is a wonderful mother and very successful woman in her own right. I often have conversations with her and am amazed at her inner beauty and strength and the depth of her love for those around her. To have gone through so much that was dark and horrible as a child, and yet to have become the beautiful pillar of love and light that she is… and to know that she tells people it is because of her wonderful mother, wow there is no bigger success.
What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it? Every start-up company faces this same challenge: You can create the best business in the history of business and, if you don’t have sales and marketing figured out and implemented, you will not be successful. In my industry, publishing, sales and marketing become even more critical. Since this was a “bootstrapped” business, there was no budget for sales and marketing. I recruited friends on social media to get things rolling. That led to commission-only salespeople, who sold enough books and brought in enough new authors to build a sales and marketing team. It was tough going at times, but I relied on friends to share new book releases with their social media networks during those times, and they pulled me through. That is critical. You absolutely must have an inner circle of people you can absolutely rely on to pitch in and help when needed. Don’t forget to do the same for them!
Who is your most important role model? The most important role model I had in my life was without a doubt my grandmother. That woman was light years ahead of her time in so many ways. She went from being a young widowed farmer’s wife with two young kids to building a career in healthcare at a time when most women did not work outside the home. Years later, when I was born to a teenaged mother, she added me to the list of people she needed to take care of and in many ways was a mother to me herself. She worked two jobs and had businesses on the side for most of her life, yet she remained loving, kind and always ready to listen to a multitude of grandchildren, each of whom adored her.
Edited by The Story Exchange