Tell me about Aviva Gittle Publishing
Aviva Gittle Publishing was originally called Aviva Gittle eBooks. When I started the company in 2013, I thought readers were moving very quickly away from print books. Turns out, that is not true for children’s books. Most children’s books are still purchased in hard copy.
My only goal was to publish my own stories. I had absolutely no experience doing this, but I was a writer (since childhood) and had a background as a project manager. So, I understood about hiring and managing staff, dealing with contracts, etc. I also had at least basic proficiency in several software applications that would help me in the creation of the books.
Because my grandchildren are being raised bilingual (their mom is from Mexico), I decided to have most of my books professionally translated into Spanish.
I briefly looked into publishing other author’s books, but decided the legal hurdles were just to daunting for me. Turns out, I have so many books to publish of my own, I don’t have the time!
You’re also an author. Tell me about your books.
I would describe myself as a self-publisher who supports other indie authors. My books celebrate friendship, kindness, and imagination. For example, Kitten and Friends is a series of seven stories that teaches children (and a few adults, I hope) about how to be friends with those who look and live differently from them. In each book the main character, a kitten named Kitten, meets someone new. A butterfly, a monkey, a squirrel…and even a snake! Kitten just wants to play and with a combination of curiosity, kindness, and patience, he finds a way. Kitten & Butterfly (Gatito y Mariposa in Spanish) is the first book in the series. Kitten & Snake is my favorite story because Snake is the most challenging for Kitten to become friends with.
Mark Megson is the only other author I’ve worked with. We co-wrote three books: Moon Jump, Mary’s Magic Word (due to be released soon), and Snack Attack! Those books are an introduction to chapter books. Kind of a cross between a picture book and a chapter book.
Can you share your journey from writer to published author to publisher?
When I started Aviva Gittle Publishing, I had written two stories years before that were just filed away. When I learned about self-publishing, I decided to go for it.
I have never been — nor sought to be — traditionally published. I decided from the start that I wanted to manage the creative process completely. The only way I could hand a story over to a traditional publisher is if I didn’t care that much about it. I care about my stories.
What have you gained from publishing your writing that you didn’t expect?
Oh, I’ve gained many things! But the most surprising is the number of amazing people I’ve met and worked with. I’ve developed several relationships with people I’ve never met in person.
Why did you start the Gittle List Book Competition?
Through a Goodreads review group, I read Mariana Llanos’ Tristan Wolf and Gusty McCabe’s The Most Important Critter in the Whole Wide World. I enjoyed these books as much as the classics. Like Where The Wild Things Are or The Sneetches.
Yet, few readers would ever know about these self-published books. That was the impetus for The Gittle List. Find other great books and let as many readers know about them as possible. It is unlike other contests because it is not just about winning an award. The contest provides promotional opportunities for the entrants throughout the nearly year-long submission period. The winners — past and present — get even more promotion. I’m still promoting winners from 2013! No contest does that. (Learn more: http://bit.ly/23KAjqy)
The Gittle List provides a way for indie authors to easily cross-promote each other’s books. It’s as simple as sharing the posts, tweets, press releases, newsletters, and articles that I create. They promote the contest and the indie books. I literally provide marketing that can cost hundreds of dollars for each author. (Learn more: http://bit.ly/1TjKREK)
What’s next for you, personally as an author, and for Aviva Gittle Publishing?
There are so many books I need to get published. The Spanish versions of the Kitten and Friends series (Gatito y amigos), a “greeting book” series called Book of Love, the Spanish version of Mort the Fly (Mort la mosca), the list goes on. I haven’t written a new story in a long time. Maybe next year. :-)
The easiest way to find all my stories is to go to amazon.com and search “Aviva Gittle.” I’m the only one.