Some people in today's publishing industry frown on POD publishing companies. Gail Westover, of Thistlewood Publishing, however, believes that this was exactly the way to go in today's tenuous marketplace. "I also believe in taking it slow and easy," Westover says, "Opening a startup press was risky with the economy as it is, but one I was anxious to take."
No stranger to the business world, this is Gail Westover's third successful business. Thirty years ago, when health spas were all the rage, she purchased a bankrupt health spa, and offered aerobic and exercise classes, wall-to-wall equipment, a sauna, and whirlpool. With careful money management, long hours, and dedication, she turned the business into a money maker. Four years later, she sold the business to stay home with her boys. "I loved being home with my children, but unfortunately, the money situation necessitated that I return to work. I got my Real Estate license and became addicted to helping people buy homes. After years of hard work, I became one of the top Realtors in our area. I obtained my Broker's license and opened Heritage Homes Realty. After twenty-two years, it was time to retire. I had other things I wanted to do with my life."
That didn't last long, as Gail is not one to sit idle. A few years later, she began to write under the pen name of Tika Newman. One word became a page, the pages turned into chapters. the story was intriguing and unfolded before her very eyes. "The Eyes of Innocence" series was born. After run-ins with two unsavory publishers who both wanted her entire series, she said, "No more!" Six months later, she opened Thistlewood Publishing, a POD and short-run publisher. The first eighteen months were devoted to promoting "The Eyes of Innocence" series. Recently, Robert Lange, author of "The Knowing Gene" has joined the ranks. Thistlewood will slowly take on other authors.
"My business model is this; work hard, treat everyone fairly, and don't over spend. I read every article I can, and keep on top of the marketplace. POD was the way to go for us. I have no book returns, warehouse/storage costs, or inventory to keep track of. I selected who I believed to be the best printing service out there. We use heavy cover stock and a quality cream paper, that is easier on the eyes. I am proud of our finished product. I have seen some books that were printed by other publishers on paper that was little better than newsprint. I could never charge readers for such poor quality.
When a reader orders one of our books, they have it in their hands within days. The exception to this is when books are shipped internationally. Of course they take longer to arrive. We offer quality books at a fair price. In addition to being available at http://www.thistlewoodpublishing.com/ (which is the only place to buy an author autographed book), all our books are available on amazon, Barnes & Noble, Baker & Taylor, Borders, and most other online bookstores. Our titles are also available on the Espresso Book Machine, which is called the ATM for books. You insert your money, push a button, and your book prints and binds in FOUR minutes!! Retailers and libraries may order our titles through Ingram or electronic catalogs."