By: Ashley Slade
Who Is Taylor Made Publishing
Taylor Made Publishing is an African American book publisher by way of Greenville, North Carolina. The purpose and mission of Taylor Made Publishing is to ensure exposure of African American literature to the public.
The primary prerogative of Taylor Made Publishing is that everyone has a story to tell, and they want to assist those storytellers with sharing those stories for the entire world to see and hear.
The Woman Behind Taylor Made Publishing.: Meet The Founder, Diane Taylor
The Founder, Diane Washington-Taylor, was born and raised in up-state New York. She moved to North Carolina in 2001 after developing a successful career in the media revolving around television and radio broadcasting. Taylor received an undergraduate degree from Morgan State University in Journalism and Broadcast Journalism.
According to Taylor, she spent a majority of her adult years working as a reporter. “To be honest, I’ve always known I wanted to do that since I was four years old. I wanted to help people tell their stories.” Taylor stated. “To see Barbara Walters on the news, she was the only female that was allowed to take the game over. I knew then that I wanted to utilize my skills to help people tell their stories.” - (Diane Taylor, 2022)
To implement the plan of action to tell the stories of others, Taylor had jumpstarted on this at an early age to start this journey. This included extensive research through middle school, high school, and internships for a successful set up. To dive further into the beginning of where it all started, Taylor had stated she was granted a job opportunity working for FOX5 in Washington, DC at the age of 23. After gaining experience working at a renown news station, there was a moment in time when she wanted to change careers. After a game of decisions, Taylor decided to relocate to Greenville, North Carolina.
After relocating to Greenville North Carolina, in the year of 2013, Diane Taylor started creating the foundation for Taylor Made Publishing.
A-Day-In-A-Life With Taylor Made Publishing
“There are two different parts of Taylor Made. There's the creation of the product and then there is the selling of the product. The creation of the product is very strategic and always the same. Once a book has been created and published, each book takes on a life of its own. I spend a lot of time after a book is published ensuring the book has the right niche.”
Taylor continued, "I never shy away from saying that I create Black nonfiction children's books." This was a statement that was quoted by Taylor in reference to her mentioning her market strategy when it comes to publishing African American literature with young children being predominantly published by Taylor Made Publishing.
Taylor then continued in reference to consumers of other races reading the finished products. "The beauty of that is that is when they generally read it they will love it too. But, I don't ever shy away from the fact that from a marketing perspective or from a creative perspective of knowing who my market audience is.". - "Lean into who you are, lean into whose you are, and stand fast in that."
Some Previous Work Published By Taylor Made Publishing
Check Out More Published Work On Taylor Made Publishing's Direct Website And Booking Publishing Consultations via https://www.taylormadenc.com/
Mentorship & Guidance
While taking the journey of entrepreneurship within any bracket or market, there are always individuals to learn from. When Taylor was asked if there were any mentors that she would give homage to, here is what she had to say;
"No matter what your level is, you should always find someone who can pour into you and you can pour into them. When I first started this, the very first thing I did was research how many African American female publishers were in the country. And there were three; there was one in Charlotte (NC), and there was one in Chicago, and there was one in the Florida area." Taylor then mentioned that as a part of her research, she took initiative to reach out to them first. Taylor then added, "My goal wasn't to compete with anyone. But if I was going to do it, I wanted to do it well."
In connection with her initiative, Taylor mentioned that she had a lot of "editors and illustrators in her phone from previous years." This was a resource that was utilized for gaining more knowledge and advice when it came to getting started in the publishing industry. While taking this approach, Diane stated that she had received a lot of positive feedback when outreaching for advice and general knowledge. "I do think that no matter where you are in your career, you should always have mentors." Taylor said.
Written In The Stars:
Celebrity Talk With The Founder, Diane Taylor
While Taylor Made Publishing has exuded the publishing industry with wonderful finished products from dedicated African American authors, the book publisher has had the honor of publishing work for Love & Hip Hop star Juju. The book was entitled "Secrets Of A Jewel", published in 2017.
When it comes to working with one of the stars of a major hit TV series, Taylor proceeded to give an in depth perspective of the experience;
"I have worked with quite a few. I have worked with recurring NFL players, I have worked with Kandi Burruss (from The Real Housewives of Atlanta, singer of Xscape), so, I worked with quite a few. It was a humbling experience. I think that for both of us it was a humbling experience to understand that through the process people are people."
When it came to marketing the superstar's work, Taylor had mentioned that it was super easy to market her work because of her mass following. Taylor then continued, "...however, it did require more work because there were more purchasers." This is where the utilization of external resources came into play to ensure the work was edited to perfection, published, and sold.
Secrets Of A Jewel, written by Love & Hip Hop Star Juju, Published By Taylor Made Publishing of Greenville, North Carolina in 2017
Since Taylor has a roster of famous faces added to her publishing collection, the successful publisher then started mentioning names of individuals she would love to connect with in the future. "I will say that one of my big goals is to make the Oprah list for one or two of our authors. At the end of the day, helping to publish authors doesn't highlight me as a publisher. I want the best for my authors and I want my authors to be the best in themselves. And if I can accomplish that, then I have done my job."
The Source Of Motivation Behind Taylor Made Publishing
For every entrepreneur, there's always a source of motivation and strength in which we draw our power from. When Diane Taylor was asked a question of what is her source of motivation that keeps her pushing in her calling, she implemented this answer;
“Just simply knowing it's a calling. Knowing that this is bigger. Knowing that this is not about me. The vision is SO beyond me. I am so comfortable knowing that I am doing exactly what God wanted me to do. And that in itself is powerful. It's comfortable knowing that you are in the exact spot knowing what He wanted you to do. I never felt a need to advertise my business. Every person that contacts me I believe is through divine intervention."
Taylor continued, "That is why I am comfortable in knowing that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do, which is more motivation for what pushes me. " - "The other piece to it is knowing that every person that I have helped self-publish, I had left my personal imprint on the world. Because that is an additional footprint that people will have forevermore. I can step away from a finished book knowing that the person I helped self-publish, whatever their artistic talent was, it's now in a place for evermore."
In conclusion of this motivational statement, Taylor then proceeded to say, "Move in spite of fear. God only cracks the door open enough for you to walk through the trepidation and you have to be able to move in spite of fear. It's about knowing that I am going in the right direction and that I am going to be okay wherever I land.”
Word Of Advice From Diane Taylor To Future
Entrepreneurs In Publishing
"I feel sad that I make it look easy", Taylor stated. "But it's not as easy as it looks. The second thing is to always research your craft because the process always changes globally." Taylor then proceeded, "People have to be familiar with how do I get this information up on a trend so that you're always helping people to do well in their writing. You don't want them to just write well and so well, right?"
Taylor then proceeded, "So, although I don't think people should strive to be a perfectionist, I do think you have to be professional. There are industry standards. There are industry standards for what the cover of your book should look like, there are industry standards of what your font should look like, and how thick the book should be. And if you don't follow those industry standards to the T, then it's almost like you're shooting your book in the foot before it begins." - “You have to know what those standards are so that you can publish your book in the most effective way possible."
The Rest Is Still Unwritten:
The Next Chapter In The Memoir Of Taylor Made Publishing
Since the primary force that drives Taylor Made publishing is that everyone has a story to tell, Diane Taylor was then asked if she had to write a book on her life and experiences, what would the title of that book be? And how will the content of the book reflect the title?
"Well, I have three books inside of me that I need to sit down and take a moment to write. There was so much more than when it came to getting started. It became more of a spiritual journey. I learned so much not just about publishing but about myself. And I've grown so much personally through the process. - there have been so many milestone moments that made me think it wasn't anything but God."
In conclusion, Taylor then began to mention what was the next chapter, (pun intended), for Taylor Made Publishing. Here is what she had to say;
"The goal is for me to become the home for finding Black published books. The other piece to this is I really want to get more into the print on demand aspect. Because currently print on demand is not very easy for us and isn't affordable for self-published authors to be able to print and publish their books and sell it at a decent rate. I think this will make my business more profitable and actually come with a creative idea and leave with finished copies of their books. So those are the two main goals I foresee for us in the future.”
Taylor Made Publishing is a company within this industry that has many goals awaiting in the chambers. The motivation behind Taylor Made is to never settle for one goal. As long as you keep setting goals, you will have something newer and brighter to keep reaching for each time you progress. For today is where your book begins... the rest is still unwritten.
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