Hello from Gnome On Pig Productions Incorporated!
Yes,you read that correctly. The first big change is a switch from a privatized company to a corporation. As Gnome On Pig Productions gained more interest and connections over 2018, we realized that we needed to grow. A privatized small company could not support this, so by going into a corporation we can keep moving forward.
Over the course of 2019 and moving into 2020 and beyond we will be continuing our company premise we have built on. Authors, illustrators and artists may notice a few small changes along the way and we hope you view them as a positive for the future.
The biggest change is the fact that as 2019 goes ahead we will be going corporate. The reasons are many and a few of them are revealed in this letter.
2018 was an interesting business year. I am not sure this letter will do it justice.
At the beginning of the year we did a call for submissions. A few of those are still working toward publication and a few didn’t work out. It was during some of this that I began to realize and discuss with my small crew of editors about changing to a corporation.
Two of the submissions that were not realized were attached to children’s television and toy productions. Gnome On Pig Productions was approached to handle the book production and distribution connected to these. We were going to solely be in the book publication portion, earning royalties from sales at an undetermined percentage over and above the cost of manufacturing. I cannot say this has failed as it is at a standstill. The studios wanted more from Gnome On Pig Productions and we needed to become a corporation to provide the more. Without boring everyone with the details moving into a corporation allows us to be “affiliated” with things like this without giving up our basic premise for the company or intruding on the right of the studio standards. I hope to announce the future of these two projects later on. All I am allowed to say at this time is that they have established bases for their productions and that filming and toy making is underway. As for the books, we have the templates and are waiting on a contract.
We also lost a couple of book publication contracts in 2018. We always lose a few here and there. That is nothing unusual but what happened was a cancellation in the eleventh hour so to speak. Many authors know the major costs of production is in the set up before the printing occurs. We do not charge for these services and will remain not charging for this. However, we had a couple of authors who took advantage of this and in the end cancelled but with the tools we already provided went ahead and either self published or took a polished work to another publication. Due to this we will be changing our submissions process. This does not affect those currently in the production process or those already published. It will only be for new submissions when we call for them outside of the authors, illustrators and artists we already work with. As a result we ran out of production money so -to-speak. Our business runs off of sales of books with our portion of royalties and a bit of financial backing of my own. I don’t mind putting money into my business but when it is used on projects that do not go to publication with the company I will admit I am more than a little frustrated. By moving to a corporation and I claim more of lost funds on my taxes which benefits the company as a whole.
What is affecting current publications? Two things mainly I believe will affect the current publications. The first is us going corporate. We will from here on in be known as Gnome On Pig Productions Incorporated or Gnome On Pig Productions Inc. or even G.O.P.P.I. We are NOT doing a major name change on the books spinal logo (it will still be G.O.P.P.) or any visual logo change at this time. Our current logo was designed by Elizabeth Eichelberger and it will remain so for the foreseeable future. People are recognizing the logo and to change it would not be beneficial to the company. What you will see is our use of more Gnome and Pigs outside of the standard logo to reinforce we are who we are. At this time I will also point out that Elizabeth has her own children’s book company “Petite Scribe” and has illustrated over 20 children’s books within the last five years including two we publish. If you wish to know more we often promote her things on our Twitter page, Facebook when we can and through our website of Gnome On Pig Productions (look for it under the Shopping tab).
The second is the other changes with Gnome On Pig Productions going corporate. Both are major steps forward. The first is a slight amendment to everyone’s publication contract. This includes those who are not yet in production. We see it as a positive move. As of March 1st, 2019 all publications move into a “FREE AGENT” publication contract. No more contract ends or renewals. What does this really mean? It means that your book(s) are published and available as always but should you be looking to move on you do not have a contract to break from. Instead you can leave your book in publication with us under the same terms but only have to give a 10 day notice to have them cancelled from publication systems so you can sign a new contract with someone else. The bonus is that you never have to have your book out of print (unless you choose to do so) while you look for another publication to take it on. We feel this is a positive as our book sales are in constant fluctuation. In the case of author and illustrator partnerships then both will have to agree on the dropping of the book from our systems. We are doing this as most of our monetary loss is during production and our new contracts will reflect this.
The second big move is we do have an affiliated series in productions with contracts approved. We are not able to say much now but if a current author, illustrator or artist is unhappy with our association (which really doesn’t effect their book publications) then they can drop Gnome On Pig Productions Incorporated without repercussions. However, we will not resign an author who has left us with their publication. We used to have a $250 USD fee to resign but we have now chosen to drop this. If you leave then you are gone. It is just better for business this way. We did have someone leave in 2017 and look to come back only a few month later because their other deal fell through. Any new company willing to publish your book we are confident will wait the 10 days for it to be gone from our system and won’t interfere with your contract with them. This affiliation part of the corporation will be added to contracts. Please ask further questions and I will answer them. Email me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Both are valid emails.
Now, for the business down news. I have given you what I feel to be a lot of up but over 2018 there were a lot of downs going on business and personal. First, for those who do not know I will tell you the personal lows of the year. Those who are close to me do know most of this and though business and personal should be separate we all know this is a fallacy.
A lot of personal loss was to my family this year. Many times I fell into a manic depressive state and had to run away, so-to-speak to get my head wrapped around it. In February, I lost a close friend who was like a second mother to me. Pat was 77 and was taken away with a stroke. I was not informed by her daughter, whom I spoke with many times but instead found out from the obituary posting. I guess I expected too much from her family to be told personally. Many times I would talk to Pat over the phone or go to her house for a visit and we would discuss everything in and under the sun. I came to know her when I worked with her husband Frank (deceased at age 57, 10 years ago).
My next loss was my cat of 10 years, Emily 7. She was a shelter cat that had no teeth, was mostly blind and species confused as she often mimicked traits from other animals. She was 11 years old and had cancer choosing to leave us in May.
As for cancer, it took away my husband’s Aunt Arlene in August. Diagnosed with aggressive lung cancer in August of 2015 she finally succumbed to the ravages of the disease as it spread from her lungs to her body as a whole. She was 71.
Last but far from least was the sudden death of my nephew Michael at age 26. He was an Aviator with the Canadian Air Force. However, he did not die in the line of duty. He had gotten leave just before Christmas and was heading home to his girlfriend and family. He wanted it to be a surprise. He told no one of his plan except the officer he reports to on the base. On November 15th, he traveled toward home. He didn’t make it to his destination as a traffic accident in bad weather occurred. His sister (my niece) got a knock on the door from the police the next morning. Michael had touched many people in his short life. He was given a full military funeral including a metal that was going to be presented to him in the new year that he had no knowledge he had won. Michael was the first new baby I ever held. I was at the hospital the day he was born. We last saw each other physically just before he entered the military. We were not super close but I mourn the loss of the little boy I would babysit. I mourn the loss of the man he became and I cannot begin to feel the loss my sister has for her only son.
I thank you all for letting me vent here but it is time to go forward again.
2018 was not a great book selling year. Between my website provider not having emails to be read and able to update the website regularly because they were changing servers, I think much was lost. This was the worst book selling year we ever had. It isn’t until something goes down you realize it’s importance.
Thinking of these issues we are going to put a positive spin on this. We are going to advertise more on public media. We have to get a good turn around this year. I want every book to sell and be successful. Currently we have had a few ask about doing their book for free. THIS DOES NOT WORK! Not even for a short time. People love free things, this is a fact. However, I have noticed in a book series that if you give one away for free then the public will wait until the next one is free and so on. I am still unsure how to really infiltrate the masses but I will get there. Gnome On Pig Productions Incorporated currently has 1 book for free as an eBook. It has been this way from the start. As long as the author wishes to have it remain this way it will. I notice several times a year it is downloaded via Amazon. The book is a wonderful example of writing in the teen genre and also serves as an excellent example for the company. You can also get a copy of When Stars Die from Amber Skye Forbes for free via Amazon.
Business Promotional Changes:
Consistently going to change the book flash ads. You may not see the same one twice.
Visual commercials. We are now affiliated with a small business that does commercials. I am unsure at this time if there is anything more to report.
Using our WordPress blog to our advantage. We have been ignoring this tool and we are going to stop that.
Encouraging follows on social media. The more follows and then shares the better. We ask all of you to get involved with this. Shameless self promotion does work. Please do it for the company as a whole and not just on your publications.
Growing and learning more. Give us ideas and let us know what else you are doing. A proven fact is if the general public feels apart of your life professionally and occasionally on a personal level they will be more likely to follow. Try it and watch how quickly they will grow on your own social pages.
Consolidating social media. We are going to attempt to link more of our social media together to get things growing further. Once again I cannot stress enough for your participation in this. I don’t always have the time to write an update letter but I will make time to post on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also have Fliker, Tumblr, WordPress and a few others along with our own website.
The last thing I want to discuss is Amazon. Though it is known to the world and all of our publications are able to be purchased from it, it is an entity outside of our company. Many times this year I have had to confront them about their systems. Everything from not having books available for sales on release dates to hiccups in the templates. Amazon frequently changes their policies to suit their business and it is not always friendly with Gnome On Pig Productions Incorporated business. It may be the best online book store but it is not the ONLY book store. There have been eBook sales that I have reports for during the 2018 year and because we must reach a minimum quota before they pay it out, I must go through my systems and make my books make sense for taxes. This means I have two choices to make. Let the money sit with Amazon and claim no book sales until the minimum is reached or to pay-out-of-pocket to the authors their royalty and wait for Amazon to pay up. In the past I have paid out of pocket to the authors and I will do the same this year. However, over the holiday the book sales were still lower than any other year so I do not know if there are any book sales to report. I am reading through data and will have a better look at the overall year by the end of January.
Well, everyone. I think that has covered most of 2018. Here’s to good health, good family and friends and to business growth in 2019.
Happy New Year!
CEO of Gnome On Pig Productions Incorporated