Every Author is an Entrepreneur
With Leslie “LAM” Miller
This is the story about how two women left a toxic workplace, launched a better publishing brand, and equipped people with the tools to tell their stories.
Today’s guest on The Business of You is Leslie “LAM” Miller, the Co-founder and CEO of Girl Friday Productions. GFP is a women-owned and led publishing company, offering indie and hybrid publishing focused on inclusivity and empowerment. In Girl Friday’s nearly twenty years, LAM has focused on disrupting business as usual for both publishing processes and organizational leadership with a focus on empathy and radical transparency.
The “Girl Friday experience” has kept clients coming back for almost two decades. It begins with a compassionate, curated team devoted to authors’ publishing goals and culminates in a book they are elated to call their own. From book coaching to editorial to cover design to marketing strategy, the GFP publishing program produces books of distinction.
LAM is passionate about excellent books–but she also emphasizes positive work culture. She and her Co-founder Ingrid Emerick launched GFP after leaving their previous publishing company, where time off was virtually nonexistent and work-life balance did not exist. As young moms, they fought to be able to do the work they loved, while spending time with their families. Now at GFP, they cultivate a culture that celebrates parenthood, individuality, hobbies and interests, and harmony with work.
Being an author means that you’re an entrepreneur
LAM sees the same thing happen again and again in her years in publishing: People who passionately write books and promote them do really well.
However, she also sees individuals who write a book and spend no time promoting it–believing that a company can carry them towards the finish line. LAM reminds us that readers–much like clients–desire a strong connection with us and our brand in order to commit to our message.
While you can publish anything at any time, she serves a lighthearted and humorous reminder that not everything needs to be a book, and not everything will be a bestseller. It’s okay to publish something just for your grandkids. And if you decide to tell a great big story to a large audience, make sure you promote it!
Clarity attracts the right people, places, and things
LAM is unapologetically herself, and she encourages you to be yourself too. She wears her emotions on her sleeve, and that’s part of her personal brand.
In this episode, she encourages us to be who we are and live out our values. In our lives, and in our businesses, the right people will be attracted to us. The message at Girl Friday Productions is clear: They are a gender-inclusive, diverse, and anti-racist company. Because they are clear, loud and proud about their messaging, they attract clients that believe in the power of good.
Everyone’s story deserves to be told
At Girl Friday Productions, everyone’s story deserves to be told. LAM discusses troubling trends in publishing, and how essential it is that they disrupt the norm that primarily white women get a platform to tell their stories. Even in positions of power in publishing, the executive teams are mostly led by white men. Girl Friday Productions is a loud voice in opposition to the discrimination of the traditional publishing industry.
Now, LAM and the other staff at GFP are working behind the scenes to create exciting new offerings, empowering more diverse voices to tell their stories and reach new audiences. Enjoy this wonderful conversation with Leslie “LAM” Miller on The Business of You!
“Every author is an entrepreneur. Every contract we have, we are teaching entrepreneurship.”
“We were publishing all these books about feminism and motherhood. At the same time, I was having my first child and my business partner Ingrid was having her second. We had three weeks of maternity leave, typing over their heads and taking meetings. We asked to reduce our hours. The answer that came back was, we’ll pay you less…but we’ll reduce your hours and your workload. But it didn’t change at all! It was so frustrating.”
“You shouldn’t have to choose between being the human that you are most of the time, and the person you are at work. I think you can be happier and it should be more sustainable.”
“We scan the landscape and ask, how can we better allow people to share their stories? That’s what we’re really passionate about. We produce audiobooks for people now! We produce eBooks. We look for new marketing opportunities. We look at social media, and what it does for authors.”
“Indie publishing, or self-publishing, used to be such a dirty word. But we built this incredible program. We aren’t going to do the same work as a traditional publishing company – we do better work! We are so proud of these books. We take better care of you.”
“If you want to publish a book so that your grandchild can have it, don’t do any marketing. But if you want to sell copies, you absolutely need to have effective strategies.”
“We give people a report that says, this is your ideal reader, where they’re hanging out, and how to reach them.”
“We don’t work on content that doesn’t help the world.”
“We would love to pass on what we know, and equip more people to tell their stories.”
“Everyone’s stories deserve to be heard. And there are a lot of stories that are being kept out of the industry.”
Links mentioned in this episode:
Visit the website for Girl Friday Productions at www.girlfridayproductions.com
Follow Girl Friday Productions on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/girlfridayproductions/
Follow Girl Friday Productions on Facebook at
Connect with LAM on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/leslielammiller/
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