For the past few months, I’ve had the opportunity to get to know the owner of one of the hottest publishing companies today. He’s taken the time to mentor and motivate me personally and professionally. I’ve read his books and watched him lead his team, providing his readers with nothing but the best. I am honored to be able to interview George Sherman Hudson and allow my readers to get to know his story…
George Sherman Hudson, CEO of G Street Chronicles
George’s story does not start when he was in school. It doesn’t start when he was a young boy and had the drive and excitement to write a book; George decided to write a book while doing time in prison. After finishing the book, he decided to learn the publishing process and publish his own book instead of going through the submission process. “I was misquoted in a past interview saying I submitted work to Triple Crown and some other publisher, but that never happened. I never submitted work to anyone. I studied the industry and launched my own company,” George says.
G Street Chronicles has been in business since 2009. Over the past 2 ½ years, G Street Chronicles has become one of the major publishing houses. There is no Urban Fiction reader that has not read at least one G Street Chronicles book.
Starting a company is never easy. However, George took the necessary steps to get G Street off the ground. I asked him what he did to get the company up and rolling. “I started this company with money I had before incarceration and a friend’s cash infusion. I started this company while in prison, so it was no easy task. I lost $18,000 because of my ignorance of the industry which, back then, wasn’t big on the booming eBook trend that’s going on now, so it was very difficult to recover from such a huge loss. But, I didn’t let that stop me.”
When it was finally time for George to sign his first author, he says he was a little nervous because he was holding this person’s dream in his hands. “It felt good to sign my first author but, at the same time, I was a little nervous because I really didn’t know the business from top to bottom and at that point, I’d taken on the responsibility of being in charge of this person’s dream.”
With George being the head of one of the most successful publishing companies, his talent, drive and motivation caused many authors to want to sign with him and be a part of the G Street Team.
George is not only a publisher, he’s an author as well. Ever since George has decided to mentor me, we have very good conversations. One conversation George had with me was funny, but professional. I’d decided that I wanted George to be featured on PEN’Ashe Magazine, but I said I wanted to feature him as an author and then do a cover story and feature him as a CEO. He quickly said…and he says this to me often, “Come on now, Dominique.” Then he proceeded to say, “I am a CEO first, then an author. You have to interview me as a CEO and then interview as an author.” I laughed, but I got it. This shows just how professional this man is.
In the interview, I asked George how he juggles being an author and a publisher. He said, “It’s not hard. I’m really more of a publisher than an author, but handling both is not hard at all. I make sure I’m a publisher first because it wouldn’t be fair to all the authors who have signed. They signed their contract to be represented by a publisher, not an author.” I believe this is something every author must take to heart when they decide to publish with someone. The publisher must care about who they are publishing.
While George is the CEO of G Street Chronicles, the company is also run with his COO, Shawna A, handling the operations alongside him. George tells me that his biggest struggle was dealing with the day-to-day issues while incarcerated. He says that Shawna has been a big help in helping the company grow over the years.
The publishing industry is booming nowadays and just about anyone can write and publish a book. I asked George his opinion of today’s publishing industry. “The industry today is internet driven. Authors today don’t have to get out in the streets to sell books. With the booming social networks, internet bookselling has changed. Now authors can sell millions of books from the comforts of their homes without ever stepping a foot outside. The industry is wide open and now everyone who wants to be an author and/or publisher is diving in but, believe me, only the real ones will be left standing in this saturated market.”
Just as easily as it is to write and publish a book, the same eagerness is put into becoming a publisher, just about anyone can do it. But is that really true? I asked George where he thought many publishers fall short. “Many publishers fall short by not producing quality products, putting out poorly written and unedited books with no substance. Also, being less than professional when dealing with publishing issues is not a good look when you’re supposed to be a business owner representing a brand and others associated with your brand.”
With there being so many publishing companies to choose from, I asked George what made G Street different. So many publishers can slap a logo on a book and call it a day. George explained what make G Street different, “G Street Chronicles is nothing like the rest. This company was started in my quest for freedom and has become one of the top publishing houses in the game in a span of only two years. With Shawna A. handling operations alongside me, we gained major distribution, acquired major accounts, signed numerous authors, connected with people in the film/music industry and basically…we have risen to a whole different level. We have created a strong brand and have achieved what we set out to do…become a household name.”
In order for G Street to be a household name, there has so be something behind each book that pushes the reader to want to indulge in this company and then to want to come back repeatedly. George says his motivation is to please the reader and provide them with a source of entertainment. He says different books will give different results. Some will read to escape their daily lives, some will read to add excitement, and some will read to relax. “I want them to get from the books whatever they are looking for. End result…satisfaction.”
Marketing and promotion is one of the most important areas of being an author and publisher that one must master, but it takes time and trial and error. I asked George what marketing tools have been effective for his team. “I can’t say that any one thing has been the most effective. What has worked for me and Shawna is constant and consistent marketing in various areas at the same time. When our TV commercial was running, we were still on our social networks. We don’t stop one thing to try another, so for us, all marketing tools work as a ‘team’.”
George’s tips and advice for self-published authors or authors who want to start publishing their own work: “DO YOUR HOMEWORK! Don’t jump into this business thinking you know everything without doing your research. You will be swallowed up by the sharks in no time. With everything you do, it takes time, so take the time to understand the process and the business before you put your time and money into it. If it’s your dream, go for it, but do it with knowledge and chances of success are greater.”
Since I have been in this business, George has been one of the most honest, reliable and motivational professionals I have dealt with. I’ve come across people who wouldn’t return emails or simply wouldn’t deal with me because of what I do and what I am capable of accomplishing. He’s the first person I can truly say that has mentored me and I take his words to heart…all of them! As a reader, author and professional, I am looking forward to what George and G Street has to offer the public. 2014 is the year of success. I believe that G Street will exceed and expand on many levels.
G Street Chronicles in 2014: “Expansion! We’ve already announced five imprint companies, signed several new authors-even one from the UK and we have several major announcements that I can’t reveal yet. We will continue to give our readers the books they have become accustomed to and honestly, Dominique…Shawna and I have so many things planned that the best way to answer this is…STAY TUNED!”
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