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Hidden Gems: Meet Cynthia Fails of LaunchCrate Publishing

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cynthia Fails.

Hi Cynthia, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
My journey, much like everyone else’s, has not been a straight path. In 2012, I was working for a non-profit organization, doing work that I love, when a tough reorganization gave me an opportunity to decide whether or not that space was still in alignment with my core values. Once I realized that it was not, I knew the right thing for me to do in that situation was to leave. I had no idea what was next or what the future would hold, but I took the first of many leaps of faith nonetheless.

There was a five-month gap between the day I left that position and when I began working at the University of Missouri – Kansas City in early 2013. In that time I picked up quilting, and wrote, illustrated, and eventually published my first book. It was the latter of these two things that sparked my journey into the world of publishing. When I opted to publish the book myself, I did so after conducting tons of research that unveiled the lopsided world of publishing compensation. Having always been an agent for equity, I logged this discrepancy in the back of my mind and eventually set forth on a journey to find a solution that shifted the pendulum of compensation in favor of creatives.

While working full-time at UMKC during the day, and helping others publish their work at night, I found myself sifting through the options available to help create ripples of change in the publishing landscape. In 2017, I decided to take another leap of faith, taking a bet on myself, leaving UMKC, and venturing into this work full-time.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There definitely were bumps in the road. These ranged from slower months financially speaking, to almost every human being’s internal struggle to remember their why and push for results in alignment with our existence. I can live with others doubting my ability – because I know where my talents lie. When my internal dialogue started to lead me towards apathy, I knew it was time for me to make some shifts.

This is where friends, family, and a really good coach all helped me to remember who I was, what was important to me, and what impact I hoped to leave on those around me. It was a necessary pivot in helping me reframe those challenges into opportunities, and address them head-on.

As you know, we’re big fans of LaunchCrate Publishing. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
LaunchCrate Publishing was created to help flip the publishing industry on end, one book, one author, one reader at a time. We offer traditional publishing and publishing services, which gives us the flexibility to reach a lot of creatives.

Each year we publish a select handful of authors, in return, we offer an inverted profit share from traditional models; where 60% of the profit goes to the creatives (author/illustrator) and 40% to the publishing company.

Through the publishing services, we connect with authors interested in understanding the self-publishing process and are essentially a one-stop-shop for that journey, providing support in everything from understanding the details of publishing, understanding distribution options, learning how to submit your work for the official copyright, book layout, cover design, and our crown jewel, Idea to Editor, a manuscript writing master course.

We work one-on-one and in small groups to help ensure that each author has the opportunity to ask the questions that will help them understand the process just as much as we have grown to understand it. These are questions that might not be asked in a larger setting, so it’s important that we keep the connection as intimate as can be.

Our goal is to create ripples of impact in all of the services we provide, whether those are the books published traditionally or the intentional connection with writers, authors, or the children we interact with on a regular basis. Their success and understanding are our core focus, and that impacts the way in which we serve.

Is there something surprising that you feel even people who know you might not know about?
I’m fairly quiet, typically because I’m so busy observing the world around me. It’s that highly observant nature though, that allows me to understand people on a deeper level. So much is communicated through tone of voice and body language. It’s in that unspoken message that we have a chance to connect with the truth on a human level instead of keeping things on the surface.

It’s also through that highly observant nature that allows me to write books (I’m releasing my 13th print book and 1st audiobook this year) and create music (I’m 10 months into a year-long quest to write, arrange, and produce one song per month) from a place that connects with others on a soul level.

It sounds pretty serious in nature, but that type of connection also gives way to the freedom to be the passionate, empathetic, motorcycle-riding, active, lighthearted person that I am at my core – and silently give others a reason to explore the same for themselves. I know my worth and value, but I definitely don’t take myself too seriously.

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