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Why This Entrepreneur is on a Mission to Create 10,000 Publishing Companies

The Business Brainstorm podcast recently caught up with Adriana Monique Alvarez, the founder and CEO of AMA Publishing, who’s on a mission to create 10,000 female-owned publishing companies by 2027. That might sound overly ambitious, but the book publishing industry is heating up, last year generating nearly $26 billion in revenue. Publishers sold 750 print books, which represents the highest year-over-year increase since 2010, as reported by Statista. E-books reached almost 200 million units sold, while audiobook revenue reached $1.3 billion.

Established publishing houses hold a major advantage in the market but there’s always room for disruption. That’s what Alvarez has done by targeting niche customer groups: “I started a publishing company because there is a lot of room for improvement,” she says. “Whenever there is room for improvement in an industry there is a lot of potential for a new business.” 

A key part of her success, Alvarez notes, has been knowing what type of customer she wanted to serve from day one: “What kinds of books do you want to publish? What kinds of people do you want to publish with? Knowing who you want to work with day in and day out is a driving force for everything else you build.”

While building a quality product is important, you also have to know how to distribute it. With so many options today on the internet, it’s easy to feel like you need to know everything. But according to Alvarez, that’s not the right approach: “I don’t think it’s necessary to be on every single distribution channel possible. It depends on the caliber of the book and it depends on the client.” For example, she started by focusing specifically on Amazon before expanding.  

As a successful founder and best-selling author, Alvarez’s biggest piece of advice is to avoid trying to do everything by yourself. “It doesn’t matter if you are a smaller company than your competitors, if you deliver on your promises as a business, you will do well in any economy and outperform the competition in your space,” she says. “Having a trusted team to help be the best-in-class is key.” 

Listen to the full conversation with Alvarez  here.  

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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