Wednesday, February 11, 2015

17 Georgia McBride, Founder and Publisher of Month9Books, Dishes About Starting Up and Looking Forward

I'm not sure Georgia McBride needs an introduction, but for the few who aren't aware of her #YALITCHAT hashtag on Twitter and the great stuff she's done in the YA community, and the even fewer who haven't heard how Month9Books is exploding from a boutique publisher to a powerhouse, read below! Georgia has been kind to me from the moment I first stumbled into my first #YALITCHAT and had no clue how to chat, and she's been a constant source of inspiration. We're thrilled to have her on the site with us again! And be sure to check all her great giveaways below!


Interview with Georgia McBride, Founder and Publisher of Month9Books

Georgia is the founder of #YAlitchat on Twitter, a speculative fiction writer, and founder of Georgia McBride Media Group, home of Month9Books, Swoon Romance, and Tantrum Books. She and or her books and authors have been featured in Publishers Weekly, Publishers Marketplace, Galley Cat, USA Today, Publishing Perspectives, RT Book Reviews, Justine Magazine, Suspense Magazine, Locus Magazine, Hunger Mountain, Huffington Post, CNN, SFWA 2011 Spring Bulletin, and more! She is one of the most prolific editors on Publishers Marketplace, having completed more than 130 publishing deals since March 2012.

Welcome, Georgia! We're excited to speak with you today about the growth of Month9Books! Can you tell us a little about the motivation behind its inception?

After a few years of consulting with publishers, freelance editing, vetting submissions for agents, and running writing contests for folks like St. Martin’s Press and Sourcebooks, I was disappointed by how many good books were getting rejected by big publishers who had grown tired of paranormal and fantasy, or wouldn’t touch science fiction for teens. So, I approached a few writer friends like Michelle Zink, Lisa Matchev, Nancy Holder and others about doing an anthology containing dark retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes. That experience left me with a taste for something more and an affirmation that readers STILL want to read this very material. It was a trial by fire of negotiations with seventeen different literary agents, editing twenty-two stories, finding distribution for the work, and getting it to market. And then, the anthology was optioned for TV, which to me, was further proof of concept. Writers and agents took notice and from that, Month9Books was born.

That was in 2012. What does Month9Books look like today?

Month9Books has grown in ways I never would have imagined. We have 46 titles in print and approximately 40 more coming through 2016. Month9Books is now part of Georgia McBride Media Group, a company that is home to two other publishing brands, Swoon Romance, a digital romance line and Tantrum Books, a middle grade whimsical fantasy line. Through Georgia McBride Media Group, I originate content, package books, and develop and sell content into the film and TV markets. Month9Books titles have been optioned for TV/film, including Dead Jed: Adventures of a Middle School Zombie, Two and Twenty Dark Tales: Dark Retellings of Mother Goose Rhymes, Nameless, and The Undertakers. We are distributed by the oldest and second largest distributor in the country, IPG, and are represented in foreign markets by Susan Schulman Literary Agency. Our works are available in audiobook and throughout the world in the English language.

What titles are you most proud of or excited about?

I am proud of all my authors and their books. But there are some titles that are highly anticipated this year, so I will mention those.
The Artisans by Julie A. Reece is an amazing, rich and emotive fantasy with all the feels and a smoking hot book boyfriend to die for. We tried something atypical with its cover and hope readers will connect with this amazing story.

The Artisans on Goodreads
Hunted is the follow up to Abi Ketner and Missy Kaliciki’s bestselling book Branded, which spent four months at Number 1 in Amazon’s Dystopian category and also in its Top 20 Teen Dystopian category, getting as high as No 9. For those four months, it was the only title in the Teen Dystopian category’s Top 20 that is not a TV show or film. Previously self-published in 2013, Branded, which has sold more than 35,000 units to date, and is poised to continue its successful run in 2015!

Hunted on Amazon

Traitor is book 3 in the bestselling Dragonrider Chronicles series from Nicole Conway. Both Fledging and Avian were Amazon No 1 in Children’s Fantasy and also in Dragon Stories. The series has sold roughly 40,000 units to date.

Avian on Amazon
Avian on Barnes and Noble

Serpentine is a lush, evocative, and richly-drawn historical fantasy that takes place in the legendary Kingdom of Xia. Written by Cindy Pon, Serpentine is like no fantasy I have ever read. It releases in September.

In the Beginning is our 2015 charity anthology collection of YA dark retellings of biblical stories slated for release in October. Sales of proceeds from the first 500 units will be donated to WriteGirl, who, within a community of women writers, promotes creativity and self-expression to empower girls.

Where do you see your company in five years?

I would like to continue expansion into foreign markets as well as continue to develop original titles for film and TV. I see Month9Books growing into a talent and content incubator. I want to be the go-to brand for teen and tween speculative fiction content across all media.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

I am proud of being able to develop content that has proven to be viable in other markets and formats such as film and TV and audio.

Do you accept unagented submissions?

We work with over 40 agents. Of course, we do accept unsolicited submissions as well. What kind of YA Lit community activist would I be if we didn’t? Visit to submit.

If you could change one thing about your journey, what would it be?

I wish I had decided to start Month9Books sooner, rather than allow myself to be told not to follow my instincts by those in publishing who were supposed to have been in the know.

Where can readers and writers find you and or your books?

Our books are available at indie bookstores, larger chains like Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million, libraries across the country, and of course, online at Amazon, iBooks, etc. In April, ENDLESS, a historical time travel novel, will be featured as in-flight reading on Southwest Airlines! Around town, you will find our authors at BEA, BookCon, ALA, Teen Author Bootcamp, Dragon Con, YALLWest, and more!

What advice to do you have for anyone who might want to start their own presses?

Learn everything you can about the publishing business. You won’t know which rules to break if you don’t know the rules to begin with. Also, align yourself with people you respect and in whom you can trust. Never stop learning, adapting, and growing. Strive to obtain trade and professional memberships. Be yourself. Be fiercely competitive without making enemies. Build YOUR brand, not the recreation of someone else’s. Get a good IP attorney, business attorney, and accountant!

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  1. Great interview! I've been hearing so much about this company lately and its nice for someone to be working for the indie authors.

  2. Thank you for a wonderful interview. Georgia McBride is an inspiration and I'm so thrilled her media empire is flourishing. I can't wait to read Hunted (I loved Branded).

    1. Thank you so much! Hunted chapter 2 reveal coming this Friday! Follow my Twitter feed for details.

  3. Awesome interview! Thanks for the giveaway!

  4. Cool interview d: I really love the covers though, and thanks for the giveaway!:)

  5. On Twitter, it says that Georgia McBride's Twitter page has been suspended, so I don't know what I'm supposed to do for that entry. Can you please tell me if there's an alternate. Also, cool giveaway, and I liked this post :)

    1. I'm @Georgia_McBride on Twitter. Thanks for reading!


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