I can’t believe I’m about to say this… we are officially five years old! It feels like it was just yesterday when I decided I was tired of sleeping on my grandmother’s couch, waiting for destiny to fall in my lap.
In 2014, despite all the obstacles that stood in front of me, I took a leap of faith and decided I was going to start Vital Narrative based on what I already knew about the publishing industry with the little bit of money I had from my last job in customer service. I told myself I’d just have to learn everything else on the way down. It’s taken twice as long to learn what I figured I needed to know and I’ve spent way more money than I ever expected — but it’s all been worth it. Just about every waking moment not devoted to my wife and daughter are focused on this talented roster of authors and the blood, sweat and tears they pour into their work.
The things I’ve learned about the industry pale in comparison to what I’ve learned about myself as a person. It takes a lot of resolve to run a business and to be constantly evolving from your mistakes. Every day, I learn something I can apply in some capacity and that’s honestly one of the most rewarding parts about running the company I sought out to create.
I’ve always been a writer, so I wanted this to be more writer-centric than other publishing companies. It’s why our authors earn 50% royalties as opposed to the 8% they can earn at mainstream publishers. It’s why I want the authors to have so much input on how this company runs and it’s also why I think we’ve managed to survive.
Some of you have been supporting us the entire five years, giving me all the motivation I needed to keep going during those days when I wanted to quit. I can't even keep up with the number of times I got a message from someone telling me how much they appreciate what we're doing or getting a referral from someone who has purchased from us. Those are the kinds of debts I can never repay.
By far though, I’ve grown so much as an editor, a writer and a businessman because of our authors. They are the ones who deserve mountains of praise in gold, because they are always working hard to ensure this company becomes a success. If there's one thing I can admit to loving more than anything else, it's sitting face-to-face and discussing their work with them, helping them mold their stories into the best versions of themselves — nothing compares to that feeling.
The most surprising thing I've learned is that five years goes by PRETTY DAMN FAST. It still feels like we’re just getting started with the work we want to do here, because there’s honestly so much left to do and so many barriers left to break. We can't do any of this without you — I hope you continue on this journey with us.