As veterans of the publishing industry, Julia D. Shaw and Toni Coleman-Brown know how tedious the book publishing experience can be. According to Medium . com, the cons of traditional publishing include having very little say on the creative aspects of one’s book such as the front and back covers, the copyright rules and the distribution rights, not to mention the time and expense it takes to get it published. Plus, you get little to no help with marketing. But through their multiple joint-venture book projects, the Collaborative Experience Inc., these dynamic collaborators not only facilitate the publishing process, they offer support and education in publishing, social media marketing and public relations, in essence, giving aspiring writers an easier and less expensive road to becoming bestselling, published authors.
“We were inspired to form the Collaborative Experience Inc. because we have been working in the publishing field for many, many years. We’re both entrepreneurs as well, we’re friends, and with the current state of the economy, bringing our talents together is just smart business,” Shaw told TNJ.com.
No stranger to the literary world, Shaw launched Shaw Literary Group in 1993, serving as a publicist to entrepreneurs, small businesses, publishers, authors, corporations, radio stations, educational institutions and non-profit organizations. With a clientele list that includes renowned writers Iyanla Vanzant and Michael Baisden – favorites in the Black community going back decades – Shaw has successfully garnered Press for her clients in some of the nation’s leading news outlets, among them: NY Amsterdam News, NY Daily News, NY Times, USA Today, The Network Journal and Black Enterprise.
Today, she engages in events marketing work with the annual Circle of Sisters Expo, the International African Arts Festival and The Network Journal Communications’ signature events. A native of Queens, New York, Shaw says that “CEI is on a mission of empowerment!” and is proud to guide others through the writing process.
Coleman-Brown, a motivational speaker and marketing expert, has also carved out a place for herself in the literary space. With Shaw as a partner, she’s become the co-publisher of a series of books including the most recent Delayed But Not Denied 2: Real Stories About Hope, Faith and Triumph published in 2017 under the Collaborative Experience umbrella. (Delayed But Not Denied Book 3 is due our in the fall of 2018.) Prior to that, Coleman-Brown founded the Network for Women in Business, an online community for women business owners who seek affordable cutting-edge training and the ability to connect and advance with other like-minded individuals.
Geared towards a partly faith-based audience, the books are co-authored by writers ranging from life coaches to ministers to business professionals. The Delayed But Not Denied series, in particular, has resonated very well with readers, according to Shaw and Coleman-Brown, due to the stories’ ability to motivate some readers, and heal others. Through the authors’ experiences with both disappointments and accomplishments, readers gain perspective on overcoming obstacles, persevering, and practicing patience when it comes to their personal and professional lives.
Regarding the Collaborative Experience, Coleman-Brown explains, “Our mission is to help those individuals who want to partner and put their projects together in a more collaborative way. Sometimes you get economies of scale when you have other people involved. We want to help people collaborate on a higher level.”
So, far, these literary ladies have been successful in their mission. Their first book, “Delayed but Not Denied: 20 Inspirational Stories About Life and Resiliency,” is an Amazon bestseller.
“When you partner with people on a book project and contribute a chapter or two to an anthology, it’s less expensive than going it alone,” explains Coleman-Brown. “For authors who are looking to get published, we offer group packages as well as independent publishing packages.”
Now, with their most recent book hitting the Amazon bestseller list earlier this month, they’ve effectively created the opportunity for over 40 writers to become published co-authors. Mission accomplished!