As Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of our award-winning global media digest and CEO/ReImaginator for 360° Nation, I was delighted to have the opportunity to get better acquainted with Shara Lewis-Campbell and Andrew Foster, Co-Founders of Beauty & the Beast Publishing (“BATB”) –who strongly feel their company has a social responsibility to publish writers from socially disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them a voice and opportunity as social beings. Learn more as you enjoy our inspiring Interview below ⤵︎
We’d like to hear about your respective professional journeys before BATB.
Prior to becoming full-fledged writers, Shara worked as an Executive Assistant to the Board within the Healthcare industry and Andrew previously worked within the retail sector.
Tell us about BATB and the inspiration behind it.
We found in our own respective journeys, there was little or no support offered in terms of publishing or showcasing our compositions. We felt frustrated and in some respects, it seemed we were being excluded from the industry. After many years, whilst honing my skills in writing and publishing, whilst not wanting to be deterred we decided to create our own publishing company, primarily to assist other aspiring authors who had experienced the same challenges.
What’s unique about your company and who is your ideal audience/participant?
The uniqueness of our Brand is that we believe there is a tremendous gap in the market that caters to our demographic of the socially disadvantaged —who have real stories and experiences to share that the world needs to learn from. Additionally, we are able to use our platform to provide aspiring authors with an opportunity to forge new careers, and in turn, create legacies for their families. BATB goes the extra mile, ensuring we are accessible to our clients throughout the process and offer lifetime access to all our clients, in particular to those clients who attend the Snazzy Drafts Writing Academy.
When did you launch BATB and what’s been your biggest challenge so far?
BATB officially launched in October 2020 during the pandemic, which makes it a full year in operation. Our biggest challenge is that our company dynamic is unusual and far from ideal, in the sense that one of our directors is currently awaiting release, post-incarceration.
Any noteworthy surprises or ‘A-ha’ Moments along the way?
Fortunately, there have been plenty of A-ha moments within the short amount of time we have been established, which reassures our validity. And we are grateful that we get to experience these moments often. To name a few; at the start of our business, we had no real plan in place except to publish our work and build our Academy. There were specific goals we wanted to achieve and joining 360° Nation & BizCatalyst 360° was always one of them as expressed by Andrew. We didn’t anticipate Dennis Pitocco would serve as not only a dear friend and mentor, but that 360° Nation & BizCatalyst 360° would consider bringing our companies together as part of its Global Syndication, that is an aspect unforeseen by BATB.
Georgia State University chose our second publication during 2020; “Sublimes”, written by Andrew to be selected as their course National Curriculum, again we did not see that opportunity coming either. Another huge A-ha moment for us was the Walk With You production crew. They have been so generous and have collaborated with BATB on all three film projects which is epic for us. Without being a company that brags, we consider our biggest achievement is down to the extraordinary individuals within the industry we have had the pleasure of working alongside, and despite being aware of our unusual circumstances, they continue to embrace us with open arms, and most importantly without judgement.
How would you describe your typical day?
Our days work in a similar fashion. On average we both work a minimum of seventy-five hours a week on the business. Andrew is the brains behind the company, his days consist of devising, planning, and researching the best strategies for our business model. Andrew is also the Head of the U.S. division of the business and manages the team. My role consists of running the day-to-day operation which consists of responding to emails, networking, attending weekly meetings, running the academy, managing the website, completing all the backend administration, social media management, finance, marketing, and email campaigns. In addition, we both serve as writers and authors collectively and independently.
We provide content to four external companies and a proportion of our work is produced on behalf of the Healthcare sector. Due to the time difference between the U.K. and the U.S. we work exceptionally long hours to compensate. Thankfully, writing is our first passion, so it doesn’t appear as work as such, but more so a labor of love. Our working days are only determined complete, following the daily Director’s Summary meeting, whereby we catch up with the day’s events and developments.
What about your social impact/outcomes?
The impact we have had socially on the demographic we serve has been completely unexpected and surprising to us, in terms of the number of authors we have been able to produce. We have been really pleased with the outcomes so far, and in that, we have been able to assist in improving the lives of the authors and immensely proud of the careers they continue to forge for themselves as a result of their writing.
What’s the next big thing/challenge for BATB?
We consider every day a challenge due to our extraordinary circumstances, which we are fully aware is not ideal. But we refuse to let our circumstances throw us off course. Our biggest challenge as a business is to gain Andrew his freedom, which will allow us to make a bigger impact in building our brand. We are also very keen to become a household name, whereby when you think of book publishing and media production/independent film making, you instantly think of Beauty & the Beast Publishing, which would be our main focus.
As experienced leader entrepreneurs, what’s non-negotiable for each of you?
Andrew’s non-negotiables are to exercise, read, and write daily. I would consider my non-negotiables to include the aforementioned and to ensure we are consistently growing our business, in addition to securing Andrew’s release.
How can our global audience learn more about BATB?
The best way to learn more about BATB is via our website and social media, which are regularly updated with the latest developments. As Global Syndicates and Featured Contributors of 360° Nation, BizCatalyst 360°, and Vitalcy, those platforms are additional resources, where you can be kept abreast of the latest creative content from Beauty & the Beast Publishing.
BONUS QUESTION: What’s one thing people would be surprised to learn about each of you?
Shara believes one may be surprised to know her only surviving Grandparent is her Irish Grandmother, who was born in Enniskillen, Ireland and. Not many are aware that at aged three Andrew suffered from a heart murmur condition, and had to wear stents for two years.
Editor’s Note: See our new special alliance with BATB here: The Extraordinary Power Two … and More