Abigail Horne has always been passionate about the arts, particularly reading & creative writing.
She trained in self-publishing & marketing, before working with over 250 authors on their book publishing projects. Abigail now runs her own Partnership Publishing company, Authors & Co, specialising in Strategic publishing for those who want to make money as well as making an impact. Abigail has written her own bestselling book, “Brand Yourself Bestseller“, which went on to top the Amazon charts in both writing and publishing for several weeks. Abigail has also recently been recognised as a leader in her field and invited to spend a week on Necker Island with Sir Richard Branson as part of the “Disrupting For Good Leadership Gathering” along with other world leading entrepreneurs.
Tell us a bit about yourself, background and your current role
I am a family girl with a big heart and a passion for people and publishing. My background spans ten years in the corporate matrix where I was brainwashed into believing the 40 year “dream” to retirement. You know, the one that hangs a great big glass ceiling over your head that you never even notice. The last seven years (after running a mile from what felt more like a nightmare), I have been a successfully self-employed online business owner. With a love of books, coffee and helping people see past their own limiting beliefs, I founded Authors & Co, a book publishing company for the woman who doesn’t need validating by anyone else in order to share her mission and message.
Did you ever sit down and plan your career?
Never. Life needed to take me and nudge me from time to time in different directions. Looking back, it’s easy to join up the dots of how I ended up exactly where I am, doing what I do. Back then looking forward, I never saw anything more than an open road and a million opportunities.
Have you faced any challenges along the way?
I immediately wanted to say the negativity I have faced, from friends, from strangers, from online bullies and then some. But digging a little deeper, they were never really my challenge. The challenge was my internal self that cared too much, that took notice of untruths and gave them way too much time and attention. My challenge was me. They were only a perceived challenge because I allowed them to be.
What has been your biggest achievement to date?
It’s all an achievement! Starting to make money from nothing more than an idea, becoming the mum in business and the mum on the school run. Maintaining a happy and fulfilling marriage around the demands of children and a rapidly growing business at the same time and not losing myself in the process. Money and success haven’t changed me, I’m simply the same person with more choices. If you took all of the big wins away, I would still have created my version of happiness, and that’s what it’s really about isn’t it?
What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?
The time and money I have invested in myself and my business has been the catalyst for my unrecognisable life. Over time, I have invested more than six-figures into my own education. And with awareness that my success is a choice, I have ensured that has shown me a return of what is now close to two million pounds. The key here, isn’t just the investment in knowledge and support, It is the unshakeable belief in backing myself, in what I view as being a one woman race. I simply cannot lose.
How do you feel about mentoring? Have you mentored anyone or are you someone’s mentee?
I am both a mentor and a mentee. Writing a book is 10% of the overall success of a book, the other 90% is where I’m not just a publisher, but a mentor to my authors to ensure they have their eyes on the much wider picture. In my role as a mentor, I must also be the mentee that continues to learn, to grow and to keep my finger on the pulse of what’s happening both within my industry, and the wider business world. I take my own self-development as seriously as my authors books.
If you could change one thing to accelerate the pace of change for Gender Equality, what would it be?
Women need to be encouraged to use the voices they already have to challenge the current status quo, especially within publishing. The book world isn’t a male dominated space, far from it. But CEO and executive level positions across major publishers are predominantly held by men (there are only two women CEOs across the top 30 largest publishers). This aside, despite the world’s first novel being written by a woman, Muraski Shikibu, authors are still encouraged to hide their first names to appear more masculine to make more sales. J K Rowling is a great example of this as she was asked to hide her name Joanne. I would ensure diversity and inclusion within all boardrooms to change the bias within pay, promotions and names on publications.
If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?
I would tell my younger self to do it all again without changing a thing. Make the same mistakes, cry over the boy that broke your heart, walk out of your career and be fearless in your pursuit of success. If my younger self had done anything differently, my path may not have led me here.
What is your next challenge and what are you hoping to achieve in the future?
I am just a few weeks away from having my third child, and for the first time I will be tackling two under two. For that reason, my business goals can wait as I learn to navigate my new normal as a mum of three, whilst I continue to be a mentor to many.
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