Meredith Wild is a #1 New York Times, USA Today, and international bestselling author. After publishing her debut novel Hardwired in September 2013, Wild used her ten years of experience as a tech entrepreneur to push the boundaries of her “self-published” status, becoming stocked in brick-and-mortar bookstore chains nationwide and forging relationships with the major retailers.
In 2014, Wild founded her own imprint, Waterhouse Press, under which she hit #1 on the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestsellers lists. She has been featured on CBS This Morning, The Today Show, the New York Times, The Hollywood Reporter, Publishers Weekly, and The Examiner. Her foreign rights have been sold in over 22 languages.
How did the concept for Waterhouse Press come about?
Initially, I felt that being represented by more than my author name would help me build relationships with vendors in the industry and be taken more seriously. Eventually, it became a brand under which we could launch other authors into the spotlight.
How was the first year in business?
My first year in business was a whirlwind of learning the ins and outs of both self-publishing and incorporating traditional publishing elements into my process. It was great being able to break the rules and figure out how to do it “my way” and still achieve success.
What was your marketing strategy?
I focused heavily on having a strong brand and paid placement advertising to put my book in front of new readers.
How fast did the company grow during the first few years?
The first few years, Waterhouse grew exponentially with the success of my Hacker Series. After that, we expanded our titles to include new authors.
How do you define success?
Financial independence doing what you love.
What is the key to success?
Tenacity and passion.
What is the greatest lesson you’ve ever learned?
Keep moving forward. Everyone has setbacks and disappointments, and it’s easy to fall into feelings of “regret” when something does go well. I give myself time to think through my challenges, and then I put the emotional side of it away and forge ahead. You can’t let anything get in your way.
What are some quotes that you live by?
“Things are always better than you think.”
Tell me about one of the toughest days you’ve had as an entrepreneur.
I’m an entrepreneur and also an employer. Part of that role is taking personal feelings out of the equation and really looking at the dynamics of a team and how certain people impact the health of the company overall. Staff changes are hands down the hardest days.
When faced with adversity, what pushes you to keep moving forward?
My kids. No matter how down I may feel, setting an example for success and determination for them encourages me to push through. I want them to always remember they can do anything if they work hard for it.
What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs?
No matter how successful you get, keep your ego in check. Act like you’ve been there. Take care of your relationships, even with people you think you won’t need to work with again. Most industries are small and professionalism will always be rewarded. Don’t quit your day job until your side gig can definitely double your current income.
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This interview was conducted for research purposes by author Jason Navallo for his upcoming book, Underdog.
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