We had the good fortune of connecting with Bridgett McGowen and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Bridgett, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?

My road to become a publisher started with getting laid off.  Since 2001, I have been a professional speaker, but in early April of 2016, I received the dreaded news that my team was no longer needed at the edtech company where I had been a faculty development consultant since 2009, delivering presentations at colleges and universities around the country.  I loved making presentations and decided to continue on that path, establishing my own professional speaking business.

In late May of 2019, I delivered a presentation at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington, DC to a packed room of hundreds of attendees at a conference where Oprah Winfrey was also presenting.  (Yes, I’m name dropping!)  Once I finished my session, several people raced out of the room.

A few minutes later, many of those attendees who had made dashes for the door returned to the room and said, “Your book’s not in the bookstore.”

“Oh! No-no! That cannot be!” I proclaimed with outrage. “I got off a plane yesterday and went STRAIGHT to the bookstore to ensure it was on the shelf. Before I came to the presentation room today, I even held up that groovy Instagram frame and had someone snap a picture of me with my book on the shelf in the background. That. Book. Is. There!”

They let me get out my spiel, then they told me “No, Bridgett. The book was there. It’s sold out.”

And that’s when it hit me.

How many professional speakers, business coaches, entrepreneurs, consultants, and small business owners who are experts at their game had been missing out on opportunities to extend learning and have a unique marketing tool to perfectly position themselves as the answer to their ideal clients’ challenges?

How many had been missing out on the chance to further engage those who want to learn from them? How many? And to think I had been a professional speaker since 2001. That was nearly two decades and thousands of audience members …

Research revealed that traditional publishing is an option for only about 1% of the population. And the thought process behind BMcTALKS Press was this: What are the rest of the 99% supposed to do with their brilliance that deserves publishing?

There’s the self-publishing route, but if you do not have the time or the inclination to become an expert in the publishing business and truly want your book produced with every attention to detail, then this is not the best option either.

At BMcTALKS Press, we get rid of all the guesswork and handle every aspect of getting you published in a timely fashion. We believe if you are an expert in your field … if you are a consultant, a business coach, a professional speaker, an entrepreneur, or a small business owner, then others want to learn from you.

Amazon is the second most popular search engine. When people search for the challenges that your expertise solves, your name needs to show up in those search results.  Your book is your passport to credibility.

At BMcTALKS Press, we believe everyone—not just celebrities or those with massive followings—deserves to have a legacy and have a seat at tables that you are afforded by being a published author.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?  We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others and what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today business-wise. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
I had to prove myself. That was my greatest challenge as a speaker pursuing a publisher role. I had to prove to others my company could take manuscripts from start to finish with results authors will love. That meant getting authors and gorgeous, meaningful books on my roster. I’d participated in a book collaboration project in the past where the publisher invited a curated list of professionals to each write a chapter for a book, and I thought that would be the best route to take—create a compilation project to add dozens of authors to my company’s roster while delivering high-quality results. I did that once with Own the Microphone, twice with Redesign Your 9-to-5, a third time with A Collective Breath, which won a Next Generation Best Indie Book Award.

A total of six times, BMcTALKS Press created compilation book projects with the most recent project, Heels to Deals, enjoying a pre-launch event in Boston then publishing on International Women’s Day 2022, following on the success of Upward, which published on International Women’s Day 2021.

In addition to multiple individual author projects that include Life After Kevin, which is scheduled to release on October 3, 2022, another compilation project entitled The Journey Within is slated for a Summer 2022 release.

A presentation I delivered in D.C. in May 2019 that led to my book selling out in the conference bookstore was the start. In December 2019, BMcTALKS Press opened its doors and has since published 20 titles; was the recipient of a 2021 Stevie Awards®; has been featured by major press outlets such as CBS, NBC, ABC, and MarketWatch; has earned BBB accreditation; and has published Amazon bestseller, #1 new release, and award-winning titles of more than 150 authors and co-authors.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Perch Brewery
d’Vine Gourmet
Scottsdale Fashion Square
SanTan Brewing Company
Queen Creek Olive Mill
Tempe Town Lake
Desert Botanical Garden
Hole in the Rock

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
1. My alma mater, Prairie View A&M University, gave me so much that I did not realize I needed when I was a student but that I now know is that which I absolutely cannot live without.

2. The Association for Talent Development (ATD) gave me a “yes” (and continues to do so!) when others sometimes say otherwise. Thank you for providing a platform time and time again for me to show up and show out.

3. Where would I be without my very best friend and fellow business owner and professional speaker, Simone E. Morris?! She constantly reminds me to always rise and sizzle.

Website: www.bmtpress.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/bmctalks

Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/bmctalks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/1bmctalks

Facebook: www.facebook.com/bmctalkspress

Other: www.linkedin.com/in/bmcgowen

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