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Sheila started DragonTree Publishing in 2012. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on DragonTree Publishing?
I originally came here with a 6 month contract to work at the astronomical observatory here. (It’s the 3rd biggest in the world, with 22 telescopes from 35 countries).
I've learned that a good book with a niche demand doesn't need a huge amount of marketing, particularly when I have personal contact with a lot of potential customers.
I fell in love with the island, then I fell in love with a local man who I met in the Isaac Newton Telescope (under the stars in the heart shaped island. Yes really.) Six months has turned into 28 years so far.
After 12 years the British telescopes cut their staff by 50% and I was job hunting on a small, rural island, I became to tour guide, first for the observatory and then for the island as a whole.
Since I wasn’t getting enough guiding work, I revived my old hobby of writing and started work on a guide book to the observatory aimed at tourists and amateur astronomers. I knew there was some sort of market because the observatory got about 2,000 visitors a year.
I also knew plenty about the observatory after working there for so long, and I had a lot of practice at explaining it to non-astronomers. (I have fond memories of a woman who left the telescope almost jumping up and down and saying, “I understand light years! I understand light years! I used to be so stupid in science class at school and now I UNDERSTAND LIGHT YEARS!”)
I didn’t have much money for the project, but I reasoned that an ebook would be pretty cheap to launch and it was all too obvious what I’d get if I folded my arms and sat on my backside.
Once I saw that the observatory guide book was a success, I followed it up with an anthology of stories for children. Most of the stories are based on a real historical event on the island with a story created around it. That sells less well but steadily.
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
- Wiki Updater