I will have the first of many books published. I am working with a beautiful angel assigned by God to a conference I attended last month.
Told by many that the last thing I should ever do is write during my school years, it has always been a pipe dream. Though I have two poems published, for years I never thought I could truly write a book. Let alone have on published.
Fast forward 20 years. After years of just writing in my personal journals for only my Lord and me to see. Poetry, sermonettes, and my daily diary, the last thing I expected to do was create a book that would be found interesting to others. See I created short stories as a way to seek revenge for a midnight master storyteller after being on the opposite end of some highly combustive stories. So I replicated in weaving my midnight stories but in writing. After achieving my desired revenge with the first three stories, I continued creating other stories for pure enjoyment. Hence my writing career was birth. Then in 2014, I started my first book, based on a relationship I never had, but desired. As the truth of that relationship went through the woulda, coulda, and shoulda phases, I stop writing that book to save myself from being frustration. It still sits in my inventory begging to be completed. Then late last year, I played around with a book entitled Summer Time Love. An escape from the pressure of surrounding me. When New Year rolled around, I thought I’ll add the least most impossible goal to achieve, to have a book finish and published by the end of the year. Well, there is a saying man makes plans and God laugh is all I thought of when I finished the first manuscript the first week of June. After a year of writing, rewriting and writing more, I finished the first draft.
I did it! I called a friend and told him, he then suggested a publishing house for me to see if they accept my book. So I check them out. Been around for some years and works with many though e-books to actual publishing of printed material. I signed up to get more information. Later, I received an email asking me to send a copy of my manuscript in for them to consider. I hesitated, first I realize that there was several errors, second I realize I never put the book in chapter format. So I ignored the email until I have those things completed. Later that evening I received a call from the publishing company. We talked, and he told more about the process. Then asked my if my book was finished. I said yes and no. So upon probing a little further, he understood my hesitancy and ensured me that not what they were looking for, that if accepted the chapters, the proofreading, and editing. They wanted to know if the work was complete and if the content was acceptable material.
FAILURES IS NEVER MAKING THE FIRST MOVE TO TRY!
So I took a deep breath and sent it out. I had a chance for someone to read my book and let me know if my work had quality and substance. I had a chance to be affirmed or sent back to a drawing board. Yes, others have read part of the story line and liked it. Others had read some of my short stories told me I was a good writer. But now there someone that knew nothing about me, my reason for wanting to write or knew I have dyslexia reading my story and judging it. Before the call finished, I saved it in PDF format and sent it off. See if I wanted to give birth to my writing career in earnest I needed to open myself for critique. Yes, I blog and published my writing on varies sites, but never open myself up to being fully critiqued. The content matter of my blog is such a contrast to the literary work I created that I had to decide what I was going to do. They either like it or not. They liked it. Then the door slams.
There are two routes to publishing, I was going the traditional route. They cover everything from editing to printing to advertising which sounds perfect for someone who a fish right out of the pond. However, reality hit fast when I read the contract and saw the cost. Even though they will accept monthly payments, even the monthly cost far exceeded my budget. So my dreaming would have to be put on hold. I called my friend who told me that there were other publishers out, some that would give me an advance because my book was good. But I thought about the details of the contract offer I received. If someone gave me an advance, it would be years before I saw the money. Under the first contract, I would receive 20% of profits after all costs are met. The copy write wouldn’t be in my name for at least 3 to 5 years. Plus, I would have little to say about where it was sold or which outlets would be used. I’m not far from a starving artist syndrome. If I will publish my book, I want to be the one weeping the rewards. So I looked to self-publishing.
IF YOU DON’T KNOW SOMETHING ASKED!
I looked at several sites that offer you a suitcase of choices to work with to get your book published. They had a price tag for every part of this journey I now found myself on. I became overwhelmed. Then I researched some of my favorite authors and looking for an editor. I understood that my biggest cost would be the editing. Some suggested I look for a college student, others referred me to varies sites where I could freelance editors. I realized that moving forward wasn’t going to happen. The cost was still a major concern. After listening to a video of Belle Andre, one of my favorite five authors, I took some of her advice to heart for new authors. The main on being that as a new author, I would have at least two books ready to be published when I published my first. This way I wouldn’t be leaving my new audience waiting so long in between books. That made perfect sense and allowed me time to save up and earn funds to pay for the editing all while completing the second book of my trilogy. Other parts of this video interview with Belle Andre did with a fellow author also solidified that I would go the self-publishing route. So the deadline moved from Dec 31st to Jan 31st to have my first book published. I took this just to be a minor setback, one the allowed be to better prepare myself, understanding.
NEVER STOP LEARNING!
Now I am working on my second book, creating this blog and continuing working on my other blog and varies other aspects I am involved with. One thing that many author stresses was meeting other authors, forming literary relationships. Forming any form of relationships with my schedule is a challenge. But a local author, coach, and speaker held a writing seminar, featuring four authors. Since it fell on one of my few free weekends, I jump at the chance to attend. It was very insightful, full with tons of information and a few lessons to keep in mind when my day on the stage comes. Side note, my previous training is in fashion, merchandising, public presentations and sales. All the areas that anyone selling anything need to know to present themselves before an audience, so to say my critiquing voice was in full force would be an understatement, but I digress. However, the guest speaker that touched me the most. She was poised, well presented, connected with the audience and drop more nugget than I could keep up with. She was a clear example of how I want to be receive when it is my turn on the platform presenting my books or my cause. Yes, the other authors were all self-published, but she was the only one with her own publishing company. The sister had knowledge, experienced and a heart to share. She didn’t rope you into a contract to give you information. If you had a question, she answered openly and honestly for all.
Afterward, we talked and the writing career is now being birthed. Join me as I journal this birth experience. As my angel shared all with the audience at the seminar, I will share all with you. If there is a book fiction or non-fiction inside of you pray, trust and believe God will have you birth it. This just first of many books that’s been conceived and waiting for their appropriate due date. This is a labor of love I hope others would enjoy with me.