In October I was granted the opportunity to join a local book club and other amazing authors for a book signing. When I arrived I felt like a fish out of water and yet overwhelmingly blessed. So, let me back up and tell you about my book. I wrote “The Evolution of My Problackness” as an essay for a writing course. I remember being very nervous about it, because there were only two other black students in my class. I ended up having really positive feedback and I even got a chance to read a few sections of it during a literally festival for my school. Fast forward to summer 16′; I was upset that I still hadn’t found a job and that my dreams were halted because of it. One day I thought to myself that I wanted to go ahead and publish a book and that’s when I realized how amazing it would be to make my essay into a published book.
There were some lessons to be learned from publishing my book. Like for instance, I didn’t market the book at all. I mean yeah I shared my accomplishment with my 8,000 something IG followers and 6,000 something Twitter followers, but there’s way more to marketing than that. Remember this, having tons of followers is a good foot in the door, but it doesn’t always equate to money. So you could imagine after seeing the errors of my ways last thing that ever crossed my mind was being a part of a book signing and yet it happened.
The event was amazing. At first I felt like I didn’t belong. I was looking at other author’s tables that were filled with 6 different physical form books, pins, cards and unique marketing materials that I never thought of. Meanwhile, my book is only in ebook form so my table consisted of my laptop, a printed snippet of my book and my cards (until I begged my bestie to bring me table décor). After getting more décor and realizing that we all have to start from the bottom I felt amazing being there. I got a chance to learn things that will further me as an author such as the importance of marketing before and after your book is published and how you can look to fiverr to find editors on a budget. I got some advice about grad school. I even had someone to speak some real life into me about a few projects that I wasn’t sure if I had a large enough platform to create.
I didn’t sell any books, but I have tons of takeways. I learned that I need to write more and write fast. A lot of the authors that I met had several books out within a short period of time. I also learned that every author has their own method of writing. Some authors use outlines and some don’t and I even met some who write more than one book at the same time. I knew after this event that this is what I wanted. It’s almost 2017 and as you know I make goals monthly, but for my overall 2017 goal I want to see myself expand as a writer. My vision is that I will produce at least 3 more books and to have them in physical and digital form. I would like to have speaking engagements and even book tours. I also hope to help others who share my dream of being an author. Right now I am working on my 2nd book which I plan to have printed in physical form so I’m pretty excited about that.
The experience made me realize that if you have an idea go for it even if it sucks. I’m proud to be able to say that I’m a published author. Although many mistakes that I don’t want to repeat happened it opened a door for me to make connects with local authors and more that believe in my dreams and want to help me. That would have never happened if I didn’t take my leap of faith. So whatever it is you have in mind book or not go for it and see where it lands you.