In case I neglected to say; I’ve always dreamed of becoming a writer. At four-years old I told my father this, and he told me I didn’t have any experiences. It was the first step toward what I call the long haul… gaining knowledge and wisdom through experiences.
Initially I wanted to pursue journalism, except the experimental road I sojourned didn’t allow me to afford the major universities I wanted to attend. The best I made out with was a business degree, racking up more experiences, going to work for major corporations, though holding on to hope always trying to figure a way in.
Then it happened. When my grandparents passed away my family began publishing a family newsletter, as a way to keep the family together. At the time I lived 3000-miles away from where the newsletter originated, but the moment I saw the newsletter, and such an innocuous opportunity it was, I saw the crack in the door. As one saying goes, a way was made out of no way.
Long story short, through producing our family newsletter I began honing my writing skills and gaining an audience, which fed into many wonderful happenings for my writing career, one being published in Tavis Smiley’s book, Keeping the Faith. Talk about awe-inspiring, this wonderful happening had to be it. Finally, I was published!
I continued reading anything and nearly everything related to the road to publishing (my own work). I hadn’t written any novels just yet, but once more I knew I was gonna. The rulebook/playbooks I came across were huge, and there were many. I learned in great detail about slush piles, and cantankerous zany authors, and how traditional publishers did not work with unknown or unpublished writers. Unknown authors writing fiction could forget it. Traditional presses rarely accepted fiction from unknown authors, whether they had an agent or not. The only way these authors gained access into the world of publishing traditionally was if, and ONLY IF, they came with an audience.
Thanks to this insight, I got it. I would have to build my own brand, and niche, to leverage the readership required to sustain my craft. With this knowledge, rather than futilely exhaust my resources knocking on pent up doors, I elected to take the ‘other’ long haul, by building my own publishing brand—OEBooks, a division of OSAAT Entertainment.
OEBooks, created November 2008, is still in its infantile stages. Although there are eleven titles to its credit, and recognizes a steadily growing audience, it too faces its host of challenges in a vacillating, saturated market. And yet, here’s where I find the greatest reward and reason to cheer. I’ll put it like another old axiom I treasure. Successful publication, whether choosing the traditional path, or the Indie route, requires talent (creativity), persistence (hard work), and luck (timing, or in spiritual overtones, God’s will). And personally, I’m enjoying the journey. It’s like taking a trip to a place where I’ve never been, but dreamed of visiting, and using every moment to make every second I’m in this place count.
My advice to aspiring authors is to read up on the lives of revered authors, and other revered business people for that matter. To be successful in any outfit, you must be in it for the long haul.