Eight years ago—2008, almost to this very date, I gave birth to my first novel, Leiatra’s Rhapsody. Now, it wouldn’t be fair not to mention how for most of my life I’ve been writing, reading and researching the literature industry. In other words, writing my first novel, and subsequent 23 books, didn’t dash off my keyboard by some ingenious magical act. Writing was my lifelong dream.
This brings me to the plethora of lessons learned in publishing. I still remember scratching around, digesting how I planned to proceed with publishing when I came across iUniverse. Despite self-publishing not being a wholly fish out of water enterprise, the stigmas associated with print-on-demand books was a less than an appreciating story. Still, I had to get ‘my stuff’ in the pool, jumping in a *then* thigh-high lit pit knowing good-n-well $159 to print, publish and circulate my books worldwide wasn’t going to last forever. And guess what? It didn’t. Shortly after self-publishing two thin poetry books, the lit pit experienced something like an 800% increase...in both cost of the service, and the number of authors printing and publishing books.
But by the time the lit pit waters started rising I was kicked back, lounging poolside, chilling and surveying the sights. I met many, many authors, bloggers, readers and social media gurus during this time. It was like a big frat party back in ‘09/2010. Book Blogs was a favorite hang out. I befriended a ton of virtual nerds on that site. Amazon Discussion Boards was the place to catch witch-length claws scratching the mess out of self-pubbed books and its authors, or to get clawed if you dared to chime in going against the grain. Fun times. (Note: I'm no longer sure what's going on over there on Amazon's discussion board and or if Book Blogs is still networking).
There also were many other not-so bookish social media hangouts to peep in on too, many decent places where I sifted in a little inspiration and occasionally got to flex my writing skills. She Writes, a virtual social site where mostly female writers hangout, turned out to be the most 'civilized' and engaging, and enduring to boot.
Where I siphoned the most writing motivation was following trending literary debates; the pros and cons of Self-publishing vs. Traditional publishing… Print vs. Digital books… Authors behaving badly… Fake Reviews… Paid Reviews… along with a host of other debates to include a really interesting one… the rise of entrepreneurs and philanthropists volunteering advice and selling services that promised to help authors sell more books. These discussions flooded the market.
On the other hand, where I found the deepest passion, the stuff that actually made me physically feel better, were in the many Books Written by Others Authors that I’ve read. There are songs that now remind me of reading certain books. Many of them I can’t get out of my head, or stop talking about. I can’t thank these authors enough for writing them.
Attending book events is another nostalgic high. Real Divas Read (Washington Metropolitan)… National Black Book Festival (Houston, Texas) … being invited to book club meetings and literary conferences (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)… attending BookExpo America (New York, NY)… and meeting dozens of authors at their signings are highlights that circle my thoughts like a halo.
And if ever there was a period when time flying stood still enough to witness its movement in microscopic fractions, it was during Kiley’s Purple Hat Kickstarter campaign. The work that went into OSAAT Entertainment bringing this children’s book to life and realizing the campaign goal gets me misty-eyed every time I see it.
Blogging at OEBooks is the icing on top of all this cake. This is where time flying is captured; a meaningful, profound enjoyable experience. I always say it. Whatever your passion, there should always be the fun to balance the work; so that when you catch time flying, at the very least you can say… ‘none of it was wasted.’
Wishing Everyone the Very Best…
this Year & Always…