I have lusted so long after print books. Way before I put pen to paper myself, I was smitten. As a child, I thought there must be magic in between the pages. I loved everything about books whether they were hard or soft. They fit perfectly in my hands. They even smelled good. Nothing beats that new out of the box book scent. Even when they have matured, books hold an essence that permeates the senses and creates an indescribable perfume of sorts.
When I started writing, it began as a love affair with lyrics and lines. My poetry then evolved into college essays, articles for magazines, hard news copy, public relations releases and then dialogue.
I had entered foreign territory. At first, I was hesitant. Could I really have enough words inside of me to write a book? I knew that I had read hundreds of them, so even if only by osmosis, I should too, be able to craft a book.
A life situation unfolded and shortly after that, a story emerged. I decided to take it slow, though. I was intrigued, but didn’t want to rush into anything. I kept the courtship private until I was secure. As the days and months passed, I had become consumed. I was spending hours and hours with my story and releasing words at all hours of the morning and night. At times, I would barely eat or sleep. I had it bad and after a while, I had produced a baby. A novel.
Boy was she made from love! I was thrilled and wanted to show her off as soon as possible! I immediately began shopping her around and just knew a literary agent would love her just as much as I did and would want to marry us!
I was wrong. After going on what seemed like hundreds of dates, I received some call-backs, but I never got to third base. I began to doubt myself and then my own child. What was wrong with her? Hadn’t I nurtured her properly? Why didn’t anyone want her?
I had built up in my mind that there could only be one legitimate way for my child to be introduced into the world. So I stuck to my guns until one day I realized that nothing was wrong with me or my baby. We were fine. But I needed to change my perspective on how to get her out into the market place.
With some apprehension and fear, I decided to diversify my dating partners. I’ve heard how charming the digital publishing world can be so I’m taking the plunge!
A lot of writers are doing well in the digital world and it brings liberation from the usual publishing norms. I’m happy to say I’ve now challenged myself to focus more on the meal I’ve created and less on how it will be served! I haven’t given up hope for a traditional publishing wedding in the future, but I owe it to myself and my book to explore other alternatives until that time comes. Wish us well!
Tameka – Artsy, creative media professional and Lyric Fire blogger – is a poet and author of “Letters to Chyna – A Novel.” (Soon to be released as an e-book!) Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.
Congrats to Tameka for diving into self publishing! Fam, what’s are your thoughts about dipping a toe in?
Fam, before you go, check out Tameka’s recent follow up to this post. Find out the progress of your self publishing journey!