October 2022 we celebrate Black History Month and the official them this year was, Time for Change: Action Not Words, which focused on the double-burden black people carry: experiencing racism and discrimination and then being expected to fix the problem themselves.
Here at CML we chose to represent the authors in the black British society and as part of that decided to have one blog where all our BHM guest critibuted to the blog post giving there key tips on the publishing process.
Read below in the four tips that can help you along your publishing process.
Steps to Writing a book - Michele Smith
My writing journey began many moons ago as a little girl. I always loved pens, and began to collect them, I still do love a pen as crazy as that sounds. I began to write short stories and poems at the age of six and continued to write regularly, up to my teenage years. I was gifted a journal one Christmas and my passion for writing began by journaling at every opportunity I had. It was a personal and private space for me to layout my thoughts and feelings, good and bad it was very much therapeutic for me. I also used it to set my goals, and continued to refer back to it to see how far I had come, and to gage whether I was fulfilling the goals set for myself. My life long dream of penning a book became reality during the first lockdown 2020. Where the world as we all knew it stood still. I'm proud of myself for seeing the journey through and publishing my first book Breaking the Mold of Mental Health Seven Steps To Growth. Never give up your dreams, strive with consistency is the best advice I can give to help you on your journey.
To purchase a copy of Michel's book, it’s available on amazon:
Listen To Podcast S4 E1 Black History Celebrating British Black Authors - Michele Smith
2. The publishing process - Toyin Owoseje
Self-publishing can be a daunting process but there are many tools and companies online that can help you take your manuscript from a draft into the hands of your readers.
Although you are in control of the entire process, don’t be afraid to outsource things that are outside your area of expertise.
I found my illustrator on a freelance platform Fiverr. He was amazing and was able to bring my vision to life with some direction. You could easily find somebody by word of mouth, on social media or reach out to the illustrator of a book you like.
Don’t forget to create a budget before the publishing process for things like editing, design and formatting services, and marketing.
I signed up with Nielsen Book and got a deal with Gardners to help distribute my book. Through them my book is sold on the high street via Waterstones.
Not only is my book available on the high-street, but you can also purchase on Amazon. This was made possible after I signed up to their free print-on-demand service, Amazon KDP. You can use it to publish your own e-book or paperback on Amazon for free, where it’ll be available to the millions of Amazon shoppers. The royalty rates vary.
It is also a good idea to approach small bookstores and shops directly to see how you can get them to stock your book. So, get ready to pound the pavement!
Listen To Podcast S4 E2: Black History Celebrating British Black Authors - Toyin Owoseje
3. How to overcome issues with writing - Christiana Jackson
One of most common issues I’ve found with writing is the ability to have self discipline. For example; you may have a goal to write 1000 word in a month or 200 a week. (This sounds straight forward) However, on the day you’ve planned to write, you may find yourself meeting up with a friend for a quick catch up or decide to watch 20 minutes of your favourite show and then end up watching 3 episodes. Or your tummy starts to rumble next minute you are in kitchen cooking for 2 hours or you end up in the supermarket shopping. You then realise it’s 10pm and it’s time to go bed for work the next day.
At the end of the day, you have written 0 words. Imagine how disappointed you are because you didn’t stick to your plan to write.
The famous quote by Philip McGraw
Life is not a race but it’s a marathon
I think this is the same with writing. I’ve learnt it’s not a race.
Tips on how I overcome the lack of discipline
1. Plan and stick to the plan
2. Find a writing mentor to help keep you accountable
3. Join writing groups
4. And don’t be afraid to say no!
These are things I’m still working on improving but as they say, one step at a time is better than no steps.
To purchase a copy of ‘The Queen’s Tea Party’ (Paperback), it’s available on:
4. How to get your material to the right audience and platforms? - Peter Kamya
The most most logical approach is to know your audience, and make sure you’re aligned in terms of common goals and values. At Kidsimply we wanted to build a community of people that believed in an inclusive society as well as having a sustainable focus. So we made it clear in our call of action. Networking with like minded people at all levels of experience will also help you go a long way. The key thing is to be consistent and stay focused on your goals and values along the way.