Self-Publishing: A Journey

In order to pursue my dream as a published poet/author, self-publishing seemed to be the best option. Being completely new to the industry of publishing, I was overwhelmed more by what I did not know, than what I did. After writing poetry for over 20 years, mulling through over 200 poems written on looseleaf and brown paper bags (with pencil nonetheless) was not the most intense aspect of putting a book together. The researching of the “in’s” and :outs” was the biggest mountain to conquer, or so I thought. The journey begins…

I researched self-publishing for over a year prior to making a decision. The bundle of poems that I have kept, in its original form, was the equivalent of my child (before I had one). Surely, before moving forward, information was key. Contacting self-publishing companies was my first step. I called many print-on-demand companies to inquire about everything from prices of packages to copyrighting information. The enxt step was to visit Barnes & Nobles, one of my favorite places in the world, to buy books that would inform me of the nuts and bolts of self-publishing. “Self-Publishing For Dummies” and “The Complete Guide To Self-Publishing” by Ross and Collier were gems. Although Poetry 2Life is published and available for purchase, these books remain points of reference as I approach the marketing aspect. Reading articles online written by and about self-published authors offered different perspectives that proved benefitial. The journey continues…

The genre of poetry is not an easy one to navigate. Historically, poets are generally not so popular yet believing it is a skill and a gift, I pushed forward. Being a Creative Writing teacher for the last ten years, afforded me an opportunity to borrow money against my pension to fund my dream. Many questions came to mind as I organized the pages and writings of what would appear in my first book. Who would design the cover? How many pages should it include? Would people be interested? How could I promote it so that readers would at least look at the summary? The beauty of the questions is that the answers were not far away. The journey progresses…

Candy Mojica, a colleague and creative artist agreed to design the covers as well as the illustrations in the book. Many of the poems that I had wrote revolved around youth, struggling thrpugh situations and love. Putting poems into chapters was not difficult. Revising and editing was. It seemed every time I revised, I found an error. If I was wealthy, hiring someone to edit a manuscript of 108 pages would have been easy. That was not an option. I revised the entire manuscript at least 5 times before submitting the manuscript.

The stress was somewhat nothing compared to the excitement. The journey has not ended and sure, it will not. Being a self-published author means that promoting the book is the sole responsibility of the author, unless the author can hire a person or team to do it. Book signing events, press releases, supplies such as book marks, posters, etc are funded primarily by the author. However, is it not worth it if it is a dream? How can anyone believe in someone that has not exhibited self-confidence in their own skills How can people endorse, support or finance a book when the author has not sone the same?

With all of the work done and work left to do, chasing dreams is the most beautiful experience in the world. To catch them and naviagate them takes courage, responsibility and hard work. The result is pride, humility and the confirmation that it can be done!

The journey continues…

Please check out the link to learn more about Poetry 2Life. The goal of this investment was not to become rich. If you know about self-publishing, you know that is not impossible but not likely. The goal was to touch readers of all ages and hues with words stated figuratively. I hope that anyone who decides to read it is inspired, comforted and enlightened.


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