Book Blocks or Prose Pauses? – My Path To Publication

The life of a writer can seem so glamorous. We wake up at the crack of whenever, drink unlimited amounts of tea or coffee and sit in front of our computers in our silk pajamas pouring our emotions, fantasies and notions onto the page while others are slaving away at REAL jobs. But in reality, glamour can turn to gloom quick, fast and in a hurry when the writing projects we pitch are thrown back at us without a book deal attached.

Let’s back track. Earlier this year in March I decided to self-publish and I was super happy about it. I was researching
graphic artists and vendors who I could work with to bring my baby to life and I felt renewed, determined and empowered. I even wrote about my change of heart about self-publishing on my good friend’s blog, The Monice Magazine. In my post, My Date With Digital Publishing, I revealed with glee my plans to take my story into my own hands and even though I had some nervous butterflies, I was all set to go. Until…

I received two opportunities to be published by traditional means! The first was a small publisher who I had submitted to a while back. I was contacted not long after the above post had been written and was told I was being considered along with six other writers for a spot on their writer roster. I wrote about this opportunity on my blog, in a post called Shades of Green and Gray. The second opportunity then came a month later after meeting the representatives of another small publisher at the Book Expo of America Conference. Certainly the publishing Gods were trying to tell me something! I had changed my thinking and had released my apprehension about self-publishing and that was the test! I passed! So now I was going to be rewarded with a traditional deal! Yay!


Of course that was my reasoning and understanding at the time. But not all gifts come wrapped in Christmas paper. Sadly, I learned that I had not made the roster at the first small publisher, but I did receive great feedback and referrals, which I accepted happily. It is always nice to be considered isn’t it? I still held out hope though because the other publisher was still reviewing my work. My first three chapters passed muster and now all I was waiting on was their final word. Well, I received their answer this morning and it was no.

So now I’m trying to figure out what was the lesson in all of this? I had finally wrapped my mind around self-publishing and was moving forward so why would I be given a chance to publish traditionally and then not make the cut yet again? Well, I don’t have a definitive answer, but I feel fine. Of course there is that little gnawing feeling you get when you don’t complete a goal you had in mind, but I know a yes is in my future and I have the power to deliver it.

My first inclination was to think that my book was being blocked or that my prose was paused, but I know that my work is making it to market one way or another and I stand strongly behind it. So many great writers have had to walk a rugged path to get their work published and I am honored to take up stride in their wake.

I will continue my journey and pretty soon my book will be making its way through the cyber system to e-readers around the world and resting in reader’s hands. How do I know? Because I say so. I believe it to be. I will it into existence and I will keep working hard. I am giving in to the continued dedication it will take. As long as I write, there will be a way!

Updates to come!

© 2012 – 2014, TamekaMullins. All rights reserved.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Oct 22, 2012 | Posted by in Blog, TAMLit, Writer's Knapsack | 17 comments

Comments (17 Responses)

  1. You know I wish you much luck. I think you needed the traditional roadblock to test your resolve to self-publish. Just the way video killed the radio star, ebooks have killed traditional publishing. Just go for it.

  2. Thanks so much Lisa! The landscape sure has changed, but when you have passion you can make it happen! So happy for the success of your Kickstarter campaign as well! Write on!

  3. No worries, Tameka. The why will be revealed soon enough.
    Trust, as someone who had an agent, lost an agent and woefully pursued publishers for nearly two years, I feel your pain. But you gone be alright. More than alright, because you’re back in control now.
    Now you gotta concentrate on the how — as how you’re gonna get your book to market. I can’t wait to read it.

  4. Thanks so much Monice! I gladly accept my alpha role in all of this. I will be referring to your tips for guidance sis! I appreciate you!

  5. Jennifer says:

    Thank god for self publishing, because some traditional publishers just don’t have a clue what is good anymore. This is evident in all the crap books they put out every year. And yet, most of the books, if not all, on the NYT bestsellers list were previously self published until the publishers re-published them. So that has to tell you something. Keep your head up. The power is now in the hands of the writer! You can do it! You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you you’re good enough because you already are! I can’t wait to read your book!!!!!!!! Signed one of your biggest fans!!!!

  6. Jennifer, I so appreciate you as a friend and as a reader! It is a testament to the power of social media that we met on Twitter by reading each others blogs! It truly feels like we’ve been friends for years! Thanks so much lil sis! 🙂

  7. kriti says:

    I know we are not all that big and all but darling – no matter what we are publishing you : ))) and the pleasure is all ours : )

  8. Kriti, bless your heart! I am honored and thrilled to be a part of your anthology. I will promote it with fervor when it comes out! Hugs!

  9. Sulekha says:

    Tameka, you keep writing and your book will be published soon. You are in our book already and we will share it with you in the very near future…hugs

  10. Dawn says:

    “Because I say so” is one of my favorite responses! Not in an arrogant “do as I say” manner, but in a declarative, empowering manner. I often reflect on what keeps us stubbornly keeping on. It’s different for each of us, obviously, but the human spirit remains the binding tie across humanity. Don’t give up, sister. Those of us born with a quill in our wee hands have a destination burned into the paper from the moment we drew our first breath. Your publishing dream will happen. The how and why and when of it is murky, but I am confident for you that it is being purposed out in the Universe for you as I write this. As always, I’m holding your hand and walking with you. <3
    Much love,

  11. Sulekha and Dawn, your comments bring me to tears. I really appreciate your kind words. Not getting something you feel you’re ready for can take a lot out of you, but I’m never giving up. Having friends like you make it easier to continue on. Thank you so much!

  12. Pamela says:

    Good for you gurhl. You do what you need to in order to make sure you get your work out there. Kudos! xo

  13. Adriene says:

    I must agree with the sentiments already expressed here, Tameka: Don’t Give Up! The route to being published traditionally is paved with rejection. I’ve endured many many years of it trying to get even one poem published. And as you know, there are many novelists out there who have been turned down, just as I know the thought of it doesn’t make rejection any easier to take! It doesn’t mean that you will never be published traditionally. Than can still happen. The wonderful thing is that there are so many options open to you, which means you don’t have to wait. So do whatever it is you want to do to get your story out there. We’re out here waiting to read it! <3

  14. rimly says:

    Keep writing Tameka. I am sure there is a reason why your writings were not published traditionally and I am also sure when the time is right it will happen,till then keep writing.

  15. Thanks so much Pamela! I’m going to keep on keeping on! 🙂

  16. Sweepy you are the best! Thanks so much. I see what you’re doing with your book that you recently published and I’m very inspired. Keep up the good work as well!

  17. Thank you Rimly! You are a blessing!

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