NEVER STOP WRITING
by Niyah Moore
When I first started out on my publishing journey, I had no idea where to start. I had been writing since I was nine years old. As I grew up, it became a part of my every day routine. It wasn’t until I was in high school that my teachers really brought it to my attention that I had a special knack for writing good stories. My schoolmates said the same thing. When Myspace first came out, I had been married with two kids. I was coaching at my high school alum’s varsity cheer squad and all the girls kept talking about Myspace. So, I went home and gave it a try. I saw that there was a spot for blogging, so I took the opportunity to post my writing.
I got a lot of feedback telling me to keep up the good work and to never stop writing. I friended a lot of people in the writing industry from editors to agents to top selling authors. Then, there came the questions of if I was going to be published. I thought about it and I tried everything. I tried to get an agent, sending off over a hundred query letters and they all rejected me. I tried to go for the big publishers and nothing was going my way. I wanted to give up and I told myself that I wasn’t good enough and that maybe my friends were just being nice to me. So, I thought about self-publishing and I was given the advice to know all there is to know about publishing before making that decision. In the meantime, I took the time to polish my work and get it edited by professional editors. As I was doing my research on self-publishing with Karen E, Quinones Miller, I was actually approached with the opportunity to contribute a story to the Mocha Chocolate anthology via Myspace. Right after I was published in that anthology, I was asked to join LadyElle Publishing for their anthology, Chocolat Historie d’Amour. Because that went well, she asked me to be part of LadyElle Publishing, which was a small independent press. I published one book with them Bittersweet Exes. After a year, I joined Nayberry Publications for Guilty Pleasures. And now, I’m with Peace in the Storm Publishing and she has done an excellent job with Major Jazz.
New doors just kept opening for me and I just walked into them. I love each of them for giving me the opportunity to work with them. I’m still not where I want to be, but I believe my audience is growing. It was not easy at all to take this journey. I’m not saying that. It takes a lot of networking in this business just like with any business. Even though I have an independent publisher backing me, I still do a lot of marketing and booking myself. Advertising hasn’t been easy and it’s expensive. Some nights, I don’t sleep because I’m really thinking of new ways to get myself out there. I’ve done quite a few blog talk radio interviews and Black Expressions just picked up Major Jazz, so I’m starting to see some results after five years.
My advice to those wanting to start in the publishing business, I would say you have to love your craft and take pride in it. Get editors and find out all there is to know about this business. Writers don’t make a lot of money. So, I wouldn’t quit my day job just yet. I mean, I still have a salon business I run. Try not to get concerned with cliques and things of that nature. Just like with any industry, there are some that stick closely together. I’ve come across a lot of beautiful personalities that have given me lots of advice, exchanged personal numbers, and just been there for me. Your journey will ultimately be your own journey, but no matter what… Never stop writing!