Last week, I wrote about the process for traditional publishing versus digital publishing. This week, I wanted to introduce people to the self-publishing journey of my good friend, Kaneisha Grayson, who has written her first book, Be Your Own Boyfriend.
Women are so often socialized to wrap their self-worth in their relationship status. Be Your Own Boyfriend is a reminder that you must first love, adore, cherish, woo, and choose yourself. Then and only then will you be able to fully show up to your own life and show up to a relationship ready to not be completed but to mutually benefit one another as you evolve and self-actualize.
1. Hey Kaneisha! How were you able to focus and finally finish writing Be Your Own Boyfriend?
By May 2010, I decided I wanted to turn a blog post I had written in 2009 into my own self-love manifesta called Be Your Own Boyfriend. Over two years later, I’m finally ready to share the book with the world. I got quite distracted throughout the writing process. Sometimes it was relationship drama, at other times it was money drama. I got very serious about finishing the book in spring 2011, when I realized I couldn’t afford my rent and I might have to go get a full-time job rather than continue working for myself. I finished the draft in summer 2011.
2. After the manuscript was written, what steps did you take to get it to a finished product?
Writing a book is so much more than just typing thousands of words. I worked for months with an editor to make sure we included the best content I had to offer, and that my sassy, quirky voice came through in the writing. My creative director is going through the manuscript meticulously to make sure that all of our interior layout is consistent and provides a delightful reading experience for our fans. I had a deliciously eye-catching cover designed to make sure that I would be able to entice the interest of casual browsers in stores and online. I also worked for several months with a publicist, and I have an amazing team of interns who have been crucial in helping me get the book done.
3. Can you give us details about some of the choices you’ve made in the self-publishing process?
Be Your Own Boyfriend is about choosing yourself, so I chose myself as my own publisher. I’m using Lightning Source as my printer for the books that I sell at live events and for all the books I am pre-selling through the Kickstarter campaign that is running throughout December (get yourself a copy!). I like Lightning Source’s lusciously smooth matte cover option, which isn’t currently available via Amazon CreateSpace. However, when it comes to the public launch of the book (when anyone can just go to Amazon and get a book), I will be publishing via Amazon CreateSpace. The book will also be available as an e-book on all e-reader devices. I want the book to have as wide a distribution as possible, including indie bookstores that welcome self-published books.
4. Tell us about your Kickstarter campaign.
The Kickstarter campaign for Be Your Own Boyfriend is now live! Between now and January 4, my team and I are working to raise the $10,000 we need to get this book out into the world at the quality we know our readers deserve. Kickstarter is a website where folks around the world can pledge money toward a creative project such as a movie or a book. In exchange for their pledges, the backers get prizes. Every person who supports the campaign by pledging and spreading the word helps get us closer to our goal of sparking a self-love movement and showing that you don’t need a big fancy book deal to get your message out into the world.