Releasing August 30, 2016
About The Author
Yasmin Shiraz is an author, filmmaker, speaker and activist. She uses her passion for life to fuel her books, documentaries, speaking engagements and social activities. She’s spoken at over 100 colleges, universities, middle schools and high schools as well as non-profit organizations.
About The Book
When a teen girl
discovers her brother has been shot,
she learns about firsthand about loyalty.
How I made my first sale
– guest post by Yasmin Shiraz
Becoming a published author was such a daunting idea. Like so many writers before me, I dreamed of having an agent and publisher who loved my book and who would enthusiastically support and promote me. I sent query letters to 100 agents and hoped they would select me as their newest, most promising client. Instead, I received exactly 100 rejection letters. 100 different ways to say, ‘No Thank You.’
I could have stopped right there. I could have let my dreams of becoming a published author go the way of the dinosaurs. Rather, I started doing some research on self-publishing and before you know it I had self published my first book, The Blueprint for My Girls. After having the actual book in hand, I aggressively visited bookstores and asked clerks, assistants and anyone who I could find what did I need to do in order to promote my book. To my surprise, everyone was generous with their information. The book industry insiders suggested I sign up for book fairs and find independent booksellers to sell my books.
When I first released The Blueprint for My Girls, Karibu Books was the largest African American themed bookstore in the Washington, DC metropolitan area where I resided. I visited one of their bookstores and dropped off my book with my business card. Within a few days, I received a call back from one of the owners asking me if I’d be interested in doing a book signing. Of course, I jumped at the opportunity.
When I arrived at my first book signing, I was nervous. But, the manager at Karibu Books encouraged me to talk about my book to customers who had stopped by my table. Being personable, I learned, helped book sales. The more I talked, the books I sold. For my first book signing which lasted two hours, I sold seven books. I was ecstatic.
As I traveled to other bookstores and set up tables at book fairs, I continued to talk to customers and shared stories which connected with other readers. Doing book signings no longer made me nervous, instead I saw them as an avenue to reach the people who could love my work. The unexpected bonus of book signings? Every book signing gave me the chance to meet a new reader whose purchase told me that at least 100 agents were wrong about my work. Book signings and book sales boosted my confidence.
Yasmin Shiraz is the author of more than ten books including the best seller, Exclusive and the American Library Association Award Winning Book, Retaliation. She is a full time screenwriter and author. She actively runs trivia contents, video chats and more on her Facebook page: Bit.ly/FBYasmin
Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours