I just found out a top publisher is interested in my next book.

I want to share more about this win since it certainly didn’t happen overnight. Within my story, there is wisdom about how to:

  • continue in the face of rejection
  • find opportunities
  • create your own opportunities
  • secure a publisher for your book

1.5 years ago, I realized there was a big, EPIC, and relatively untold story about one of the most influential West African artists of all time.


(In other words, I was continuing to learn and I saw an opportunity… keeping your eyes open and looking for an open space in the market are key skills whether you’re finding your next book to write or your next business opportunity).

Then, someone who I had met through a previous project told me about a grant for academics and professional writers that pays your salary while you finish a book.

Working on my book from a café in Berkeley, California


(Keep talking to people. Network with those who inspire you. They will give you invaluable info!)


The deadline for that grant was a few weeks away, so I buckled in and created a 40-page proposal last Thanksgiving. While I wasn’t the perfect candidate on paper, I had a good feeling.


(Choosing to go all in. Trusting your gut. Again, important aspects of success).


The application was rejected in August, BUT I requested feedback. I found out that a big part of what was missing was a letter of interest from a publisher.


(Ask for feedback.)


So… I hired someone who had expertise and connections with writing book proposals.


(Get support).


That woman connected me with an agent who ultimately ghosted me. I tried my best to get through to her… but she was gone. I worked with my editor on the proposal anyway. And then I submitted it myself.


(If support doesn’t work out that way you thought, continue anyway. People will let you down. Don’t let yourself down.)

I sent in the proposal. I heard back this morning that, with just a few more details, the publisher is ready to give me a letter of interest for my grant application. Yup, I am RESUBMITTING.


(If something doesn’t work out the first time, but you feel like it’s meant for you, try again. And again. And again.)


While there is no guarantee that I will get the grant OR that this academic publisher will ultimately decide to publish the book, I trust that this is part of the process.


(Trust the process. Release your timeline).


I will show up consistently and intentionally until I submit my next application in December. Then, I forget about it until they announce the winners in August.


What a journey so far! I can’t wait to see where the road leads next!

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