Hey, hey, hey and welcome to another episode of me telling tales of my shameless journey towards becoming a self made author in the hopes it would help you navigate your publishing journey. This is episode 5 of Self Published ya’ll, and that means we are half way through the season. I know I don’t usually do this, but I want to talk a little bit about this episode.
As I shared in the last episode, I wear many hats. But being a mother is by far my favorite. I am a natural nurturer, and while my life could be used as a poster child for the nature verses nurture argument because I filled the role of a mom to my siblings from a very young age, I know that at the very core of me, even sometimes to a fault, the role of my soul is mothering. That’s just me. It is what it is. That being said, the blog we reminisce on today holds a special place in my publishing journey because it was inspired not only by my experience with my mother, but the challenges that many working moms face juggling career and motherhood.
When you’re a parent, every decision you make affects your offspring one way or another; and even more so as a single parent. Though my kids are essentially along for the ride in many parts of my life, my maternal instinct is to take into consideration how my journey affects them. And that’s when I make sure their wearing their seat belt. “Lol”
Get it, along for the ride? Wearing a seat belt? lol. Oh….(transition from laugh to music”.
August 14th 2013
I love being a mother. I love everything about it. I enjoy being pregnant (after the morning sickness stage). I'm excited about giving birth. I adore breast feeding and I am passionate about raising children. I was given a lot of responsibility at a young age and I am the eldest of a whole lot of siblings, but even before my parents burdened me with the care of my brother's and sisters, I wanted to nurture them before I was old enough to know what the word meant. I brushed my brother's hair when he was a baby (I was two). I begged my mom for opportunities to change my little sister (I was four). And by the time I was nine, for hours my parents would leave me home alone with three children and an infant to take care of. I believe my maternal instinct is God given and not necessarily a conditioned behavior.
On a daily basis I am surrounded by adults in progress; which include my own offspring, and aaaaalllll of their friends. I'm known to them as Mommy or 'Z', and my home is the place to go for advice, fresh cookies, or to take a load off. Z's house is also the only place that some parents on my block will allow their children to stay past their curfew. Now like any other human being, I have my Calgon moments, but I think my affinity towards and high tolerance of young people, is because I didn't really have a childhood of my own.
I remember when I was twelve, I asked my mother if because she and my father got married after I was born, did they only do so because she was pregnant. In my attempt to figure out why my parents treated me the way they did, I found it logical that my conception was the blame. I thought that maybe if I wasn't born, my parents would not have gotten married and none of what me and my siblings went through would have happened. My mother never answered, instead she told me to stop asking stupid questions.
I've long given up that idea, and now my mother answers every question I ask her. Which brings me to the inquiry I posed to her tonight: After all that's happened, what does she feel could have encouraged her to protect her children from her husband? To which she couldn't respond. I told her to think about it and get back to me.
I’ve forgiven my mother. And though she's given excuses like fear and shame for her behavior, I have yet to learn why her maternal instincts didn't kick in.
When she gets back to me, I'll let you know.
Even after writing 300 pages and processing the feedback I received from friends, professors and potential publishers (More on that in another episode), I felt that my manuscript was far from ready to share with the world. Well, the fates thought otherwise.
One morning when I was pacing my room floor, contemplating my next steps as I often do, my cell phone rang. A new york number displayed itself on my caller id. Now, I feel it necessary to mention that this was way before every Ralph, Isaac and Malcom could buy your cell phone number from the Tom Dicks and Harry’s selling them. So seeing a New York city area code that wasn’t in my contacts definitely had me baffled.
I answered the phone cautiously to a very pleasant and intentioned female voice greeting me “Aziza McGill Ayinde? Is this Aziza Kibibi?” My name rolled off her tongue as if she was a Swahili native who just got off of a plane from a 3 year hiatus in Scotland. “Yes” I said cautiously, “Who’s calling.”
“Hi It’s so nice to talk to you. I’m a producer from Katie Couric’s talk show Katie on ABC, and she learned about your story online. You are very brave to be so open about what happened to you and we think our audience would find you very inspiring. Katie would love to have you on her show.”
Now you want to hear something funny? The only thing I could think of was how this lady could’ve gotten my number. Vignettes and staging swirled through my head like I was blocking acts 1 through 5 of the play that was her search for my phone number. Nevermind that THE Katie Couric, the journalist who I just did a presentation on as a trailblazer for women in journalism in my Communications class wanted to put me on television. I mean, I decided my answer to that question as soon as she ask it. Duh, like yeah. But really though, How’d this lady get my number?
Here’s a little food for thought. According to studies conducted by Dr. KATHLEEN COULBORN FALLER, an expert on the research of child sexual abuse, "Mothers who are consciously aware of the sexual victimization of their child and condone or accept it are rare. However, some mothers ignore signs of sexual abuse, for a variety of reasons, or are preoccupied with matters other than their children's well-being."
The best type of promotion is the kind of promotion you don’t have to pay for. During the 2016 US Presidential election, Donald Trump got almost $2 Billion dollars worth of advertising for free through media coverage. Every blog, article, Tweet, Meme, IG and Reddit post published, be it negative or positive, served as promotion for his campaign. And that free promotion is why anyone in the public eye works so hard at keeping themselves relevant.
So how does one who is not a reality tv star running for the highest office in America get in on this free promotion? Do what I did. Make yourself known on platforms that have anything to do with your field of interest and expertise. Comment on blogs and articles that pertain to the topic of your book or business. Reach out to the authors of those blogs to see if they have interest in collaborating or hearing your input. But make sure your social media profiles are populated with posts and information about your projects so that when others want to learn more about the person behind the comments on their favorite blogger’s page, they can get a taste of what you’re working on.
I’ll go into further detail in another episode, but with a little creativity, you can even inject yourself into conversations that don’t directly relate to your topic.
The Katie show was a huge opportunity for me to raise awareness on abuse while promoting my book that had the same goal. Though my book wasn’t complete, the producers of the show published an excerpt of the manuscript on Katie Couric’s website, and I published a crowdfunding campaign to help pay for professional editing in hopes the exposure would garner donations. At this point I was still focused on getting the attention of a traditional publisher and I thought the more polished my manuscript was, the more appealing it would be.
Though Simon and Schuster didn’t come knocking on my door, I raised almost $2000 dollars to help pay for editing while creating a buzz for my impending memoir.
Now I realize that my story isn’t your everyday “I was born, I grew up, I became” type of story, but the lesson I learned and am sharing with you now is to utilize as many outlets as you have access to. Essentially you’re a playing a numbers game.
When I was in network marketing (yes, I tried everything, Mary Kay, Prepaid Legal and Primerica) one thing rang true through all the high fives and cold call parties was that only 10% of those who you expose your business or product to will take interest. And out of that 10%, 10% will buy. Now there are exceptions to every rule, but the moral of the story is get your stuff seen by as many people as possible.
And until you have the funds to pay for promotion, do at least two things. Get creative and be open to possibilities because that will help you create opportunities.
Hey you. Thank you so much for listening; for allowing me to caress your eardrums and penetrate your mind. I just want to remind you if you want to learn more about anything I share here whether it be resources, inspiration, how to please Follow me on instagram and facebook and subscribe to my youtube channel for an even different perspective of my shameless journey as a self made author. Feel free to shoot me a note with any questions and I’ll do my best to respond. And remember to check the show notes for other resources and a code made especially for my listeners that will give you a discount off of my book Unashamed a life tainted volumes 1 and 2. Well, thats all for now. Until next time. Be blessed for your are a blessing.
Music: Epidemic Sound
Resources and Offers
Sex abuse prevention and recovery: https://preciouslittleladies.org
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Use code CARESSMYEARDRUMS at https://store.bookbaby.com/book/unashamed1 for 11% off your purchase of Unashamed: a life tainted vol 1 & 2