My Publication Journey

Fairy tales in childhood are stepping stones throughout life, leading the way through trouble and trial. The value of fairy tales lies not in a brief literary escape from reality but in the gift of hope that goodness truly is more powerful than evil and that even the darkest reality can lead to a Happily Ever After. Do not take that gift of hope lightly. It has the power to conquer despair in the midst of sorrow, to light the darkness in the valleys of life, to whisper “One more time” in the face of failure. Hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality. —L.R. Knost

Books have been an integral part of my growing up. Synonymous to poetry. My love for books and poetry started with me falling in love with the “word” itself. I grew up playing scrabble, and crossword puzzles with my father. He eventually realized that I have a special “gift of words”, (that’s how he called it). I remembered the ten – year old me telling my father “one day, I’ll have my name in the newspaper, magazine, or books”.

And yes, thirty years after, it happened. My father is no longer around though to witness me do somersaults every time my new poetry book is out. 

But, how did I do it?

Let me walk you all through my publication journey. 

  1. If you are already in WordPress, then I say, you’ve done the first big, bold writing move. (I started here, WP opened the doors for me)
  2. BUILD an audience. You must have followers, readers, or some calls it “fans”
  3. If you are lucky, a book agent, a publishing house, or at least a book editor will notice. BUT remember, not because you are not noticed yet, means you are not good or that your works suck. Remember, TIMING IS THE KEY.
  4. I am one of the very few lucky ones whose works were noticed, eventually after years (yes, years, say around 7 years) of blogging and writing poetry in WP. 
  5. I say, my sincerest gratitude to PERAK WOMEN FOR WOMEN SOCIETY, in IPOH, PERAK MALAYSIA (especially its founder, Ms. Yip) for believing in me, which eventually lead to my first book of prose and poetry “AFTER RAIN SKIES: A MILLION STARS”, a collection of prose and poetry on surviving abuse and violence, along with PWW, SHARPENED WORD, IPOH spearheaded by Pak Peter, was also instrumental in the marketing of my collection. 
  6. A year after it was released, a pandemic happened. The lockdown and travel restrictions gave me ample time to concentrate on my poetry.
  7. For the first time then, I finally made my first international submission of my poem, “Again” was published as part of an anthology of WOMAWORDS, June 2020 edition “Imagining Life After Covid – 19”- it gave me the much-needed confidence which eventually leads to more international poetry submissions and publications.
  8. July 2020, I decided to take my writing/submission to the next level. 
  9. After thorough research, I realized I can publish an ebook version of “AFTER RAIN SKIES: A MILLION STARS”, I had asked a graphic artist to do my book cover design based on the requirements for ebook publication. (requirements can be found at KOBO.COM)
  10. Ebook publication is very easy and simple, get your book cover design by a professional designer, get an editor who will proofread and edit your work (in my case, I did not need one, my eldest daughter, a brilliant young writer herself is perfect for the job, with some help of my educator friends, and my three other daughters – yes, it became a family project).
  11. Now, as soon as you felt like your book is good enough for publication just go to the ebook publisher of your choice and submit.
  12. Ebook publishers will notify you immediately if your book has made it – meaning your manuscript passed their quality control team. (in case it did not, they will surely provide you with what to do to make it)
  13. Now, this part comes in the importance of your “already existing audience”, you just need to make the announcements in all of your social media accounts, and pray, yes pray that your audience believes in your work that they will be willing to pay and buy your work this time. 
  14. In this part, I wanna thank all my WP followers and readers, they were quick to buy my book. And I am very lucky that my first ebook made it to the top 3 trending ebooks in all categories on its first three days of release.
  15. With my years of writing poetry, I realized I could just easily create a new collection – so my second book “What If Snowflakes Don’t Fall In Winter?” was published. It was again well received by the online reading community and was consistently on top of the trending list. A clamor for the paperback edition prompted me to publish paperback copies. For this, you will need to contact a layout artist, book designer, and again editor, and if you intend to include illustrations then you also have to find one – again, I am very lucky that these all came in handy to me. (my children being the editors and the illustrators)
  16. My 3rd poetry book, “Oh, Dear One” was published barely three months after “What If Snowflakes Don’t Fall In Winter?”, This time, it made it to the No. trending spot list on its first day of release and I have made it available in AMAZON, thru a traditional publishing house, PENZONE PUB.
  17. And currently, working on my 4rth poetry book. 

When the world was in complete chaos because of a global pandemic, I took that opportunity, to keep my silence, my solitude, and write. I took it as an opportunity to rise above the current crisis. Be like the small misplaced house; thriving, surviving, and even trying to stand tall and proud against the tall and giant building behind. Never lose hope, never stop dreaming. And just like what L.R. Knost said, hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.

P.S.

A long overdue post for Kate.

for Sadje’s WDY – https://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2021/02/22/what-do-you-see-70-february-22-2021/

49 Comments

  1. Sadje says:

    This is a very inspiring post Mich. your journey from a blogger to a three times published poet is indeed remarkable and a lot of credit goes to your self-belief. Heartiest congratulations on the success of your books.
    Thanks for linking it to WDYS. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you too Sadje..i felt like my journey can be compared to that misfit small house…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sadje says:

        You’re welcome my friend. Very admirable spirit.

        Like

  2. utahan15 says:

    naw heck no
    i just write
    and sometimes
    the stuff is awsome
    and sometimes
    it sucks the big one
    island lady

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you..😊

      Like

  3. calmkate says:

    Totally agree with Sadje’s comment .. your confidence has rocketed from minus ten to one hundred and fifty percent since we’ve met! Congrats are well deserved and really do appreciate you sharing your story of how it happened 🙂

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you so much Kate…I always say this but I will say it again, your cheers of hurray and comments along with the others here in WP was big help. 😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. calmkate says:

        that maybe so but it is your creativity in print, your persistent effort to publish … none of us had any part in that 🙂

        Like

      2. michnavs says:

        And I am even more persistent now that my daughters are involved…we all enjoy doing each book..😊😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. calmkate says:

        it’s a great family activity … maybe they could publish one too … their words and art 🙂

        Like

      4. michnavs says:

        That’s a wonderful idea…😊😊😊

        Liked by 1 person

      5. calmkate says:

        🙂 always glad to plant the seed 🙂

        Like

  4. murisopsis says:

    I have been toying with the idea of publishing but I’m a coward and haven’t pursued it as vigorously as I could. This inspires me!

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Yay, go for it Val….we are here for you…😊😊😊

      Like

  5. Thank you so much for sharing. Truly inspiring 🙂

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you too so much..😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. aysabaw says:

    Nakakainspire hihihi

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you. .salamat….yay you go too..😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats! It is so wonderful to hear about your writing journey! You worked hard for this and your beautiful heart is in all of it!!! ❤ Brava, SweetMich! I'm so proud of you! 🙂
    I am honored to have watched part of your journey! I will continue to cheer you on!
    (((HUGS))) 🙂

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you dearly Carolyn..thank you always..😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Chris Hall says:

    You have done so well with your writing journey, Mich! Persistence and self-belief is the key, as well as having a special support group, like you have with your daughters, and of course your WP family 🙂

    Covid has driven us indoors and undercover; what else can we do but write?

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you Chris..so much…and yes, we have to find a way to make this pandemic as productive as possible…😊😊😊

      Like

  9. judeitakali says:

    Woooow Michelle. I’m just trying to find a way to publish my first work ever, and I’ve been asking around the blogosphere for help. Was about to email you about how you got to publish yours.

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      yey… i hope this helps Jude… if you need anything don’t hesitate to ask..

      thank you so much..

      Like

      1. judeitakali says:

        Let me look for your email address

        Like

  10. Jules says:

    I enjoy sharing my writing. I do not have the same support close at hand as you do with your family. I have won a contest or two. But I am not one to want to deal with self promotion which I know is very important when you want to write under your own name. I use a nom-de-plume. And would be happy to remain ‘unknown’ but published.

    I know there are ways to self publish. But until I have folks closer at hand who would be willing to help with the business end of things… I’ll continue to be more of a ‘background’ artist.

    May you and your family continue to be successful in all the things you love. I am happy to know you! 😀

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you so much Jules..i am very happy to have you as part of my WP family….

      Publishing my poetry is first and foremost honoring my father who was my number fan and i know he is happily cheering for me in heaven now..and seeing the joy and pride in my family, my children especially, my friends – is what makes it all so worthwhile…bonus point the fact that, like you said i have all that i need just around…

      Thank you Jules always

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Jules says:

        I am also so thrilled to be a part of your first book… the star that was randomly chosen for the cover ⭐

        That will always connect us along with our smiles and friendship across the miles!!

        Like

      2. michnavs says:

        Yes, Jules imagine that ..and your copy is still here with me along with the other one waiting to be sent when restrictions are ease down..

        Liked by 1 person

  11. rkrontheroad says:

    Michelle, thanks for sharing your journey – such an inspiration! It’s so encouraging to hear the success stories of others. The WP community makes a difference. I appreciate the comments and good feedback. It all helps.

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you too for taking time to visit my blog and reading..and yes, we have lots of amazing and brilliant WP bloggers..

      Thank you😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Lia says:

    “Be like the small misplaced house; thriving, surviving, and even trying to stand tall and proud against the tall and giant building behind. Never lose hope, never stop dreaming. And just like what L.R. Knost said, hope is what gives life to dreams, making the fairy tale the reality.”

    Absolutely wonderful, and I was thinking much along the same lines this morning. It’s all up to us and how we choose to view things!

    Very inspiring post Mich, thanks for sharing your journey. 😊🙏🙌💗

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Aw, thank you so much…happy to know that this post sparks an inspiration on you..thank you so much😊😊😉

      Liked by 1 person

  13. V.J. Knutson says:

    Thanks for sharing your journey. Inspirational

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you too VJ😊😉😊

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Smitha V says:

    Congratulations Mich on your books. I haven’t ever tried online publishing. You make it sound so easy. This post has inspired me to give it a try. Would be extremely grateful if you could share a step by step process of online publishing. I’m pretty bad at tech.
    Congratulations again on trending as number one book.

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you so much Smitha…I will write that one ..and post it here…link you up too so you wont miss it..

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Smitha V says:

    Oh yes please. Thank you so much Mich for agreeing to do it. It would be extremely helpful.

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Anytime Smitha..😊😊

      Like

  16. Kritika says:

    Inspiring and motivating post Mich. Some part of the confidence comes from family and you all are working together which is a success in itself. Congratulations Mich! You are an inspiration for many of us. All the best for the fourth book. Hope you achieve what you desire 🙂 Hugs

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you so much dear Kritika…big thanks to you and your support..

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kritika says:

        My pleasure kindly 🙂 🙂

        Like

  17. Miriam says:

    Congratulations Mich. What an inspiration you are and such a fantastic example of perseverance in a time of crisis and uncertainty. Loved your analogy at the end too. 👋❤️🙏

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you so much Miriam…you’ve been around since my ealiest days in WP…thank you..😊😊😊

      Liked by 1 person

  18. kittysverses says:

    Congratulations, Mich!This is such an inspiring post. 🙂

    Like

    1. michnavs says:

      Thank you kitty so much..😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. kittysverses says:

        You are welcome, Mich. 🙂

        Like

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