Tuesday, August 14, 2012

L.I.T.E.R.A.L. #1: Two Books, One Burning Desire

Two Books, One Burning Desire

by Justine Camacho-Tajonera

The Questions (from Has your book/story/epic been published? If yes, how was the experience, and where can we buy your book? If no (or not yet), why the delay? Is there anything you know you should be doing to make it happen?

The Answers:

 I self-published two books last year, Artemis Lets Go (a novel) and Gift (a poetry book). It started out as a project while I was attending a seminar on producing breakthrough results. I wondered if it was possible to finally publish a book, something that I'd been wanting to do for a long time. I ended up with two published books!

I started doing some research and that was how I discovered While doing my own editing and figuring a little code, I published my novel and my poetry on the platform and then I discovered Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing Platform as well. Apart from that, I went through the thrill of getting the actual proofs of my books all the way from North Carolina (Lulu) for less than 1,000 pesos each.

I'm not implying that it was easy to actually write the books. That was a totally different process. My novel had been rejected already by a local publisher and I just didn't want to leave it in my proverbial baul. The manuscript was done. It was just a matter of exploring other avenues.

My poetry book came after another project wherein I challenged myself to write a poem every day (back in 2010). I ended up with tons of poems and I just had to sort through them, put them together, and edit them. I was very fortunate to have found a fellow writer, all the way in South Africa, who generously edited my work. I also asked a former professor to write the foreword and he graciously accepted. I asked a good friend of mind to do all the illustrations and the cover art.

Seeing the actual books for sale, online, made my heart skip a beat! Every time I saw them out in a new online store, I had to pinch myself.

I found a local printer and put together a launch for family and friends last November 13, 2011 at Fully Booked, BGC. It was an exhilarating experience (especially getting the stacked books wrapped in brown paper). It was a lovely way to celebrate my writing and a venue to sell the books as well.

These books are definitely not my bread and butter but they taught me a lot. I'm actually still learning until now (for example: it takes a lot of marketing to actually get your published work off the ground). It was a wonderful journey, for sure, one that I'd gladly go through all over again. If you're determined to have your story heard, nothing will stop you. It's just a matter of time.

I'm working on a new book and I'm excited to get it out there to readers. I realize that I'd still do this (writing) even if I didn't get paid. :-)

Artemis Lets Go is available on:

iTunes (U.S.) - - (U.S.) - -

Gift is available on:

iTunes (U.S.) - - (U.S.) - -



Anonymous said...

wow, great job! i'm so keen on getting something out there but i end up being a wimp about it. how does self publishing go? i'm really interested. thank you and good luck with your two books, and the third one!

Justine said...

Hi prinsesamusang, if you already have a manuscript, visit and sign up for an account. Follow the instructions and just upload the contents of your word document. You'll be assigned an e-ISBN by and you'll get to choose what price you want (together with options on revenue share). On my end, I want to try going with Bronze Age next time so that I can have a third party editor. But that's just me. Do try it and see what you can learn from it.

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