From time to time, Archway Publishing turns over its blog to its authors, giving them the opportunity to share stories and perspectives about their individual self-publishing journeys. The following are the words of Malika Dickerson (Auntie Liki), author of “Dog Gone Shame.” For more about Malika and her book, visit her Website, Facebook or Twitter. Download the Archway Publishing free publishing guide for more information on our supported self-publishing services.
“It took years to get here but I have always been determined to never become the type of person who looks back over her life and says “I shoulda, woulda, coulda.” I’m going to follow my dreams and if I fail, well then at least I gave it my best shot.” – Auntie Liki
A as in Author
Unlike many people who spend their whole lives trying to figure out what they want to do for a living, I knew in elementary school that I wanted to be a published author. That was Plan A for me; A as in Author.
But I didn’t follow that plan right away. Going to college was always part of preparing for Plan B in case Plan A didn’t work out. My parents stressed that I should also have something to fall back on.
The Safest Route
I chose to go to Ohio State and majored in Communication (Strategic Communication). I double minored in Political Science and Spanish Education. I figured if I couldn’t make it as a creative writer, I could always work on some political campaign as a speechwriter.
I am very proud of my degree and my alma mater. But my desire to be an author never waned. Everything I was doing was to provide myself with a safety net – just in case I wasn’t as talented as I thought I was!
C Was Not the Plan
I planned on working for a strategic communications firm but instead landed a job with the Columbus Blue Jackets hockey team. Five years later I was still working there crunching numbers all day. It was a good job; a really exciting job, but C was not the plan. I had gone from Plan B to Plan C without ever even trying Plan A!
So I moved to San Diego to try my hand as a screenwriter. However, my need for the stability of a steady paycheck kept me from giving it an honest try. I had been in California for only a month and a half before I was working in accounting again.
When the economic collapse came, the company I was working for had to downsize. I got a decent severance, had my 401K, and two years of unemployment. This was my opportunity to transition to the career I always wanted.
I started with my children’s stories, rewriting all four books and turning them into serials. To use a basketball reference, I was moving without the ball; learning how to get published and looking for freelance work. I had to start at the bottom of the pay scale, making basically $20 a day writing web content.
Archway Saves the Day
After sending my stories to several traditional publishers I had an idea; if I self-published my books, put in the work to market them, and if they are as good as I think they are, I could get picked up by a traditional publisher.
I saved up the money over several months to purchase the Storyteller Package from Archway Publishing. Three and a half months later on October 27, 2015, the first of five books in my “Dog Gone Shame” series was published!
Circumstance brought me to Archway and I am so glad that it did. Thanks to the team at Archway as well as Robert Colon and Jon Lineback from WestBow Press who referred me to them, I am finally living my dream. It was a windy path from Plan C to Plan A but I don’t regret a thing because every twist and turn prepared me for this moment.
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