We interviewed self-published author Devona Boone to get some tips and tricks about self-publishing! Devona is the author of “A Precious Gem: The Journey of My Shaping", her personal memoir about how she overcame childhood domestic violence, her struggle with low self-esteem, and her mother’s murder. Follow Devona on Facebook and Instagram (@authordevonaboone) and visit www.AuthorDevonaBoone.com to pre-order her book!
1. What made you decide to write and self-publish a book?
At the age of 10 I witnessed the brutal murder of mom by the hands of her abusive boyfriend. After the tragedy, I was overcome with sadness, worry, grief and uncertainty of what was next for me. I have persevered and learned so much through life’s journey. I feel a deep passion and desire to help other young girls find strength, healing and hope. I started a nonprofit in 2014 to help empower young girls and the more I told my story, the more people would encourage me to write a book. After 5 years of empowering other young ladies, I realized I had more growing to do and there was more to my purpose that hadn't yet been revealed. I did some self-discovery and realized through 31 years of my life there has been...31 years of building courage, 31 years of self-discovery, 31 years of healing, 31 years of recovery, 31 years of perseverance, that has led me to this moment of being a self-published author to my memoir, “A Precious GEM: The Journey of My Shaping”.
2. Do you think a person without previous writing experience could write and self-publish a book?
ABSOLUTELY YES! I have no previous writing experience and I stepped out on faith and believed that God would give me the words to say and people I needed to make the book become a reality. It’s not an easy process so you must be willing to put in the work and build the right team of people to help you on your journey.
3. How did you choose a topic and title for your self-published book?
I knew I wanted to write about my life because I have an interesting story that needs to be told to help save someone's life. Finding the topic was a no brainer, however choosing a name was difficult for me. I prayed to God and asked him to give me a name if this was truly my destiny. It took a few months of continuous prayer when one day as I was meditating I heard "A Precious GEM: The Journey of My Shaping".
4. How did you get feedback on your book?
During my editing phase, I had two people who would read my manuscript and give me feedback. Then I created an Advanced Readers group who received a free digital copy of my book to also give me feedback.
5. How did you build your platform for your self-published book?
To build my platform I created a curriculum based on information from my book for a social media campaign. Over 31 days, I posted daily tips and strategies to start the transitioning to becoming a better you. With each post I would direct the readers to my Author Website. I would also encourage people to follow my Facebook And Instagram pages to get exclusives and updates. For an example, I created a raffle drawing for the first 100 people to follow my page to be in the running for a free copy of my book.
6. How long did it take you to write your book?
I started writing my book July 2018 and it will be released December 2018. Overall it will be about a 6 month process.
7. What was the editing process like for your self-published book?
This was the easiest part of the process to me. I had already done the hard part, which was getting all my thoughts down on paper. At this point it’s just making changes or fixing my errors. My editor would read the manuscript and send it back with detailed notes about what needed to be changed or how I should dig deeper into an emotion to grasp the reader. I was open for honest critiquing which in my opinion made the process easier to deal with.
8. How did you design the artwork for your self-published book?
I knew that I wanted the readers to pick up my book and be intrigued to read my story. The publishing company I used (Heart To Heart Consulting) came up with the idea to use a picture of my mom and me. When I saw it, I knew in that moment the right decision was made.
9. Is your book available only online or also in print? How did you make this decision?
At this moment my book is available for pre-order on my website www.AuthorDevonaBoone.com Once it’s published, the book will be available online and in print. I want my book to reach all people and I wanted to give people different options to be able to purchase it.
10. What are your primary marketing methods for your self-published book?
My primary marketing methods are to build an audience through social media via live posts, 31 day social media campaign, reviews and feedback from advance readers group, a book release party and a local book signing tour at all local book stores.
11. What advice would you have for others who are looking to self-publish a book?
This journey was not easy for me. However it was and is so worth it. If you have a story, stop holding it in. Once you start this journey, your healing will begin and your strength will be revealed. Take one day at a time, step by step, do the work that's required and embrace the process.
Devona Boone is the author of "A Precious Gem: The Journey of My Shaping", a story of survival, strength, and perseverance, aimed specifically for those who have dealt with low self-esteem, feelings of shame and the fear of progression. It’s a memoir about how she persevered through childhood domestic violence, generational curses and how she coped with life after her mom’s murder. Through her transparency you will see that she’s a living testimony of her mother’s story as well as her own and be encouraged to ignite self-discovery, change and true healing within yourself.
For more from Devona, follow her on FB & Instagram (@authordevonaboone) and check out authordevonaboone.com to purchase her book!