But now I've officially released my first published book of poems, For Poets Must Love. It's available on Amazon and includes 32 of my best pieces.
|"I could imagine the world, life, death, love, and capture the residual feeling those thoughts left in my body."|
Even though I officially started writing when I was a kid (when my grandfather passed, I inherited an empty green accounting notebook. I wrote a poem in it when I was 7 and haven't stopped. [I still have that notebook and poem and carefully write it in till this day.]), I would say that I began my journey as a poet and writer as I was turning 18.
Poetry allowed me a medium to express myself and sink into the moments that surrounded me.
It helped me get through the confusion of loneliness as I moved away from home in Rhode Island and understand the connection I felt with people. I could philosophize and share my insights on paper.
Now, I've put my best poems into For Poets Must Love because I need to share my writing with the world.
|"I dream of becoming a bestselling author. And this book is my first step."|
The inspiration to finally publish my work in a book came from multiple sources. First off, being a bestselling author is my dream. I've wanted that for years. I've written hundreds of short stories, started three plays, and have a completed first draft of a novel. And of course I have my nearly 100 poems...
But my bestselling author dream needed a push, some momentum.
I got that from a couple of places...
In the summer of 2015, I enrolled in a found poetics course at Frequency Writers in Providence, RI. In the class, we would "steal" words from other sources and turn them into our own poems. What fun!
During the Frequency class, one valuable lesson shot out at me. While this realization might be embarrassingly simple, it struck me where it counts. I realized: All prolific writers and artists share a commitment to producing good work consistently.
A light bulb flickered on in my head and then began to burn like the sun as this truth sunk in:
"Production is more important than perfection."
Through the process of producing, artists can master their craft. But if the artists waits for perfection, or that special moment when things are just right, she'll probably never get enough experience to launch to the next level.
Inspired by the Frequency Writers class, I cut up over a dozen pieces of mail from debt consolidation companies. I then arranged and glued the words onto a fake $35,000 check included in one of the marketing letters.
I titled my piece "Always be the same amount." It was accepted for publication in the anthology "Missing Providence." On the first Saturday of November 2015, I read my work at Books on the Square.
With my creative work produced, I needed to take it public
|"Focus on one thing at a time. Cut out all other distractions."|
The Frequency Writer course taught me that production needs to be a priority. But then Brendon Burchard's online course, "Achievement Accelerator," took this simple idea to a whole new level.
Inspired to grow together, Rebecca Naomi and I began Burchard's course at the start of November 2015. It was my second time doing it, but I knew it would be valuable just the same.
Throughout "Achievement Accelerator," Burchard helps his students achieve more, faster. How does he do this? He starts by helping everybody gain clarity so they can realize what's important to them. He then helps us strip away distraction and move toward these things with abandon.
My writing career was near the top of my list. And I knew I had to publish For Poets Must Love.
|"For then we are Gods." -For Poets Must Love|
Inspired to finish the project that I've been working on for years, I took out my manuscript and began editing my poems and formatting the document for self publication on Amazon's Kindle.
I woke up early. Hours before I had to start writing for my clients. And dedicated morning after morning to finishing the project. To producing the result I wanted.
This is how I self published my book on Kindle...
With the help of the kind people on YouTube, I learned how to publish my book of poems. I formatted the Microsoft Word document to make sure every header had the "heading 1" style and the body text had the "normal" style. I linked the table of contents to the headings using bookmarks and hyperlinks. I saved it as a RFT file and uploaded it onto Amazon.
Jonah from AnUnfairEdge, demonstrated step-by-step how to format the book. I tested my manuscript on a Kindle device with his suggestion and it looked great.
Next, I designed a cover with a Death to the Stock Photo image and the design templates available on Canva.com. I learned the entire self publishing process in a week and would be able to replicate it again and again with all my future books to come.
After my work was complete, I bought the copyright for my book of poems from the Library of Congress. Then I upload it onto Kindle Direct Publishing.
Now that For Poets Must Love is available for sale, what's next?
|For Poets Must Love only on Amazon Kindle|
As I write this blog post, my book is still in the pre-order phase. You can reserve your copy and when it's ready for distribution on Tuesday November 24, 2015, it'll automatically be sent to your Kindle device or app.
Although the creative part of my book of poems is complete, I am not yet done with my work. As the countdown to its launch gets closer, I get more excited that my poems will be available for you to read as a book.
"Everyone who buys my book brings me closer to realizing my dream of becoming a bestselling author."
Don't get me wrong. I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket. The way I see it, For Poets Must Love is a catalyst and a reason for me to get more of my work out to you. Think of it as the first of many books yet to come from Alexander Smith. The self-publishing process taught me what I need to do to get my work out to you again and again.
And as I mentioned above, I've already started three plays, have a completed draft of a full-length novel, and about 70 other poems waiting to get published. After For Poets Must Love is released on 11/24/2015, I'll work to promote it and tell everyone I can about it.
But once the buzz dies down, I'll get to work on my next creative project. Why? Because I want you to have another piece to read from this up-and-coming bestselling author.
- 32 poems written with passion while I explored Los Angeles, Portland, and New York City
- Thought-provoking work that'll reinvigorate you like a cup of coffee
- Poems that will revive your desire to live life to the fullest
It's been an absolute pleasure completing my first published book and sharing my work with everybody. I can't wait to hear feedback and thoughts about it.
Stay tuned for more work from me soon to come.