My Book Publishing Adventure!
When this global pandemic started, I (along with many of us) found myself with a little more free time than usual. Working from home, not seeing friends or family, and trying to respect the lockdown rules made me feel extremely restless at times. Jeni and I watched as many series and movies on Netflix as we could (I really got into the Handmaid's Tale...surprising!), but I still I had so much time where I felt like I should be doing something else, something more enjoyable or productive than wondering which Netflix show I should binge watch next. One day, I found myself reading Malcom Gladwell's book "Talking to Strangers", and I wondered how hard it would be to write a book. I have always wanted to write a book, and I started a few books during various times in the past few years, but due to the pressure to publish academic research and along with the other obligations that come with being a college professor, I never really put much effort into it. The thought of writing a whole book and getting it published seemed a little scary, but it was the same kind of "scary" that I felt when I thought about applying to PhD programs or when I contemplated on running a half-marathon. Knowing how satisfied I felt when I crossed the finish line after the half-marathon or when I was finally able to add "PhD" to my professional title, I knew that I had to take this challenge of publishing a book. I didn't know where to start, so I began looking on publishers' websites, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos (shout out to Alexa Donne's YouTube page!). I familiarized myself with how to submit book proposals to publishers and so I began working on my ideas and writing. Before long, I had 4 book ideas I wanted to develop that turned into 4 partially written books on my hard-drive.
After solidifying these ideas and writing a few chapters for each idea, I began submitting book proposals to major publishers. Excited about the prospect of having a book deal, I patiently waited a few weeks for a contract offer. My initial 4 proposals were all rejected. I kept submitting proposals to different publishers, and finally, after 12 proposal submissions, I got an email from an editor at Springer Publishing that she loved my idea about using statistical methods to settle NBA debates. This eventually led to a book contract, and the release date for this book is now set for August 17, 2021 (it's available for pre-order).
Although I was satisfied with my accomplishment in getting a book deal with a major publisher, I didn't want the other book ideas I wrote to just sit on my hard drive. So, I decided to create a platform for unheard voices, which developed into my publishing company: Sakay Publishing (www.sakaypublishing.com). I am proud to announce that my first book on Sakay Publishing is officially published! It is a book I wrote about understanding immigrant identity formation, using my personal story. This book was both therapeutic and fun to write for me.
To my friends who have dreams of publishing a book, I have just one piece of advice for you: JUST DO IT! It may sound like a cliché to just say things like "just do it, and don't let anything stop you," but you would be amazed at what you can do when you just stop worrying, open up Microsoft Word, and just start writing.
Of course, if you need any advice on the technical aspects of book publishing, I am here to help, so don't be afraid to holla at me!