How She Did It: Miasha Tells How She Was Able To ‘Write Her Way Out The Hood’ With A 6-Figure Book Publishing Deal
What’s Her Name?
Miasha Coleman, 32
What’s Her Occupation?
Jay-Z’s lyrics, “I wrote my way out the hood and I pray that I stay out for good” best describes Miasha. She used her pen as a way out of an environment that incuded a broken home and two crack-addicted parents.
Unlike many first time authors, particularly those of urban literature, Miasha did not have to self-publish her work before getting a deal. Instead, she managed to gain the attention of several major publishing houses, causing a bidding war to ensue. Publishing powerhouse Simon and Schuster was the highest bidder, granting Miasha a six-figure deal.
After she penned her first novel, ‘Secret Society’, Miasha went on to become an Essence Best Selling Author, as well as the first urban-literature author to be featured in Elle Magazine. She’s also been featured across the nation through outlets such as BET, CBS, and The Wendy Williams Experience. She is the author of 7 novels, 6 of which she authored during her first three years in the business, and one of which she adapted into a stage play that sold out on every one it’s tour dates. Miasha is now living her dreams as a best-selling author, wife, and mother of two. Continue reading to find out how she did it.
How She Got Started: I used to write poetry and short stories when I was a little girl so I always knew that I wanted to be an author, but I didn’t think it would happen until later on in my life after I had a career and retired. I thought maybe after I retired that I’d write my autobiography. It just so happened that at my college graduation the keynote speaker was an author, and hearing her story really inspired me because I knew that writing was a passion of mine since I was young. It felt as if she was talking directly to me. At that moment, I made a decision that I wasn’t going to search for a job after college. I was going to write a book.
What She Did After Writing The Book: I wrote my first book, ‘Secret Society‘, in 3 months. I then reached out to that author who spoke at my college graduation, Karen Quinones Miller. Karen’s story just so happen to be that she had written a book and nobody would publish it, so she published it herself and sold so many copies in such a short amount of time that the publishers started knocking at her door. In my mind, I figured that I wasn’t even going to go through the rejection process. I was just going to self-publish my first book, get a bunch of sales, and the publishing houses will come to me.
I remembered her name from my graduation and I googled it. I found her email address on her website. I sent her an email and told her that she inspired me, that I had written a book, and I wanted some advice on how to self-publish it. She responded not long after and her advice to me was to try to get a publishing deal first and then use self-publishing as a last resort. She told me that self publishing is very time consuming, that it costs a lot of money, and that a lot of self-publishers fail.
I took her advice after writing the book and reached out to Terry Woods, who’s huge in urban literature. Terry actually wanted to buy my book outright. She also wanted me to write a second book before signing me to a five book publishing deal. I was ecstatic, but before I signed the deal….