First tell us a bit about Tamika. What attracted you to become a writer?
I didn’t become a writer. I am a writer. I have been a writer since I could form a sentence and it just flourished from there. There are those who become writers and then there are others who are born writers. This was meant for me. This is who I am.
Tell us about your latest book. How did you come up with the concept of this story?
Kisses Don’t Lie is my latest book and it is a dramatic romance novel. I give what I am known for when it comes to my stories. A young couple that decides to split after high school finds them back in each other’s presence after a decade. But a kiss that shouldn’t have happened almost ten years ago is revealed and the strength of their love from the past and present is tested.
Tell us about African-Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC) and some of the services you provide for the literary community.
I created AAMBC unknowingly back in 2008. It wasn’t my intention on creating this company I simply started a MySpace page that grew into something more. I had always wanted to be a teacher and not a businesswoman. But with this company I expose and market other authors such as myself. I provide a forum for them that they wouldn’t necessarily have had. I love what I do because I expose others who are like me.
You started Delphine Publications at twenty-one years old. Wow! Did you always want to be a publisher and how did you get the ball rolling for this to happen?
Well I had a book called The Ultimate NO-NO in which I wrote at 19. After starting a MySpace page I discovered a lot of writers who were self-published. Meaning they published their own books. By the time I found this out I immediately took it upon myself to publish my book, launched my company, named it after my mother Delphine, and the rest is history.
What advice do you have for others interested in starting their own company?
If you are not business oriented or obsessed about this business do not start your own company. What I do is 80% business. Yes I am a writer but after the book is written come the hard part. Writing the book is fun and easy but then here comes publishing, marketing, distribution, staff, designers, buyers, book stores, reviewers, critics, and it goes on and on. You have to have tough skin to do this job.
What makes Delphine Publications stand out from other publishing companies in your opinion?
It was started by a girl with a dream. I didn’t even add onto the company in a big way for five years. I work with my authors. I do not dictate them at all and we market each other as a family. We stand a part because we are different. We can’t be duplicated.
Do you find it difficult to juggle the duties of being a publisher and author?
Yes. I find it hard because I rarely have time to write because I have a CEO chair. I am conducting business 10 hours a day every day as well as traveling and making appearances and hosting events. Juggling isn’t easy but I do it very well.
With the success you’ve achieved, have you experienced jealousy from others in the industry? How did you handle the negativity?
Jealousy and hate comes with this job. I have and still am receiving hate from my peers. But one thing I do is stay consistent while many of them pay too much attention to what I am doing. See I have a mentality of I don’t care. I don’t care or seek out what it is that my colleagues are doing. I wish them well, I will cheer them on and I will even show up and support but I do not take time out of my day to follow them and see what they are doing. I stay much to focus on my companies to do that and many can tell that. The fact I am hated and talked about means one thing, I am doing a damn good job.
Do you feel that most authors are supportive of one another or do you feel too many authors think in terms of competition?
They definitely think this is a competition. This is why you see so many small publishing companies that are publishing low-budget books. Everyone wants to have their own. Everyone wants to be a CEO. Everyone wants to be a boss. But what they fell to realize that everyone wasn’t meant to lead. Everyone can’t handle the role of a boss. So unfortunately in this industry you see so many trying to start their own to be up there with the Jones when they need to humble themselves and join a thriving team that is already boss status.
What do you like and dislike the most about the writing industry?
I just do not care for the division. The clicks and nay-say. I hate the negativity and lack of support. No one has to compete with each other. I know for me, there is no competition because I simply stay focused on what I am doing.
Have you enjoyed your journey in the industry so far? Do you have any regrets about the choices you’ve made?
I have enjoyed each part. The mistakes have made me wiser and the great choices have enriched me. There are some things like events I would not have done or wouldn’t have spent my money on but that all comes with learning this business.
I have a great project I will debut in 2013 that no one is doing yet. I am psyched about that!
How do you feel about e-books and the new digital age? Do you find it a blessing or hindrance?
It is a blessing of course. It’s like how the music industry is. Everything has gone to downloads. I am able to live the life of someone much older and wiser at my young age of 26 just because of this digital age. I love it. I love those monthly deposits lol.
From a publisher’s standpoint, do you think print will last? Why or why not?
No I do not. I do think it will be here but far in between. We will definitely have to be more creative when it comes to events and book signings. But everything is digital now. Not just books. It is destined to happen.
What advice do you have for authors in terms of promotion? Do you use out-of-the box methods to get people interested in your work?
I definitely use out of the box situations. I cannot do the typical or the common. That also means to spend money to do that. I do not cut corners. There is nothing I feel I won’t do to help better my career. That is what I feel others do lack, they try to cut corners and pinch dollars.
What advice do you have for a writer who might be interested in subbing to Delphine? What is it that you look for when considering a submission?
The advice I would give is do not submit to Delphine if you aren’t proactive and aren’t prepared to perform a lot of self-promotions. I look for hungry and obsessed writers. Your book may be great but if you aren’t marketable I will look the other way. I won’t be interested if you can’t devote time to promote yourself.
What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about the publishing industry that you wish you’d known when you started out?
Who to deal with and where to go to promote your books. I hate to waste my time and resources so I am glad now that I am wiser.
What can your fans expect from you next? Do you have any new releases coming up?
Yes I am working on Kisses Don’t Lie 2 and Cookie Too. Both will be out this year.
Choose one of your books that you’d love to see as a movie. Who would you want to play the lead character and why?
Hmmmmm The Ultimate NO-NO needs to be a movie and I would like to see Keke Palmer play Nitrah.
What words of wisdom do you have for those looking to follow in your footsteps?
Be obsessed and stay consistent.
Thanks for stopping by, Tamika!
Tamika Newhouse is a self-published bestselling author who founded Delphine Publications, at the age of 21; Tamika appeared on various bestseller lists and won Self Published Author of the Year at the 2009 African-American Literary Awards only 9 months after her debut novel. In 2010 she was inducted into Who’s who in Black San Antonio and she landed a major publishing deal without an agent and still continues to write independent projects. In 2011 her company Delphine Publications won an African-American Literary Award for Best Anthology as well as Tamika won for the second time Self Published Author of the Year. She was also nominated by the National Women in Business Association for the 2011 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.
Along with Delphine Publications, Tamika is the founder and President of African-Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC) – an online book club and radio show catering to avid readers across the nation. She is also CEO of Obsessive Soul Media. With future projects in the works from short films, stage plays and much more, Tamika is a young woman on a mission. She founded the Baltimore Urban Book Festival in 2011 and runs and operates the event today.
Tamika presently tours the country speaking about overcoming her teen pregnancy to fulfill her dream, as well as teaching aspiring writers the publishing ropes. A former radio host, she hosted her own internet radio show (AAMBC) for over three years and continues to expand her brand. She is currently living in San Antonio with her son and daughter and is currently working on her fifth novel He’s My Favorite Mistake.
For Bookings: Nikki@NikkiWalkerPR.net
Kisses Don’t Lie Synopsis:
There’s Dean her first love and then there’s Keith Mr. Right Now. Kyla struggles with her desires and her past when she makes a rare trip back home to Fort Worth. After leaving ten years ago Kyla comes to terms with the one who got away; Dean and their short-lived romance comes into full swing. That is until it goes terribly wrong and she is left with wondering if she should work it out with Keith instead. A simple kiss led to many secrets being revealed; and it makes Kyla wish she could take it all back. Michael is ready to commit to Brittany and for once he feels he has the right woman by his side. That is until a passionate night turns into an unwanted child. Fighting to keep her heart from being broken; Brittany vows to never be just another notch in a mans belt. Although Michael promises to be there and seals it with a kiss, Brittany still struggles with if she should carry their child. When love isn’t enough will each one of them make the right decision? Can they finally trust the one they want the most? After all its better to be slapped by the truth then kissed with a lie. They say kisses don’t lie, right?