Oscar Micheaux, the focus of my children’s historical novel, Oscar’s Gift: Planting Words with Oscar Micheaux, not only broke ground as a homesteader and filmmaker, he also was an indie author.
Patrick McGilligan writes in his biography of Micheaux that after receiving only “bulky rejections,” Oscar eventually self-published his first novel, The Conquest: The Story of a Negro Pioneer, in the process “forging a new destiny” as an author: “As often happened in his career, touching bottom only spurred him to greater effort and higher ambition.”
At first Micheaux tried to use traveling salesmen to get his book in the hands of readers, but the salesmen’s high commissions led him to “set up his own sales network, hiring agents in different cities—though most of the business would be done by mail order, or door-to-door—making arrangements wherever possible for individual shops, bookstores, and libraries to carry his book.”
Read more in “The Self-Education of Oscar Micheaux,” a Psychology Today Editors’ Pick Creativity Essential Read:
“As with so many successful artists and entrepreneurs, one trait that set Micheaux apart was his response to failure, his ability to adapt and to reframe rather than limit his opportunities…” Read More
Also, through the end of Black History Month, you can enter to receive one of five free copies of Oscar’s Gift on Goodreads (and be sure to read Jane Friedman’s recent blog post on “2 Ways to Make the Most of Goodreads“).
How are you forging your destiny as an author?