Today we’d like to introduce you to Tanisha Chambers.
Tanisha, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started my business three years ago. The reason I started was that I wanted to create something that I could give to my little sister Zuri. So, I thought about all the things that I was good at and have been wanting to do. I really wanted to be an author, however with lots of turn downs and dead ends trying to break into the book industry, I decided to self-publish my book series’. It was very important that my sister and other kids had a book series that represented and showed kids of color in my books. So, I wrote my first book “Zuri and The Monster,” Zuri’s Day of Pranks,” and now I have my newest book that will be released June 19th “Beauty Defined by Me”. Over the last three years it has been really important that I bring a message to each of my books and shows kids of color in a positive and fun light.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
No definitely not a smooth road for me. To be honest there were a lot of days that I was discouraged and felt like giving up. From the beginning not knowing where to go or what to do on making my series come to life, I reached out to a lot of different literary agents looking for them to take on my project however, I kept getting no’s and closed doors. When my project was finally finished, I reached out to a lot of schools in my area some turning me away, not interested or saying yes and never getting back to me . I was offering my service for free and itwasn’t about making money but giving back to the area I came from. Also, another struggle was with my very first illustrator, I started the process with them and then was told they no longer could work on the project and that happens with my very first book. I was devastated and never thought I would see my book come to life. I even reached out to bookstores to ask if my book could be placed in their story and these were family owned bookstores, which end results were no. They wanted to see me backed by a publishing company and had a lot of stipulations. Even today I struggle with just trying to promote and share my story and journey with the world and it is a daily battle.
Zuri Adventures – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
So I am a children’s author and I have a book series about my little sister Zuri. Which I call zuriadventuresbooks. So, I mainly go around the Philadelphia area reading my books and teaching and sharing my journey in hopes thatkids hold onto my message and journey. One of the lessons I teach from my first book is to Fear < Dream More, which I have T-shirt’s with my message. The reason I introduced this lesson was because I was so scared in going after my dreams and I almost made my fears hold me back from what I knew my heart desired. So, I talk about fears and how they can overcome whatever their fears are and to have that conversation with their parents. The thing I am most proud of is that I overcame my fear to start and that I meet so many kids and that they can see a black author come into their schools and talk to them and share how much I enjoy writing and how cool reading can be. I do not remember any authors ever coming to my school growing up and I wanted to change the narrative of that. I think my dedication and drive to continuously improve and learn new ways to connect and relate is what sets me apart and that I have a passion and take pride in what I do. I think my sister and the kids that I visit they challenge me to bring more and to explore my creativity. As a self-published author a lot of ppl have told me that I’m professional and do not really expect all the extra that I do for story time. That makes me feel great that I am truly standing apart from others. I do want to say that I don’t see life as a competition because we all have unique ways and different customers that we are appealing to.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
The one thing I think I would have done differently is learn more about marketing. I believe that is the one thing that has hindered me. However, I continue to push through and research the things I do not know. So, a lot of times you can catch me attending a seminar or on YouTube learning how to improve.
- Zuri and The Monster $13
- Zuri’s Day of Pranks $13
- Beauty Defined by Me $16
- Website: Tanishachambers.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: Zuriadventuresbooks
- Facebook: Zuriad
- Twitter: Iammizzchambers