Self-Publishing In Jamaica And The Caribbean And The Importance Of Diverse Voices With C. Ruth Taylor

The self-publishing movement is just getting started in Jamaica and the Caribbean islands, and authors are discovering they can tell their stories in their own way. C. Ruth Taylor talks about how she became an authorpreneur and why she believes in an indie-first, empowering ecosystem.

In the intro, Draft2Digital acquires Smashwords [D2D; Mark Coker]; Impact of streaming on audiobook revenue and AI narration [Ask ALLi]; Stone of Fire and thoughts on your ‘writing age.’

kobo writing life

This podcast episode is sponsored by Kobo Writing Life, which helps authors self-publish and reach readers in global markets through the Kobo ecosystem. You can also subscribe to the Kobo Writing Life podcast for interviews with successful indie authors. 

C. Ruth Taylor is the author of over 20 nonfiction books and a leading Jamaican authorpreneur. She’s also a publishing consultant, podcaster, course creator, and founder of Extra Mile Innovators.

You can listen above or on your favorite podcast app or read the notes and links below. Here are the highlights and the full transcript is below.

Show Notes

  • From writing to heal a broken heart to authorpreneur
  • The rich literary tradition of Jamaica and the Caribbean diaspora
  • The reading and publishing ecosystem in Jamaica
  • Turning your books into multiple streams of income
  • Creative marketing when you can’t afford paid ads
  • The importance of telling your story and valuing your experience

You can find C. Ruth Taylor at and on Twitter @cameka12

Transcript of Interview with C. Ruth Taylor

Joanna: C. Ruth Taylor is the author of over 20 nonfiction books and a leading Jamaican authorpreneur. She’s also a publishing consultant, podcaster, course creator, and founder of Extra Mile Innovators. Welcome, Ruth.

Ruth: Thank you, Joanna. It’s good being here.

Joanna: I’m excited to talk to you.

First up, tell us a bit more about you and how you got into writing and publishing.

Ruth: Oh, that’s a good question. I’m going to give you the short version.

I am from the island that has produced the fastest man and woman in the world. That’s Usain Bolt and our own Elaine Thompson-Herah, and the island that has given birth to reggae music, Bob Marley. And guess what? The island that gave birth to James Bond. This is where Ian Fleming wrote James Bond, and that’s the beautiful island of Jamaica.

How I got into writing and publishing. Well, I’ve been a bookworm all my life. I’m an introvert, so I found it difficult to make friends, as a child, and teenager. And so books are my best friends, I would read two, three books per week, Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Mills & Boon.

And then I used to write poems. At a particular point in time, I would turn those into postcards and sell them. But in terms of writing and becoming an author, I did not see myself as an author.

When I was finishing my first degree, the president of the seminary, Jamaica Theological Seminary, told me to do a particular graduate degree. And he said, ‘I want you to do this because I believe you can write.’ And then a friend from Trinidad wrote in the year prospectus because I was applying to go to Yale, she said, ‘I look forward to seeing your books in the future,’ but I didn’t believe.

Fast forward 10 years later, on the heels of a broken engagement in 2014, one of my mentors says writing is therapeutic. And then I remembered a quote from a note from a theologian from the UK, William Barclay. He said, ‘Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing, but to turn it into glory.’

I knew how I would turn my traumatic experience into glory. It would be through writing. And so within 11 days, I wrote almost 68,000 words and nine months later, the book was published. So that is how I got into writing and publishing.

Joanna: Okay, so you started with poetry? So you have a degree in theology, do you?

Ruth: Yes, I have two degrees in theology, just like you.

Joanna: Well, I’ve only got one. So you’ve already beaten me there. But no, that’s fascinating. The traumatic experience into therapy; was that a memoir?

Ruth: It was a memoir, but I wasn’t just writing about the trauma. I wanted to help others to be healed from broken relationships. I wanted to share some of the tips that I learned because I was still standing, I did not go crazy or something like that.

Joanna: And then, a couple of things that you said, you turned your poems into postcards. So you were already thinking about business, even with poetry, which I think is quite rare. And now you help others through your businesses.

When did you decide to be an authorpreneur?

Ruth: Like most authors, I fell into the trap of thinking that my first book would make me a millionaire.

Joanna: It didn’t?!

Ruth: It didn’t. Because in my first experience, similar to you, I did a bulk run. I thought I could print 5,000 books and sell them in no time, but I didn’t have the funds. And so I printed 1,200, and it took about a year to sell those books.

I was transitioning from being a missionary into a full-time writing career, so I didn’t have a job. Some months, I would sell 100 books or more, other months, nothing. I had to go back and get a part-time job.

Then my eyes opened up that if I were to create products and services around my books, then I’d be able to create and generate income faster. So I did some business course, a coaching program with another friend who’s an author, and I was able to match my part-time salary in a month or so.

In 2018, July, I left my part-time job and dived full-time into authorpreneurship. So it’s not about selling books for me. It’s about using the book as a platform for transformation, and a tool for impact and income.

Joanna: I love that. I think it’s a very good business model for nonfiction writers, in particular. The book is almost like a business card. Is that mainly the type of writers you work with now is nonfiction writers?

Ruth: Primarily nonfiction writers, but it’s more a narrative nonfiction memoir. They’re sharing their expertise and their experience. And then they’re using that book now as a platform to launch a ministry or a business, that kind of thing.

Joanna: That’s fantastic. So you mentioned there that you’re in Jamaica, too. And you did mention Ian Fleming.

Tell us a bit more about the literary tradition of the Caribbean and also the Caribbean diaspora, those people who have left the Caribbean and might live in other places in the world.

Ruth: That’s a good question. The Caribbean has a long, rich tradition of storytelling. In fact, we have had four Nobel laureates and three of those are in literature, including Sir Derek Walcott from St. Lucia, V.S. Naipaul from Trinidad and Tobago, and in recent times, we’ve had Marlon James…

Joanna: Oh, yeah.

Ruth: … who won the Man Booker Prize, and he’s living overseas. We’ve had Olive Senior who’s a Jamaican living in Canada. So we’ve had a long, rich literary tradition.

In school, we have story writing competitions, creative writing competitions from as young as five years old. And we have a number of literary festivals, you have the Bocas Lit Festival, the AFW in Montserrat, NIFCA in Barbados, and we have our own here in Jamaica, where we have this annual festival where persons participate and win awards. So it goes back a long, long, long time.

But we still have more oral tradition. And more and more people need to write and publish their story, especially ordinary people doing extraordinary things because for a long time, those who’ve written, it’s those who’ve had access to, it’s more like maybe the elites. I want more and more ordinary Caribbean people to write because our history, our context, lends itself to rich resource.

Even Marlon James, and others, they’ve won prizes for documenting Caribbean history or colonial history, our varied multicultural history, Afro Caribbean history, those kinds of things make for rich, storytelling material.

Joanna: I think you’re exactly right. And this is one of the exciting things, I think, about the internet. Being an indie author, you can write whatever story you like, set in whatever place you like. And you can, as you say, be a more of a normal person, as opposed to someone who might have access to a lot of education or a specific publishing tradition. I think you’re exactly right there.

Let’s talk about it from the reader’s perspective. And also, I guess, for authors, you mentioned you’re a bookworm. I also read Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys and all that. How do people read or listen? Tell us a bit about that, so the listeners understand how it all works.

What is the reading ecosystem like in the Caribbean?

Ruth: If we love your work, we will get it in all formats that are available. So whether it’s the e-book or the print, but I find that they’re still a strong…what’s the term there? Leaning. There’s a strong leaning to print books.

As much as we promote the e-books and say, get the pre-order or order e-books, people still are in love with print. But right now we are able to access and read books in all formats.

We have quite a number of bookstores. But the bookstores very often, it’s more for educational literature and things like that. And you have some of the small independent stores. So you have quite a number of those.

But COVID has changed things. So those who were reluctant to go digital, now have to do that. Even our libraries, our national libraries, they’re more now collecting digital works. So there is a shift taking place from the physical bookstore which is popular to now taking on digital.

Joanna: And then if people want to buy print online, what online stores do they use for that?

Ruth: The most popular bookstore in the world!

Joanna: Is it the store, the U.S. store?

Ruth: Yes, the And for those in the diaspora, those in Canada,, but primarily Amazon, and then there are those I know who use Google Books. But primarily the dominant one, when Caribbean people think of publishing digitally, is Amazon.

Joanna: I thought that would be true.

Tell people a bit more about the geography of the region, because I feel like people lump everything together. It’s like there are some islands. Jamaica is a big one.

Tell us a bit more about the geography because I find it fascinating.

Ruth: We’re close to North America. So you find many of our islands close to Florida. And it’s in the Greater Antilles portion there. So if you think of the U.S., if you think of even Trinidad is close to Venezuela, so it’s right there. The Caribbean waters are close to North America.

Joanna: I think the main thing is that there are lots of different islands. And obviously, each one has its own set of traditions and all of that. It’s an interesting region.

You have a stated goal as part of your business to make the Caribbean the home of indie publishing, which I love.

Why do you think indie first publishing for the Caribbean?

Ruth: I think a major part of that is that we don’t have a lot of traditional publishers in the Caribbean, there are a few publishing houses. You have Nehesi, I think that one is out of St. Martin. You have Caribbean Reads out of St. Kitts, you had like Ian Randall, Longman, Arawak, but they tend to specialize more in educational materials.

Persons who want to produce other kinds of books, there isn’t enough traditional publishers. We don’t have a lot of traditional publishing houses available. So very often, if persons want a traditional publishing deal, they have to go overseas.

One of my friends, Dr. Sharma Taylor, she just wanted a two book traditional deal, but it is with a publishing company in the UK, Virago. So you find that access to publishing because traditional publishing was dominant, you didn’t have much access to it.

Even when traditional publishing was flourishing, Caribbean people, when they say ‘I want to publish a book,’ they are looking to pay somebody to publish the book, when they say a publisher, it’s somebody that they’re paying. So we naturally think that way.

I did a poll recently and I said, ‘Can you tell me of a Caribbean author who’s won a traditional deal since 2015?’ And very few persons could answer that, apart from some of the big names like Marlon James and others, who got those deals. The natural thing is, ‘I’m going to pay somebody to publish my book.’ That’s what we’ve been doing for many, many years, I want us to embrace that.

Since we have the digital publishing revolution, to make that something that we are known for, just like we are known for sports, I want the Caribbean to be like the creative capital of the world, and just dominate this field.

Joanna: I love that. I love your ambition, it’s very, very good. But it’s also we should say, I guess that Jamaica is part of the Commonwealth.

Ruth: Yes.

Joanna: So, when people sign traditional deals, it might well be for UK Commonwealth, and that includes a whole load of countries all over the world. In the bookstores, are you really seeing a lot of books published out of the UK?

Ruth: I really cannot answer that because most of my purchase is online.

But what I find in the bookstore is a lot of popular North American literature. So we have the T.D. Jakes or you would have like Nora Roberts or anybody who is a hit, the Stephen Kings and others. Those are the books that go in the bookstore.

Because the bookstores want to make money, they’re not going to carry books that have unknown authors that are just going to sit there.

Joanna: Absolutely.

You started your ‘Authorpreneur Secrets’ podcast, which I’ve been on and also you have courses that help other authors, and you’ve been doing a lot of research around this. And obviously yourself, you have a lot of books.

What are the biggest things you’ve learned about being an indie author?

Ruth: Joanna, as I would say, in Jamaica, ’nuff work,’ it is a lot of work. So there’s more in it than you think. Sometimes authors think that because it’s not a traditional publishing deal and process that may take 18 months, they think that they can just publish a book in two months.

They rush the process, and that really irks me, it’s a mistake that I made, but they underestimate, or we underestimate the amount of work that it takes and the fact that we need to take charge of or take responsibility for our publishing success.

I find that it’s a steep learning curve. Many persons are still not aware of what it is and what the process entails. Because they don’t know that they fall for the scams, because we’re willing to pay, we’re willing to pay to market and a lot of stuff.

So I find that is a major challenge, taking ownership and just understanding the nuts and bolts of it, we are far away from mastering this. Every week I get calls about it, from doctors, lawyers, you name it, they still don’t understand independent publishing or self-publishing, and they’re making a lot of mistakes. We all need a guide on this journey.

Joanna: And we’ve all been there, right? Like you said at the beginning, you did the same mistakes, I made mistakes. We’ve all made the mistakes at the beginning.

Is it just that the market for what the indie author ecosystem, I guess, in the Caribbean, is just very new? Are you one of the only people talking about this?

Ruth: It’s new, but I’m not the only person. My friend Narissa Golden from Montserrat, she was publishing independently from 1998. So I’m not the only one, but it is still like day one.

We have other groups in Jamaica who are doing it. But I find that in Jamaica and other Caribbean islands, I find that it is still very, very new. So more education needs to take place, which is why I started the podcast. And now, I have a publishing school for teens, because we have writing clubs, but no publishing clubs. So it is still very much new to many of us.

It’s developing. And what I find is that we’re not just doing it the traditional way, as in depending on book sales, we are using the books as a platform. That is part of our economic empowerment. Because after we sell the first 200 books, because of our economic challenges, we don’t have the money to pump into Amazon ads and that kind of thing. So we do more creative marketing with our books and use it to open doors to get our message to the masses.

Joanna: I think everyone is now going ‘What? What is this creative marketing?’ Because a lot of people can’t afford ads anymore. It’s not just Caribbean authors, it’s a lot of people. So I’m really interested in that.

What type of creative marketing are you doing and encouraging others to do?

Ruth: For me, marketing is easy because it is adding value to people. It is connecting with others and helping to serve and solve a problem while bringing visibility to that.

All nonfiction books solve a problem. If you have an audience with a problem, and you have valuable information, then all you need to do is to try to reach them. What we do is to take the content out of the book and reach persons and we do events, so webinars, summits, and we have these gatherings like over the weekend.

I was part of a farewell celebration, goodbye party for the former head of the Caribbean Graduate School of Theology. Within that forum were leaders and he asked me to pitch my book. It’s a low content book, the legacy journal and talk about the fact that we need to write and publish more. So in giving him a gift of my books, I gave him three of my books, I was able now to pitch that.

Through events and when your events are around your book, then you’re marketing without even knowing it. The ‘Authorpreneur Secrets’ podcast is a book podcast. The Caribbean Authorpreneur Summit is a summit based on my book ‘Authorpreneur Secrets.’ So you just have to come up with ways to serve and reach the people, give them information. And then you just say, ‘By the way, I have a book.’ Not saying it comes easy.

Joanna: I do think that message of serving the audience is exactly right. And that’s obviously what we do with this show.

You mentioned earlier that you’re an introvert, and you do summits and webinars and events and the podcast, you do YouTube videos.

For people listening who feel like, as an introvert, they don’t want to do a lot of this stuff, what would you say to them?

Ruth: You can get somebody to try to help you. But you and I know about the power of email marketing, and the strategy of, for example, writing multiple books and having first free in the series. So if you have your website, that can be passively building your reader tribe, you have something to give away.

You can focus on content marketing, with eBooks, and you can have somebody manage at least one social media page for you to put a post. One of my authors has a social media manager who does her Instagram and everything, she’s not necessarily there.

Seth Godin talks about the tribe, you want to get your first 1,000 true fans. So I would say build a community and it doesn’t need for you to be in front of the audience to do that. Offer valuable information, giveaway, have a free book, first free in the series, or something of the sort, and then passively draw people to you and communicate with them via email using a newsletter and things like that.

Joanna: Great. The tried-and-true methods, I think are good too. And this is what I find so funny. People will say, ‘Oh, I can’t do ads, so I can’t do marketing.’ And I’m like, ‘Look, I have a book on marketing, How To Market a Book.’ There are two pages on ads, there are 300 pages on everything else.

It’s like people forget these basics of marketing that actually underpin what most of us do for most of our work. Right?

Ruth: Right. Because of how marketing has been pitched you think that it is paying for advertisement, it is putting out a trailer.

I like what Tim Grahl says in terms of his definition for marketing, it is serving people and connecting with them, getting permission to connect with them, and being relentlessly helpful.

If you think of being relentlessly helpful, and finding people to help, then you’re automatically getting the word out there, and you personally don’t have to do it.

One of my authors, he didn’t want to do the promotion for his book, and he’s a pastor. He got some of the church members to form a group, and they did the promotion for him. So he only had to show up to his book launch and a couple of things. But he had a team, you have to have a team.

Like you, I don’t like the term self-publishing, because it’s like it’s all on you.

There’s an African proverb that says, if you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together. Get at least one other person to work with you, and you’ll be able to get it done.

Joanna: Yes, of course, most of us have freelancers we work with, cover designers and editors and all of this kind of thing. You’re exactly right.

I wanted to also ask about the mindset, I guess, of Caribbean authors. As you said, it’s kind of day one, it’s the beginning and there’s a lot of views as to how things are or how they used to be.

What would you say to anyone listening?

How would you encourage people listening who might be feeling the industry doesn’t represent them, it might not be for them?

Ruth: What I recommend is that you understand the power of a book. Because a book gives you authority. It gives you voice, it brings attention and awareness to a practical cause. It’s a vehicle for your vision.

What is your vision? And how could a book get that across? One of the things I want to emphasize is getting your story out. Your story is like a testimony, and someone’s destiny is tied to your book, someone’s deliverance, I would say, is tied to your book because I know what books have done for me.

While there are challenges in the industry, focus on purpose and helping someone. I believe when you make this bigger than you and you have an objective, a goal, a purpose that is bigger than you, then you gain the courage to do the hard work. Because, as you said, in our interview, Joanna, the future is about diverse people, diverse stories from various parts of the world. And there are people waiting to hear from us.

People find the Caribbean fascinating and the other thing is that you don’t want your history and your culture, the experiences to die with you. So a large part of why I encourage people to write is for legacy building. There are books that have been written just like the Bible, hundreds of years ago, that are still impacting me.

Your story might just be the story that connects with somebody and move them closer towards their destiny, you want the future generations to know about our rich history and tell it the right way. Because history is always told from the point of view of the conqueror.

We need to tell our own stories, so I would say, get a larger vision, understand the power of a book, and get your feet wet. You don’t have to be a writing genius. That’s what editors are for and other persons. I had, for example, a 90-year-old who, her daughter and myself, we worked on her book and got her story out at 90 years old. And so many persons love that book. So think about it like that.

Joanna: I think that’s a really good message. And I feel, like you say, you don’t have to be a writing genius. You can be a Jamaican author without being Marlon James, you know, winning the Booker Prize.

Ruth: Yes.

Joanna: In the same way I can be a British author without winning the Booker Prize. I think we’ve pretty much claimed him now because I think he lives here.

Ruth: Yes, he’s in the diaspora.

Joanna: Yeah, he is. But I think it’s also important because of course, you’re in the Caribbean, but there are listeners listening all over the world.

We have listeners, for example, in Papua New Guinea, and authors in Kenya, or in various countries in Southeast Asia, countries where perhaps in the same way, voices haven’t been heard so much. So I think this is so important.

And your story, whatever you want to tell, it doesn’t have to be about the deep and meaningful side of things either, does it?

It can just be a fun book or a romance, or a thriller, or a horror novel. I don’t think I’ve read a horror novel by a Caribbean author unless…you could say Marlon James’s book did have some horror elements.

Are there many genre fiction writers in the Caribbean? Or do you think it’s mainly focused on a lot of nonfiction at the moment?

Ruth: It’s a blend. It’s really a blend, like my friend who just got the traditional deal. It’s creative writing, it’s fiction. So you have various kinds of books. It’s not just nonfiction.

I find especially like children’s books, what I find is that those from the diaspora is as if they have nostalgia. They are constantly writing about life in the Caribbean, whether they put that in fiction, whether it’s horror, whether it is any of the other genres.

One of my friends wrote a novel about ‘In My Blood,’ and it’s really paranormal, that kind of thing, but she uses the Caribbean setting. And in that book, ‘The Diaspora’ she speaks about Canada.

Caribbean authors have a way of blending everything together. And our culture lends to that thing about you know, we call them ‘duppy’ stories. We’re always telling ghost stories. And so it’s very rich. It’s not one side.

Because I specialize in non-fiction, doesn’t mean that others are not writing those stories. In fact, there was a girl I can’t remember her name, but her book, she won a movie deal, self-published, but it’s that kind of blend we mix up all of those things. The spiritual is not necessarily divorced from the natural and so you have those blending in worlds.

Joanna: In terms of marketing people’s books globally. When I started writing and self-publishing, I was living in Australia, and there were 20 million people in Australia, obviously not all of them readers. And so I decided that my primary marketing activity would be to the U.S.A., because they have a lot of people and a lot of readers and a developed online market. So I have always primarily marketed in the U.S.

Presumably, the Caribbean isn’t a big enough area on its own to sustain much of a career in terms of sales.

Should authors in the Caribbean be marketing to the U.S. or the Caribbean diaspora?

Ruth: You’re so correct, what I find is that they are tapping into U.S., UK, Canada, primarily. That is where the reach is, and it makes sense even back home most of our, what is it though, the funds that come back home, it’s really from the diaspora, so a big part of our economic support, GDP, that kind of thing comes from people in the diaspora. So it makes sense to market to them.

Again, like I say about that nostalgia, I’m helping an author and her book is about Don Quixote, and many of the books are based on life in the Caribbean, experience in the Caribbean. It makes sense to market to those wider markets, where you can have resonance. And just Jamaica alone, we have about 5 million Jamaicans living in the diaspora and our population is almost 3 million on the island. So it makes sense to market in those regions.

Joanna: Absolutely. And you’re so right about that nostalgia, it’s very true. Even where I used to live in Clapham in London, which was right next to Brixton, and obviously, a lot of Caribbean culture, and a lot of talking about ‘back home,’ even though some people were born in England, for example. So I think you’re right, that kind of diasporas is a very good market.

Ruth: Agreed.

Joanna: Coming back to the theology at the beginning, because I think a lot of people of faith, and you’ve mentioned some of the people you work with, pastors and things like that, a lot of people of faith want to write books, either about their faith or not necessarily directly about their faith, but they want to represent their faith in some way.

How do you encourage writers of faith to portray their work? Is it a specific market? Or do you want to be wider than that?

Ruth: I love this question. What I encourage them to do, there’s a thing in Jamaica, in Caribbean churches, when we have testimony time, there’s all ears about what God has done in our lives. What I push is that you take the testimony from the four walls to the world.

So your book could be about you as a Christian businessperson. But within that, you may have a single or two paragraphs that just captures your testimony of how you came to faith, or how your faith principles have helped you to overcome issues. And so that’s the kind of blend I say, put your expertise there, and tell your story, and put it in there. But don’t let it be, that it is, like the central focus.

For example, with my own self, I have a book called Keys to Win at Life. It’s about 100 problem-solving strategies, 100 Proverbs, and application of these success principles, and I only shared my testimony of coming to faith in two paragraphs, and yet somebody read that book and came to faith. So you have to have the wisdom to do that.

Some of them write devotionals, and it’s kind of like inspirational self-help, where the basis for the help, they have a biblical foundation. I can’t find the right words. But it’s not just preaching, preaching, preaching, you’re telling real-life stories like giving a testimony, this is what I’ve been through. And this is how my faith has helped me whether in business, my career, my marriage, you name it, and these are the lessons learned.

People are more open to that and they have a greater appetite for that. And so you get to tell what I call God stories. In a subtle way, you are evangelizing, and people will come to faith.

Joanna: I think this is really important because again, it’s so funny, you mentioned the testimony time. I’ve been to churches like this. And people will be happy to stand up and talk about how they came to faith or what God has done for them. And they can feel confident that their story is unique, and that people will listen to them.

They might not listen for too long!

Everyone has their story. And this is the same thing about writing a book.

Everyone has their story. And it might be the same. It might be a romance, it might be a thriller, or whatever. It might be a nonfiction book about how they came to faith. But your story is the thing that matters.

Yes, there might be millions of other books on the same topic. But your story, it hasn’t been told yet. It’s funny how people don’t think about that in a different environment, isn’t it? Yet they accept it in one environment and not in another.

Ruth: I agree. I started a series called ‘Untold Stories’ because of this. Very often we don’t see the beauty and the abundance that is around us. And so you have others who come to our territory, and we don’t understand our value and our worth. I think we’re still suffering from ‘Europe is better, North America is better’ because of colonialism. So there is still that ‘We’re not good enough.’

You undervalue your story, you undervalue your experience not understanding that sometimes, it is your story told in your voice that will resonate with other people who are just like you. They may hear it from 10 different sources, but because they can identify with you, they are more open to receive the truth that others are offering. But now, it’s being told in a language they can understand by people who are familiar to them.

I always say you need to tell your story, because each person’s audience is different and your story will resonate with somebody that other people reading the same material, it wouldn’t resonate with them. So we need to value our own stories and share them.

There’s beauty and abundance in our culture. There’s beauty and abundance in your story. Scripturally we talk about, can anything good come out of Nazareth? I think very often the Caribbean, we see ourselves like a Nazareth. And we have to inherently believe in our ‘somebody-ness’ and share that with the world.

Joanna: I know that biblical quote, but I’ve been to Nazareth. I think Jamaica is a lot nicer! It’s so funny because, you’re right. A lot of British people, they dream of the Caribbean, during lock-down everyone just wants the Caribbean. So everyone wants to come to your home.

One more question before we are out of time. You started a podcast, you started a YouTube channel, you are putting out a lot of content. And as I said, you put yourself on the screen, you put your voice out there.

Have you learned anything that might help people who want to do those things, because I know there’s a bit of a learning curve, isn’t there?

Has all that content creation been worth it for you?

Ruth: It has been absolutely worth it. Books have opened doors for me. I’ve been invited to places I never dreamt. I’m on this podcast because I wrote a book. So I want to say that the world is waiting.

When you understand the power of a book and what it will do for you, then you’ll be able to get past the trepidation and the fear. Books transform not only other people’s lives but your life.

Let me just put just this little story in there. I went from a donor support missionary, depending on people’s generosity to survive, to be able to make a full-time living and be self-supporting because I wrote a book. And I understood that if you’re able to leverage the book, then you can create greater impact and income faster than even just selling the book.

I’ve seen people, the impact the book has on them, when they read it, some of them cry. Some of them talk about the healing and the deliverance. I just want to say despite the challenges, there are people to help you, like I have my company, we’re launching Bumblesparks by the time this comes out. Someone’s deliverance or destiny is tied to your book. Don’t keep them waiting. Write it now.

Joanna: Where can people find you and everything you do online?

Ruth: They can find me at Extra MILE, that’s

Joanna: Fantastic. Thanks so much for your time Ruth, that was great.

Ruth: Thank you for having me Joanna. It was a blast.

The post Self-Publishing In Jamaica And The Caribbean And The Importance Of Diverse Voices With C. Ruth Taylor first appeared on The Creative Penn.

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Author: Joanna Penn

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  • February 20, 2022