Shaida Escoffery, author and a University of Miami student, spoke with friends and other visitors at her book signing for her recently published novel, “Idle, Wild, Love” on Friday at the Winston P. Warrior United Black Students (UBS) office in the Student Activities Center.
Escoffery, who is a senior majoring in creative writing, began her book as part of her senior thesis, but later developed it into something much bigger.
“Originally I didn’t want to come out with a book because I’m shy. I didn’t want the exposure,” she said. “But seeing support from everyone is nice.”
Several students visited her on Friday.
“I think it’s really great that a fellow member of UBS was able to publish a book,” said Jack Bowser, who serves as the freshman liaison for UBS.
Many of Escoffery’s friends view her as an inspiration and see big things for her future.
“I think she’s going to go on to encourage other black women to accomplish their goals with hard work and dedication,” senior Taylor Duckett said. “She’s encouraged me to pick up my writing projects and finish what I started.”
The young author does not work with an agent, and decided to go the self-publishing route, so she often had to be resourceful during the process. The cover art of “Idle, Wild, Love” is a photograph that Escoffery took herself in Idlewild, Mich., and her cousin edited it for the cover.
She also enlisted the help of her parents to find locations for her book signings. Later the same day, she headed to Overtown Youth Center for another book signing and information session with teenagers.
“With self-publishing you have to do everything on your own, in terms of your marketing, your cover, your editing, unless you’re going to go outside and pay other people for those things,” she said.
The overall process has been a learning experience for Escoffery, although she has encountered some dilemmas, like having to decide whether to write a personal message or a generic one in the books that people purchase.
“I try to cater [the message] if I know you well, but if it’s a long line, then it’s like … ‘same message, same message’…” she said. “I actually did have to practice my signature though.”
“Idle, Wild, Love” is available on Amazon.com in print and for the Kindle.