How This Self-Published Author Raised Over A Million Dollars

Row House is the one that was really the big, audacious project, where we were trying to raise $ 900,000 — and that turned into $ 1.2 million. We were trying to blow the lid off the industry in terms of inequity and pay, so we introduced this 4040 model, which gives a 40,000 dollar advance and 40% royalty to every single author, regardless of the size of their platform.

So, one of the major challenges was doubt. Many people told us it was impossible — that we couldn’t do it because it had never been done. The other challenge was raising money and awareness, and getting people involved, especially from traditional routes, like venture capitalists — a lot of people were looking for me to fail. I was constantly having to not only justify the mission of the company, but also really justify my existence as a person in business. It was demoralizing, it was frustrating, and that’s why we went the crowdfunding route.

It turned out to be historically successful. There’s a very short list of Black women who have raised a million dollars through traditional financing routes, and our entire publishing council is made up of women of color. We hit almost 1.2 million in less than a year, so it was a really big deal.

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