“Anybody’s Daughter” voted Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction at the 45th NAACP Image Awards by Joey Pinkney
By Joey Pinkney
March 20, 2014 08:54
On Saturday 22 February 2014, Pamela Samuels Young won the Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction award at the 45th Annual NAACP Image Awards for her newest novel Anybody’s Daughter (Goldman House Publishing). In this fast-paced thriller, Young sheds light on a serious contemporary issue (child sex trafficking) and also shares a cautionary tale for parents and teens alike.
The nomination and the subsequent win marks the first time in the history of the NAACP Image Awards that an independently-published book has made it into the final round of voting for the Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction award. Before the 45th NAACP Image Awards show, books that were judged for the Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction award were published by one of the “Big Six”, ie. Simon and Schuster, HarperCollins, Random House, Macmillan, The Penguin Group, and Hachette.
Pamela Samuels Young’s win with Anybody’s Daughter highlights a shift in the cultural fabric of the publishing industry. Advances in technology and social media have evened the playing field, so that indie authors can release and market books at the same levels of quality as their traditionally-published counterparts.
Pamela Samuels Young took a few moments to answer my questions for the Independent Author Index.
Joey Pinkney: What was your initial reaction when your name was announced as the winner?
Pamela Samuels Young: Total excitement! I’ve worked so hard over the last few years and faced lots of rejection from the traditional publishing industry. Despite that, I didn’t give up on my dream. This honor and the success of Anybody’s Daughter validates all my efforts.
JP: What are your thoughts about “Anybody’s Daughter” winning this award in terms of indie authors being seen as equals with traditionally-published authors in terms of quality books?
PSY: The fact that Anybody’s Daughter won the NAACP Image Award in the Outstanding Fiction category alongside four long-time, traditionally-published authors makes it clear that indie authors can compete with the big boys if they produce a quality project.
In my acceptance speech, I thanked my mother, who taught me the power of prayer, my father, who taught me that hard work pays off, and Tyler Perry, a man I’ve never met. Four years ago, I watched the Image Awards from my bedroom as he accepted the Chairman’s Award. In his acceptance speech, he said something that really resonated with me and flipped a switch in my brain. He said: “We don’t have to wait for someone to greenlight our projects. We can create our own intersections.”
That was the moment when I stopped dreaming about a traditional book deal and decided to take charge of my own writing career. And lo and behold, after creating my own intersection, I found myself standing on the same Image Award stage where Tyler Perry stood.
Wow! God is good!
JP: Where do you see yourself, as an indie author in the publishing industry, going forward in the future?
PSY: I see myself producing more quality books via my publishing company, Goldman House Publishing. I have no desire to do it any other way. I love being in control of my writing career. I’m finally at a point where I can support myself with my writing and will finally begin writing full time; something I’ve dreamed of for years.
JP: What advice would you give indie authors in pursuing their dreams of being published?
PSY: Write a good book. That’s always been my primarily goal. More indie writers need to focus on mastering their craft. So many writers rush their books to market before they’re ready. I submit my manuscript to 20-30 test readers who help me work out the kinks. A lot of writers are too sensitive to solicit an honest critique. I really think that’s a big mistake. I want feedback before the book hits the market.
I knew Anybody’s Daughter had the potential to be my breakout book when two of my most critical readers told me they wouldn’t change a word after reading the manuscript. Their excitement about the book proved to be prophetic, because it’s really resonating with people old, young and in between.