The beauty of #LATISM is community. That sums up my weekend in Houston. I’ve never experienced something quite like it before. How supportive everyone was. How positive. How many attendees wanted to connect professionally.
Everyone present was there to lift each other up.
Book Publishing Panel
The best part of all this was that I was able to speak to my new primos and primas during the Book Publishing panel. Myself along with Ana Flores of SpanglishBaby and Mariela Dabbah of The Red Shoe Movement discussed our journey to publishing and how important it is to be our own marketing team. You must think on a grander scale when you’re an author. Books just don’t sell themselves anymore. It is about creating a brand and cultivating that brand into a business venture. Think products, bigger picture, connectivity. Like I said to the audience, “Be Kim Kardashian but with talent.” So many of you appreciated my sentiment that it was even tweeted! Photo via Writin2insanity.
#LATISM Book Signing
The book signing was also exhilarating. Not only did I sell 12 books, but I also connected with new readers and gained new fans. Plus, the authors were priviledged to take a group photo with Sandra Cisneros. Then Ana Roca Castro, Founder of #LATISM, spoke on our efforts as authors. She urged the Latinos/as present, and every other Latino/a that is willing to participate, to buy from Latinos/as and create for Latinos/as. My eyes welled up with tears when Ana shouted, “Let’s make these Latina authors best sellers!”
That really is all I’ve ever wanted for Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles. I know it can be a best seller. I know that with the love and support of Latinos/as, the real support that translates to investing in one another financially, that Love Trips can make The New York Times Best Seller list. Photo via @selindakaren.
The Adelante Movement
That leads me to The Adelante Movement, a new initiative by Nely Galan and Coca Cola that is encouraging Latinas to be entrepreneurs. Hearing her speak and the mission of the Adelante Movement has set me ablaze…in a passionate Latina kind of way. I am so fired up to build my network and net worth. I am determined to be my own boss. Love Sujeiry and SY Play Things will be successful.
And of course, there were the many memories with my new and old familia. The Univision photo booth was a great addition to the final dinner and fiesta. The results were hilarious. This has to be one of the funniest photos I’ve ever taken. It was so impromptu! I cannot wait to frame this picture of me and my dear friend, Helen Troncoso.
Here I am again with my fabulous friends from NYC. Helen Troncoso, Ms. NY America 2012 and CEO/Owner of Reinvent You, LLC, is to on the left. Then there’s Vicky Barrios, PHD student and blogger over at Kindness and Kisses. I love each of them for many great reasons! Their support means the world. Their positive energy is amazing. And they always practice what they preach and are accountable for who they are and what they do. Real recognizes real!
I met Celinette Toribio and also gave her a copy of Love Trips: A Collection of Relationship Stumbles. She was very sweet and I hope that she enjoys the book. Maybe I will be a guest on Al Rojo Vivo one day? Not enough women talk about vaginas.
How can I forget the wonderful Nely Galan! She is a producer and a mogul in Hollywood. Her story of how she began her a career (Galan published her first piece on Seventeen Magazine at just 17!) proves that we have to be proactive to succeed. How we have to take a negative and see the silverlining, turning it into a positive. When I grow up, I want to be like her.
What else can I say? Attending, participating, and volunteering for the #LATISM 2012 Conference changed me. I am eager to continue volunteering. I want to help. I want to support. I want to grow old with my new familia.