Here we talk about publishing, self-publishing, hybrid publishing, what makes our indie press special, our book launch events. Also, you get introduced to our new books and their authors. Enjoy!

Latinx Heritage Month is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th. This is a period in which many companies focus on their Latinx members and products. But for a company such as WeBook Publishing, it has a different and special meaning.

As a boutique publisher that works mostly with immigrant and bilingual authors, we celebrate them every day, with every single action we do. The company, which has a full team with Latinx Heritage, wants to inspire a connection of intersectional conversations through storytelling and amplify voices in a diverse community that strive to make a difference in the world - especially the Latinx one.

The personal experience of our Brazilian-American founder, Ana Silvani, is what inspired her to start the publisher. At the beginning of most immigrants' and first generations’ journeys, being free to be whoever we want can be scary.

"We often end up alone in the middle of a new crowd who doesn’t know us (neither the old nor the new version), and we have to start from scratch", Ana added.

According to Silvani, for years, she tried to get a fix for her “Half Love”. She had the urge to free the Ana within because living abroad put her inner child in a cage. She needed to let herself run wild in order to heal the wounds caused by that sudden “voluntary exile.” For ten years, she wrote a love letter about her immigrant journey. Those 77 poems were translated and became 154 bilingual poems that compose her first poetry book titled “Half Love, Metade Amor.”

But when she decided to publish them, Ana could not find a company that would value her and give her the space and opportunity she wanted, and needed. So, as any other fierce Latina would do, she learned the market and started her own imprint to support her and other fellow writers, especially Latinas.

All the effort into that vision started to show its results last August. WeBook was in charge to organize a panel with their fellow Latina authors in celebration of National Latina Day in Los Angeles, at Barnes & Noble The Grove. The 120 attendees proved to the publisher’s team - and the entire community - that there is space for us in the publishing field. Because we are creating this space. The next day, Ana felt overwhelmed with social media posts from the attendees sharing images with #proudlatina. Something special clicked inside of them. WeBook gave them hope. WeBook showed them our potential as a Latinx community.

“After sixteen years of living in the United States, I can finally say that I created my own version of the American dream. My heart was full at the end of that event at one of the country's most famous and important bookstores”, Ana said.

The message WeBook wants to spread to our community - not only this month but throughout the entire year - is this: our uniqueness is the key to our success. We need to know who we are and what we want. Once we know that, nothing can hold us back.

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The river flows even if the top is still. It can be a turbulent or enjoyable ride. But the question then becomes: are we riding the river or are we the river?

We have all heard the phrase “Go with the flow” oftentimes referring to taking things in stride with everything that happens around us. I always felt this type of mentality is a sure way to always stay in a creative rut, especially if you cannot relax because your mind and body are always buzzing. Recently, it was brought to my attention that the phrase never truly meant standing back from stress and joining in the festivities, but rather, going with the current of a motion instead of fighting it. While working with WeBook Publishing, I was introduced to Drica Lobo’s book Decoding the Flow, and it challenged my perception of the concept of Flow altogether.

Let me put it this way, if Flow was a riptide, the first thing you do is fight against it when in the ocean because of panic. The more you work against it the more tired you get, and you feel like giving up entirely. When you do give up, that riptide takes your exhausted body out into the ocean until the current ends. Where that is? It’s hard to tell. It can be the world's longest water slide with no exit, or it’ll take you a few feet down the beach with no problem. Either way, you are at the will of the water with no direction of what you want in a negative way. That’s what I thought of the phrase “going with the flow.”. I would end up just ‘going along for the ride’ when my friends wanted to do something reckless or something in their definition of ‘fun.’ It sounds like I would be terrible to hang out with, but I was in college, and a lot of the time, I had to decide between getting drunk or studying for midterms. Education always won, so maybe I was boring.

In the same sense, if you swim with the riptide at a diagonal you end up out of it. Are you swimming against the flow? No, you happen to be using it to your advantage to help usher yourself out of an undesirable situation. You go at a diagonal with the speed of the current to waste less energy to get from where you started to where you want without the fear of being pulled under. In some ways, it is exhilarating. In others, you notice how easy it is to get out of the space you were in at the beginning. You become the master of your own fate and determine if you get carried out to sea or move back to shore. But that doesn’t sound like you are letting go and joining the flow, does it? That’s just because such a thing is misunderstood.

The way Lobo put it was that the Flow is the optimal moment of using the pressures and power of the flow to build a desirable outcome with direction while getting lost in it. In today’s concepts, we might consider this getting in ‘The Zone.’ Where one hour turns into mere seconds of daydreaming and suddenly, you have a masterpiece on the canvas before you. It's that sweet spot between loss for inspiration and having a vision of what you really want to achieve. Flow is a space of motivational contradiction. What does that even mean? I know, it sounds so odd, but in reality, there are ways to describe it but everything will seem so strange and foreign until the Ah-ha! moment strikes.

You become one with the riptide with all of its power while still maintaining your desired outcome. In a way, you become the current itself and realize pressures and fears melt away as you gain speed and independence from the forces that try to pull you under. It’s a fantastic concept and method I hope others become more aware of as they find their place in niche forms. You can learn more about Decoding the Flow by checking it out on Amazon Kindle or coming to our August 19th event at The Grove to ask Drica Lobo more about what it means to “go with the flow.” Also available on our website for purchase and Barnes & Noble.

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Ana Silvani’s book ‘Half Love, Meta(de) Amor’ mirrors many of the issues that affect immigrants and first-generation people. The bonds between oneself and our ancestral homes are tethered in a rat’s nest that sometimes takes a lifetime to somewhat understand and unravel.

Trapped at crossroads in one’s psyche, Silvani touches on the struggle of wanting to live a successful life, finding love, and the guilt that comes with the want to be successful.

Most people have an idea of what their own personal happiness looks like. No two people have the exact same idea of happiness, but everyone is in pursuit of it. Happiness is an ever-fluid concept changing based on your life experiences and personal dilemmas. It is up to each individual to find what makes them happy even if it ruffles feathers in their circles. However, sometimes being happy comes with the burden of guilt, especially if you’re from the Latinx community.

Why guilt?

A common issue first-generation Latinx people face is guilt. Many within the Latinx community feel guilt for leaving their families to grow. This can be as small as leaving for college to immigrating to another country in search of a better quality of life.

You're taught that everything you do reflects on your family. While you may be leaving to pursue something better, there is guilt for leaving your family because you have a responsibility in your home. Leaving can be interpreted as abandonment or even a flat-out rebellion. Sometimes, it also means never seeing your family again due to financial or political circumstances beyond your control. All these things could weigh heavily on the mind of people who choose to immigrate.

Once in America, there is a culture shock that many have to navigate. A struggle that many people wrestle with is that in America, you’re taught to not care about anyone to the point where it’s, for lack of a better term, sociopathic, making them void of empathy. American Individualism contradicts what you’re culturally taught at home: to be considerate to those around you. You’re eventually conditioned to be okay with potentially murdering people because you don't want to do things because it’s an “inconvenience” and “you just want to live your life and have fun”. However, this is not to say that Latinx communities are holy beacons of basic human decency. In Latinx communities, you’re trained to take physical and/or mental abuse to keep the peace within your familial circles, which is extremely problematic in its own right.

By making this sacrifice, you must wrestle with the aftermath of the decision to leave your family and the new, sometimes scarier reality of being all alone and no one caring about you unless you have some sort of value to them. It’s a dystopian nightmare that thrives on ripping apart the psyche and morality of any individual.

There is a beacon of light amidst the chaos. While there is trauma from leaving, it is important to keep in mind this is for the best. In many cases, leaving opens loved ones to more opportunities because there is now a path for them to follow. It can also mean having the opportunity to support them from abroad if in a financial position to do so at some point in life. This all depends on individual relationships; however, it doesn’t change the fact that love for oneself is at the core of the decision to leave. The choice to chase aspirations is a choice that is difficult to make, but it is one made with love as the central focus. It is important to keep love at the center of decisions because voluntary exile opens doors to new possibilities.

Find comfort in knowing that you’re not alone in this journey by picking up a copy of Half Love, Metade Amor today and join us on Friday, August 19th at 7 pm at Barnes and Noble The Grove at Farmers Market for the Latinx Author’s Panel.

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