My Life

I Wrote A Book! And It’s Available for Pre-Order Now

I can officially add “author” to my titles, next to “writer, digital strategist, speaker, professional troublemaker and side-eye sorceress.” Because I wrote a book. I WROTE A FREAKING BOOK, YALL!!! AAAHHHHHHH!!!

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My book is called I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do-Better Manual, and it is a series of essays on life, culture, social media and fame. I turn the mirror on all of us and talk about why we’re ridiculous and why I am side-eyeing us continuously as a society. If you love my blog, you’ll love this book. It is me, voice strong, message clear and at my best. It is officially the thing that I am most proud of.

I want to tell y’all the story of my journey to writing it.

I’ve been blogging for over a decade, and the natural next step is writing a book. For years, people have been telling me to write one, and I’ve wanted to write one but I didn’t have a BOOK in me yet. Or I did but it was taking a nap.

I finally got my idea when I had a lightbulb moment in August 2014. Some “journalist” had plagiarized multiple pieces of my work and I was ranting on Twitter. I wondered out loud “Did some of us not get a limited edition manual on how not to suck as human beings?” I literally went “WAIT. THAT’S THE BOOK I SHOULD WRITE.”

good-idea

I remember that moment so well and my toes tingled. And on that day, the idea jumped into my head and didn’t leave.

For a couple of months, I did nothing else but on October 13, 2014, I posted a status on Facebook saying “I wrote the first 500 words of my book.” TWO days later, I got an email from a literary agent, out of the blue. I wasn’t even at the stage where I was looking for an agent. I just wanted to write this book AND THEN I’d worry about everything else.

We get on the phone, and I ask some questions and he asks some but he is clear that he wants to represent me. I didn’t even tell him what my idea was because I can’t be showing my whole hand like that. Fast forward a month later, I end up signing with him: Michael Harriot of Folio Literary Agency. They also represent Misty Copeland. AW SNAP.

When I signed the dotted line, I finally tell him my idea for a book and he loved it. He tells me to get started on my book proposal. I get a book on how to write book proposals, because I had no clue. I followed it and I finish my proposal in 2 months. It is a 50-page beast. In the middle of February 2015, I turn in my final book proposal.

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Are y’all keeping track of the timing? Cool. Keep it in mind. So with my proposal in hand, Mike starts shopping my book around to publishers and towards end of February, we meet with multiple who are interested in this thing I wanna write. HELL YEAH. He warned me that the process might go kinda quick but I didn’t realize HOW fast.

While I was on vacation in Kenya in early March, Mike emails me saying one more editor would like to speak with me. 8-hour time difference and all, we make it work.

I get back from Kenya on March 9. On March 11, 2015, I wake up to an email from Mike telling me that I have an offer (book deal) with Henry Holt & Co. Do I accept? I called one of my mentors, and she yelled “YES, YOU DO.” So I did. And I SCREAMED.

oprah scream

I called my Mom and my sister on 3-way and my Mom goes “MacMillan? They printed my textbooks!” In that moment, I realized how big it was. I only told my close friends and family that I had my deal. I signed the paperwork officially 2 months later on May 10, 2015. That’s when I announced it publicly. Because this real G chooses to move in silence until things are inked.

It was real now. IT WAS REAL. And I had to get to work.

Last year was insane for me, travel-wise. How was I gonna be gallivanting around the world and write a whole book? I was determined to have my manuscript in before the year was over because I wanted to make sure my book would come out in 2016. A Luvvie determined is an unstoppable one.

Between May and October 2015, I was home for maybe 3 weeks TOTAL. I traveled to Morocco, Spain, England, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, British Virgin Islands, Qatar. Domestically, I was probably in a different city every week. #TravelLuvv is real!

It didn’t matter. On October 15, 2015, my editor at Holt, Allison Adler, got my completed manuscript. 75,000 words. 75,000 NEW words. This book is all new content from me. I am not going to be that blogger who gives you half a book of posts you’ve read from me. NAH.

Remember I told you to keep track of dates? It was after I turned in the first draft of my book that I realized that it was exactly a year to the date that my agent contacted me.

I’M JUDGING YOU was written in 8 countries across 4 continents, in hotel rooms, at home, at the beach, on airplanes. I wrote any and everywhere. How did I write this book in less than a year with everything I had on my plate? I can’t even explain it.

Some weeks I wrote zero words, and some days I wrote 5,000 words.

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When the words wanted to come, they tumbled out my fingers. When fear got the best of me, I stared at a blank screen for hours. Ultimately, I was clear about what I wanted to say, because me writing almost nonstop for the last 12 years had prepared me for this book.

And what I turned in was something I was incredibly proud of. It was good. My book is good. When Allison got her edits back to me, she affirmed that. The first sentence she sent me was “First, foremost, forever: I love this book.”

I was in tears. It is her job to tell me when shit sucks and to hear that was the stamp I needed. Writing a book is hard because you are in a vacuum, not getting constant feedback. But Allison’s note was the confirmation that I created something I should be proud of.

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Last Sunday, I turned in the FINAL FINAL FINAL manuscript (after a couple of drafts and a copyeditor ran through it with a fine tooth comb. Editing takes time) and I jumped for joy. I felt like I for real climbed a mountain.

On March 11, 2016, I was finishing a meeting in the Henry Holt offices when I informed them that it was exactly a year to the date when I found out about my book deal. PERFECT ANNIVERSARY MEETING. Again, see how the dates match up so right.

This book I wrote and my journey to get to it? It was meant for me at the time it happened. It was the anointed and appointed time because the way things fell into place was so right. My agent appearing like a Fairy Godfather. My editor, who is the most awesome person to work with. My publisher, which is an imprint of MacMillan, oldest publishing company in the world. It all just fit together.

August 2014, I got my book idea. October 2015, I turn in a full draft 1. March 2016, my book is done. HOLY SMOKES. It was a perfect example of “When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

I’M JUDGING YOU will be released on September 13, 2016 and I can finally tell you that it is available for pre-order!!!

imjudgingyoubook

LOOK AT IT. JUST LOOK AT IT. This cover. It is my favorite thing. It is perfectly me in every way and every time I look at it, I get giddy. I LOVE IT SO FREAKING MUCH!

Fun fact: that lollipop emoji was custom-designed for me. Its’ side-eye is uniquely MINE. Also, the lollipop will be a real thing. Coming soon, y’all.

This feels SUPER real now. My book is available for ordering where books are sold (Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, IndieBooks, iBooks).I have an Amazon author page (EEEEEE!!!) and a GoodReads author page (AAAAAAHHHH!!). AND ImJudgingYouBook.com is up. It’s the page for all things BOOK. You can visit, learn more about it and all’at jazz.

I am here to ask for your help, folks. I want this book to do AMAZINGLY WELL. If it does, hopefully, someone else like me will have an easier path to getting published. I need you to buy this book and support me on this journey. How can you help right now?

Pre-order my book!

You can get it from a variety of places. Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, IndieBooks, iBooks. Buy a copy (or 2 or 3. Or like my cousin, 10).

* Tell people you know and love to pre-order my book! Download and share the graphic below on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter etc.

I'm Judging You Promo Sq

And you might have some questions for me. Here are some answers:

When is this book coming out again?

It will be released on September 13, 2016. Put that on your calendar. We might have to make it a national holiday. Who do I petition to make that happen?

Will there be a book tour and book signings?

Yes, there will be, starting in September, when the book drops officially. I’ll announce the tour dates when they’re finalized, but that probably won’t be til Summer. Although, I might do some pre-events where advance copies will be available. I’ll keep folks updated.

Will there be an audiobook?

Yes there will be, and I will be reading it myself.

Will it be available on Kindle and Nook?

YUP. All’at.

I don’t live in the United States. Will I be able to get a physical copy?

I have a large international readership so I’m working on a definitive answer for this! But some of the bookstores that carry it ship internationally, like Barnes & Nobles. Amazon also does. Canadians, you’re all good too. You can buy the Kindle or Nook version too!

That lollipop is adorable. Can it be on a tshirt?

Yes. That is definitely happening. It will be on many types of products. I’m especially excited about the mug you’ll be able to put on your desk, to side-eye folks who wanna talk to you before you have your morning coffee.


Whew! This little Naija girl who thought she was going to be a Psychologist one day because “I want to help people” is about to drop a book. GOD DEY. And thank YOU all for being the best village EVER and celebrating with me. Y’all really do make a girl feel special and loved.

willalwaysloveyou

This is a dream come true, and for me, it is a testament to the power of having the courage to ask. This is my way of saying that what you want might seem too far to reach but then a step stool might come outta nowhere. TADA! It’s yours. Write your vision. Make it plain. Tell the universe/God/Buddha what you want. The moment I said that I was doing this book, things fell at my feet.

And where we are.

On the low low tip, my book has actually been available for pre-order for a month, but I wanted to wait a bit to announce it publicly. And after I dropped the cover on social media on Friday, y’all went and Googled it. I know this because you’ve been ordering it and sending me screenshots of your confirmation. I LOVE Y’ALL SO MUCH!!!

LET’S DO THIS, YALL!!!

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41 Comments

  1. Ronke
    March 14, 2016 at 7:21 am

    Low key I almost shed the most thuggish tear. So proud of you. I LOVE reading your work. Cannot wait to receive my copy!

    GOD DEY INDEED!

    From your Naija sistheren

  2. March 14, 2016 at 7:24 am

    Congrats!!!!!! I can’t wait to get it!! You are truly deserving of this. And I need that first gif. Like I need it lol!

  3. Elle Vines
    March 14, 2016 at 7:43 am

    Look at God! Ain’t He the Best? ?? I’m so proud of your journey and determination!

  4. SoulfliHoneyBea
    March 14, 2016 at 7:44 am

    I simply will be on pins and needles waiting on this book. Come thru Sept 2016!

  5. Malingose
    March 14, 2016 at 7:45 am

    Really happy for you Luvvie and proud of your work! Congrats. Have ordered. September is a long time to wait, though… Well done!

  6. Eliza
    March 14, 2016 at 8:14 am

    My eyes want to sweat! I’m so happy for you and excited about your book. You did that!!! Gotta go preorder mine and update my calendar!

  7. March 14, 2016 at 8:18 am

    Yay!!!! Happy for my cousin (in my head)! I’m ordering now 🙂

  8. BobbieC
    March 14, 2016 at 8:22 am

    So very proud of you! You give me hope 🙂

  9. Tee
    March 14, 2016 at 8:25 am

    Won’t “Him” Do It!
    I cant wait tto read it. I feels like breaking out into a quick Brother Franklin Mode.

  10. Janet J
    March 14, 2016 at 8:37 am

    So proud of you, my virtual granddaughter. Reading you–and all your commenters–always brings me joy. And yes indeed, we are the village it takes!

  11. Melanie
    March 14, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Soooo… you putting out testers like String’an’em or what? Just a page or two…i need a fix before September! (I kid, I kid)

    But in all seriousness, I’m so proud of you, lady! I can’t wait to get my hands on this book and listen to the audio version. You, my friend, totally ROCK! Keep letting that black girl magic shine bright.

  12. Karen
    March 14, 2016 at 9:29 am

    Luvvvvvieeeeee!!! I am celebrating with you. I read this with tears in my eyes like you are one of my very close Sisterfriends. I am so proud of you!!
    Come through!!!!
    About to pre-order now. Please make sure you come to NJ/NYC area for me to get my selfie and book signed. Because…we go together!

  13. Ashley
    March 14, 2016 at 9:49 am

    How exciting!!!! I have been a fan for years, and can’t WAIT until your book drops.

    Congratulations, and may God continuously cover you and your future success.

    PS- Luvvie who wants to help people…this book will do just that.

  14. March 14, 2016 at 9:51 am

    All the feels! #imnotcrying

  15. Jill
    March 14, 2016 at 9:58 am

    I’m verklempt! Go Luvvie!

    Ordered mine! I can’t wait to touch it!

    YEESSSSS HUNTY!

  16. MzCafe
    March 14, 2016 at 10:15 am

    Amazing and CONGRATS!!! Way to go -you are definitely a trailblazer for and inspiration for future (and current) bloggers, writers and authors.

  17. Amanda
    March 14, 2016 at 10:39 am

    I’m so happy for you…I made sure that I ordered mine (while at work shhh don’t tell noooobody). Congrats and I can’t wait to read it and have you sign my copy. YOU GO GIRL

  18. Chiq
    March 14, 2016 at 10:59 am

    So happy for you Luvvie! You deserve all this excitement and more! I’ll be pre-ordering ASAP!

  19. Sheryl B
    March 14, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Already ordert my book! I rep the LuvvNation and I’m SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO proud of you Luvvie! I didn’t even order the kindle version (which was cheaper)- I want to be able to look at that side-eye lollipop on my bookshelf and get you your well-deserved coin!

  20. March 14, 2016 at 11:04 am

    Congrats, Luvvie!! Just preordered. #wonthedoit

  21. March 14, 2016 at 11:07 am

    Congratulations, Luvvie!!

    I’m so happy and excited for you. Pre-ordering today.

  22. jcanwisegrrl
    March 14, 2016 at 11:25 am

    You’re my sister in my head and I luh u gurl! I’m so proud and excited, I feel like I just wrote a book. And I can barely get through a short story. Ugh! Before I run to that Amazon pre-order link with the speed of Usain Bolt, lemme just say that your book story is so inspirational to me as a writer. I just received yet another ‘no’ from a short story competition I entered, and I’m still wounded. But I will press on so that like you, I will have a testimony to share. To God be the glory Luvvie, and continue to excel. I only wish I lived in the US to meet you at a signing, but I’m confident you will come to Jamaica one day, and I will meet you and get my autograph then 😀 Big up yuhself my girl!

  23. March 14, 2016 at 11:40 am

    So freaking proud of you!!!! Melanin March is in full effect. I ordered mine! Congrats, Luv. You da best, mama!

  24. Katie
    March 14, 2016 at 11:55 am

    I can’t wait to read this. I just went to Amazon to put this on my Wishlist and saw that it’s the #1 New Release in Humor Literary Criticism! That’s wonderful! Congratulations!

  25. Dee G.
    March 14, 2016 at 12:08 pm

    Luvvie, congratulations. You are an inspiration to many. I start my day with The Breakfast Club, TJMS and Rickey Smiley, but you’re my lunch break (I had to move you to this timeslot because I was giggling in my office like a sly hyena and getting questions). I just pre-ordered and I can tell you I don’t plot down early morning frequently (I did on Janet and now wondering if I’m actually going to get a concert or a refund). But I wanted to show my support so I an an official holder of an Amazon confirmation order. Much continued success.

  26. KayMee
    March 14, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Amazing testimony! You are an inspiration and evidence that identifying what you love AND putting in the HARD WORK makes dreams come true. Your posts have added some serious cackles and sunshine (and many a provoking thought) to otherwise dreary days. May the blessing continue to flow. *goes off to pre-order hard copy because I’m hopeful that DC is a stop on the tour*. 🙂

  27. March 14, 2016 at 2:16 pm

    Congrats Luvvie!!! This is so inspiring! I will purchase the book and spread the news.

    Siobhan
    http://www.befreeproject.com

  28. Denise
    March 14, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    will be anxiously awaiting!!!!

  29. saro
    March 14, 2016 at 2:38 pm

    You are so inspiring – love seeing your success. Ordered the book and can’t wait for the lollipop and mug!!!

  30. Meika
    March 14, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I feel like crying!!! Big up you Luvvie!! I can’t wait until you do your book tour! I want you to sign my copy! God bless you God bless you God bless you!!!

  31. Kimmie
    March 14, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Congrats from a Dutch fan!!

  32. Jacqueline M Raines
    March 14, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    I GOT MINE!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to read this baby!!! Congratulations Luvvie, you deserve every bit of this blessing.

  33. Stace
    March 15, 2016 at 8:30 am

    Luvvie my pre-order and waiting!!!!!!!!!!!!! Already touted as a bestseller on Amazon. Can’t wait to read it…

    One word for you….

    LasaGna!

  34. March 15, 2016 at 8:39 am

    1. you know that math meme from the hangover? that was me trying to keep track of the dates with all that travelling.. like WAIT. WAYMENT. HOW SWAY??
    2. i love that you stuck to your guns and wrote when the timing felt right for you. the many lessons here is amazing.
    3. thanks for taking care of us Canadians, we’re usually stuck with the: you dont even go here shipping and IM NOT HERE FOR THAT ON THIS BOOK.
    4. thank you. for being an inspiration. for always being yourself. for taking us all along on your journey into spaces we never used to be in.

  35. March 15, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    Pre-ordered!! I’m so proud of you 🙂 Keep doing what you do, the world is a better place for your presence

  36. Char
    March 16, 2016 at 11:47 am

    Pre-ordered! Showing as a #1 Best Seller already!

  37. Kunai
    March 18, 2016 at 6:02 am

    I just can’t wait to read it. From Kenya with love 🙂

  38. March 18, 2016 at 3:57 pm

    Pre-ordering as soon as I finish my comment!

    I am feeling all the feels for youuuuuuuu!!!! Your blog makes me cackle to the blue corn moon on the regular and I may or may not refer to my youngest child as “Giver of No Dambs” (GOND) when talking about her to others! All that to say, come through, Miss Luvvie! Come through with your book!

  39. Colah
    April 9, 2016 at 10:19 am

    If I could post a gif (iont really know HOW), it would be a gif if Ilana twerking on the wall in the pegging episode of Broad City. I’m excited and ready and hell yes for this book dropping the day after my birthday! Congratulations Luvvie and thanks for the well timed birthday present!

  40. […] So next up for Luvvie – you’ve written a book! What was the most surprising part about that process? How fast it went. August 2014 is when I got the idea of my book. An agent contacted me out of the blue in October, I had the proposal done in February, my book deal in March, I signed the deal in May, I finished my book in October and here we are – it comes out in September. […]

  41. […] So next up for Luvvie – you’ve written a book! What was the most surprising part about that process? How fast it went. August 2014 is when I got the idea of my book. An agent contacted me out of the blue in October, I had the proposal done in February, my book deal in March, I signed the deal in May, I finished my book in October and here we are – it comes out in September. […]