Author Ashley Ferguson showcases her books during an event. Photo provided
By Medina Mahammad
Cincinnati Herald Intern
As a hardworking, author living in Cincinnati, Ashley Ferguson is living on purpose. She lives to inspire and tell important stories from her experiences and those around her.
“I spend my days, weeks, nights and evenings with words because I love reading. “
She has authored two children’s books, Boy, You Are Brilliant and Girl, You Are Magic, and she is in the process of writing her third. These books hold important stories behind them as they signify hardships that her close family has gone through.
She is fighting for more Black, self published authors to get on bigger stages, obtain bigger audiences, and receiver more representation locally and nations wide. She is fighting to help authors get more access and education by helping first time authors get published and finding a solid community.
Networking is extremely important tool used as an author. When Ferguson first arrived to the Cincinnati Black authors scene she had to quickly learn how to advocate for herself and work through building meaningful relationships that would help propel her to the next steps.
“You want me to be on this level, but Im still learning. Have some grace… work with me.” She had to find a balance with networking with new people and giving herself the opportunity to be open to a new community of authors.
“Whenever I get the opportunity, I want others to be a part of it as well. We’re not in competition because a child can’t have just one book to read. I want every artist, every author to win, to be a part of great things… I’m big on building community and I love that there are other Black artists in town that are as well.” Getting the word out and helping other authors can be a big help because networking can be difficult. She believes the hardest part about networking is asking for help and then seeing what happens.
Ashley is a one-woman band who depends solely on herself and networking. She is her own publisher, printer, marketing teams, etc. She knows the work behind getting your work into the public view.
Opportunities that may seem small can help you get better visibility with bigger audiences. “The advice I give to authors and artists would be to hustle and not being afraid to put yourself out there. If you say you’re an artist, musician, put your work out there. When people look me up, I want them to see my writing, but they’ll never see it if I’ve never submitted it to any journals or publications. You cannot say you are an artist without actually exposing your art.”
Ferguson writes in the hopes that readers will understand her purpose to do so. When reading a book by Ashley Ferguson you should feel inspired. “I feel like I’m here to be light and reflect God’s love… I am living and walking in my purpose to inspire.”
For more information, go to: https://ashleyayaferguson.com/