JESSICA TILLES, the recipient of the African American Literary Award for Independent Publisher of the Year, boasts a remarkable twenty-four years of experience in the publishing industry. Her versatile skills encompass award-winning writing, book editing, publishing coaching, graphic and web design, public speaking, and facilitation. Jessica is the author of a diverse range of fictional novels, including Anything Goes, In My Sisters’ Corner, Apple Tree, Sweet Revenge, Fatal Desire, Unfinished Business, Erogenous Zone (an anthology), Loving Simone, Crossing Sisters, No One Has To Know, and Loving You. She’s also contributed to various projects, ghostwriting and editing materials spanning historical fiction, memoirs, and business books. As an independent publisher, she has successfully released over two hundred titles through Xpress Yourself Publishing.
In addition to her impressive literary accomplishments, Jessica is recognized alongside icons like Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Maya Angelou as one of Heather Covington’s Top 100 Literary Divas. She serves as a staff writer for Black Men In America.com, has published her short story “Third Shift Blues” in Black Romance Magazine, and holds the esteemed “Rising Star” award from the Memphis Black Writers Guild. Jessica has twice been recognized for her excellence in graphic design.
Furthermore, Jessica is a sought-after speaker, lending her expertise to various platforms, including book club events, writing conferences, industry gatherings, and creative writing programs. She is deeply committed to supporting writers and all creative professionals, passionately devoted to helping them thrive in the dynamic world of publishing.
The Journey Begins…
Jessica’s journey into publishing began with a book club meeting featuring Collen Dixon, author of “Simon Says.” Held at Sibanye Books in Baltimore, Maryland, the meeting and Collen’s story of writing her first book ignited a spark within Jessica. Inspired, she embarked on her own manuscript, “Anything Goes.” However, she faced the daunting prospect of submitting to a publisher, which was a source of fear and anxiety due to her apprehension about rejection.
To overcome this fear, Jessica opted for self-publishing. Her decision was both intimidating and exhilarating. While attending a writing and publishing workshop by Robin Green at Coppin State University, Jessica attended a self-publishing seminar led by three self-published authors: Collen Dixon, Brenda L. Thomas, and Jamellah Ellis. Their insights lit a fire within her, pushing her to explore self-publishing further. Jamellah recommended “The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing” by Tom & Marilyn Ross, which became an invaluable resource for Jessica.
Over the next two decades, she continued to refer to this guide, highlighting key insights and taking away valuable lessons. She also expanded her knowledge with additional resources on writing and scriptwriting. This journey culminated in Jessica’s mastery of not looking self-published, a skill she now shares with her clients.
Jessica Tilles welcomes the opportunity to work with you, leveraging her extensive experience to help you self-publish your book the right way. Reach out to her, and let’s embark on this publishing journey together!