My Mission is to inspire 100 million readers with the courage to take a chance on themselves to do what they are afraid to do in life, today —that they may be at peace with themselves tomorrow.My name is Yahaya Baruwa, a Canadian entrepreneur and novelist. I was born and raised in Kano, Nigeria in the late 1980s before immigrating to Canada in 2001 at the age of twelve with my family. I live in Toronto and lead at Tapestry House Publishing Company, an enterprise which I founded in 2010.In addition, I am a Canadian bestselling novelist and the author of inspirational trilogy, Struggles of a Dreamer: The Battle between a Dream and Tradition (published 2010); Tunde: A Man of Lost Ambition (published 2015); and The Adventures of Ellie (coming soon). Read more about the trilogy here.
What inspired the book?
In 2009 - as part of my new year’s resolution, I challenged myself to write an inspiring novel with the goal to inspire one readers with the courage to go after their most desired dream in life. My inspiration came from a misunderstanding that I had with my father. When I was still in second year at York University, I decided that I wanted to write a novel as a challenge for myself; however, my father thought that I was going to abandon school to do so. He said, “Focus on school and do not be distracted.”
I misunderstood his point of view and thought he meant, “Don’t do anything but go to school.” I was upset and decided to write the book anyway, but in secret. About two years later, after the publication of the novel, I realized that my father, like all fathers, had only been trying to ensure that I got school out of the way before committing to something else. Fortunately, my father loves the fact that I have completed my undergraduate degree as well as become a young published author. It is safe to say that he is happy and proud of his son.
The Road to Self-Publishing
The road to publication was not an easy one. Choosing to be unconventional, I did not attempt to publish my novel with a “traditional publishers” i.e. Penguin, Random house, Simon & Schuster’s or the like. On the contrary, being an entrepreneur, I decided to establish my own publishing house, Tapestry House Publishing with $7,500 in savings and funds from family and friend.
Today I am proud to say that I have written, produced and sold (and continue to sell) my first and second novels in a trilogy, Struggles of a Dreamer and Tunde: A Man of Lost Ambition. I have sold more than 43,000 copies of my novels with over 50,000 copies in-print and have generated more than $900,000 in revenue.
I have been featured/talked about in a variety of media outlets including: CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Canada’s Smartest Person, and Our Toronto; Anancy Magazine, Elonn Magazine, CHRY Radio, Canadian Immigrant Magazine, Pride News Magazine, Paste Magazine, Bella Naija, Snap’d News, Excalibur Newspaper, Freshpreneur.com, Huff Pos, InspireMeToday, Share Newspaper and more. See Media.
Side-note: I am now convinced that an author's book does not have to have the backing of a traditional publisher to be a financial success. He or she can self-publish their own book with the same level of quality or better and succeed financially. This is because a large portion of the book's revenue is kept by the author, not the publisher. However there is a catch - the level of success enjoyed by the author depends largely on the sweat equity he or she is willing to bring forth. Read this guide to learn how to sell your Self-Published book offline
- I wrote my first inspirational novel, Struggles of a Dreamer in 2009
- On October 2010, I established my publishing house - Tapestry House Publishing - to produce and market my novels
- I sold my novel Struggles of a Dreamer door-to-door for nearly three years. I knocked on more than 27,000 doors
- I have been featured/talked about in a variety of media outlets including: CBC’s George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Canada’s Smartest Person, and Our Toronto and more. See Media
- I wrote my second inspirational novel, Tunde: A Man of Lost Ambition in 2013
- I became a bestselling novelist 2014
- I became the recipient of the 2014 African Canadian Achievement Award of Excellence for Youth Achievement
- I was unsuccessful in printing the World's Largest Published Novel after multiple failed Kickstarter Crowdfunding campaigns in 2015. I will succeed in due time.
- My second novel, Tunde: A Man of Lost Ambition, released on January 23, 2016
- I printed my largest print-run to-date, 15,000 copies of Struggle of a Dreamer in May 2016
- I wrote my third inspirational novel, The Adventures of Ellie in the summer of 2017
- As of the year 2020, I have done nearly 1,000 in-store book-signing events with Chapters-Indigo
- I have sold more than 47,000 copies of my novels with over 50,000 copies in-print
- On March 6th, 2020 I became a The Self Publishing Author Bookselling Mentor -I teach independent authors how to sell their self-published books offline in-stores at with Chapters-Indigo Bookstores. Read this bookselling crash course
Click here to shop the Struggles of a Dreamer trilogy.