The one in which I come back intact after self-publishing a book

It’s difficult to write. Writing a novel is difficult, if you’ve every tried that adventure. Even a short story, where there’s a lot of limitation on charter development and how much you can talk about. You could say I went for the easy way out in my publication project- I decided to do a poetry chapbook. Nothing big, between 15 and 18 poems.

Oh boy was I wrong.

I love writing poetry, but having to write to a time scale (that being that ability to launch my book at the Cultural Exchanges festival in Leicester) really takes the fun out of writing sometimes. Although a few of the poems I included were a case of just editing and improving some bits. I look back at it now and I actually don’t like what I wrote and published, and it’s only been a week. It’s because if you’ve been around something for long, you start to only see the negatives. I’m sure you’ve felt like this yourself when you write an essay, or blog post, or a letter. It’s kind of like hearing your own voice played back from a recording- it sucks, it cringes you out, and you want to turn it off.

So yeah, I had to so this publication for a uni project, so it’s actually graded. not on the content but on the publishing quality, the way it’s type set, how the cover looks- basically, how professional it is.


What’s it about?

Basically Herbata is the Polish word for tea. It’s unique in that I swear Polish is the only language in which the word for tea is completely different and not some variation of “tea” or “che” or “chai.”

For a good while now, I’ve found myself writing about my experiences as a Polish immigrant in Britain. It’s not really touched upon in contemporary writing, although you know- there’s an awful lot Polish immigrants in the UK. So much so we’re really not liked by a lot of people. Even other immigrants who have been in the country longer, hate us. I wanted to bring people a tad closer together by showing some stories of ordinary people, everyday situations and my feelings towards awkward situations we all experience. I tackled things like bullying and feeling cautious of patriotism and being questions at the dinner table with family.

I could honestly explain everything about this book. Talk you through every word and grammatical choice, stanzas and punctuation. I want you to just feel it. Dive deep into it and what i’s about. Figure out for yourself why one poem is in Polish and play about with it- translate it to what you think it means. Race with your imagination.

What now?

It’s been emotional, seeing you guys with copies of my book in your hands, sending over photos and your thoughts about it. I appreciate it so much. I never wrote this to make any money, and I doubt I will, but the thought of buying someone’s time and soul to share memories and my idea of identity with- that’s a whole new way of the universe collaborating.

If you feel like reading it, you can get a copy on amazon through this short and sweet link.

I appreciate any reviews, so if you’re interested in a free copy of the ebook in exchange for an honest review- either on amazon or your blog, feel free to contact me. If you’ve already bought yours, what do you think?

Also, I’ve tried live streaming on instagram and it wasn’t too bad! Watch out for that, and follow me there

Once I get my head around planning posts out, I will also blog about how you can get your work self published with amazon.

-Love you all, stay warm in the snow!



  • Kal

    congratulations, Alicia. I’m truly happy for you and I hope good things come from this book. The brief insight you gave about the book is actually quite insightful. The perception around polish immigrants in britain and your intentions for the book is really kind. Herbata. Given our prior conversations about tea, I thought this title may have had reference to it.

    • Alicja

      Thank you very much! I appreciate your comment. Ah yes, it did reference that notion of tea and the similarities and differences of the ways we have tea.

  • Melanie

    Congratulations on being a self published author- it’s what lots of us dream of doing but not many achieve. The subject matter is something I haven’t heard being written about before and being in poem form will I’m sure mean it’s easily accessible for many people .
    Thanks for sharing and good luck I hope your book is a massive success ❤️

    Melanie |

  • Bexa

    Congratulations on your poetry book Alicja 💖. It’s really interesting to read more about the title and how the book came to life. This is such an amazing thing to do and I wish you all the success! Great post lovely 💕😘 xx

    Bexa |

  • Charlene McElhinney

    I loved this post so much! I actually self-published my first book (a collection of poetry) last year via amazon (create space) so I found this super duper interesting! Huge congrats, girl! I know how intricate the process is!

    Charlene McElhinney

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