Papatia Feauxzar––Founder of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing
Papatia Feauxzar is the Founder of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing, an American author, barista, and publisher. Feauxzar also holds a master's degree in Accounting with a concentration in Personal Finance. After working as a senior accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue Accounting from home while homeschooling her son. She is now the Online Editor at Hayati Magazine, the founder of Fofky's online store, and has been featured in DFW Child and Voyage Dallas.
Papatia, you are a publisher, writer, author, and ––the Founder of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing. Wearing only your publisher's hijab for just a moment, can you tell us a little about DKP [Djarabi Kitabs Publishing] Primarily what motivated you to become a book publisher, and what do you see as your vision for DKP's future?
Papatia Feauxzar: I am a sucker for romance, and while growing up in Africa, I was exposed to Ivorian and International romance novels, amongst other dramatic tales. I loved the diversity we had. If there is one thing the colonialists did well in Africa, it was contributing to education. Anyway, I couldn't find one with a Muslim protagonist that closely shared my struggles in all of these books. So, whatever I felt was lacking in all these books to make them relatable to me and people of my faith, I included in my three-book romance series titled "Bloom." For the future, I see more books of diverse genres being published by DKP insha’Allah. Alhamdullilah.
SA: Marketing books are the bane of most authors' existence––a necessary evil. With everything now going on [COVID-19, recession, widespread unemployment, protests, etc.], what do you think the future of book marketing will look like?
PF: Reading has always provided an escape for many people, so, book sales have increased in this economic downturn—Alhamdullilah for everything. However, if we all become writers due to widespread unemployment, the market will become saturated…
SA: As a publisher, how much say do you give your authors on the title and cover design? What has been the most rewarding experience you have had with publishing?
PF: I give them full control over these details. If I don't, tension will arise. I only step in when the authors become too indecisive, and things are stalling for no apparent reason. Then, I make an executive decision since I have a deadline to abide to by the contract.
Finally, as a publisher, I try to help my authors put their vision on the design request, and the designer and the author come together to bring the concept to reality. Increased knowledge, networking, and leaving a legacy are the rewarding experiences I have earned so far with publishing. I'm grateful for that.
A small portion of DKP's Published Book Shelf
SA: In your experience as both a publisher and writer, what do you find to be the most challenging part of budgeting your time? Can you share some of your winning strategies for how best to organize, plan, and prioritize the workday?
PF: Being a planner type of person, I hardly find it difficult to prioritize. I use my planner and self-motivate myself. I don't like wasting time. I want to be efficient and productive. So, in all, getting a planner, and actually using it, reading motivational quotes, and self-care are some of my winning strategies. Spirituality also is an energy source I harvest to remain productive. He is al Qadir. Alhamdullilah.
SA: But being is author is entirely different 'job' and how you approach the creative process. Did publishing your first book change your writing process?
PF: Quite a lot. With your first published book, you make many mistakes in writing, marketing, editing, and the whole process. Your research of the industry and the nuts and bolts are still not solid. Seven years down the line, I have learned things that are not in the rule book.
SA: Agreed––I look back on the writing journey and how much there was and still is to learn, and I get mentally tired all over again. How about you? Does writing energize or exhausts you? And if possible, can you give writers 1-health tip for staying happy and healthy during an especially grueling writing process?
PF: It depends on the story. If the story takes me by trance and won't go away, I find myself enjoying pounding on my laptop keys and talking to myself like a madwoman. It's so fun when I get hit by a new book. It's exhilarating and simply a lovely chaos I enjoy floating on until after the multiple edits.
SA: I like that description––"If the story takes me by trance and won't go away." How many novels have you had published so far?
PF: I have written eight novels to date, alhamdulillah.
SA: Eight! Impressive. And moving forward? What does literary success look like to you?
PF: Literary success, for me, means a lot of things. For instance, publishing a book and not dying with an untold story is equal to literary success. It also can mean selling some copies of it or being recognized as a talented writer by your readers."
SA: True. And how did you decide?
PF: It's multi-faceted, in my opinion. There is no one right answer or only one type of literary success. I could have used all my savings to print thousands and thousands of copies of my best novel and tour the country to promote it and push it in every possible bookstore who would have me. But instead, I preferred to invest that money in my publishing company and eBook store and into the budding writers of the ummah.
SA: Forgive me, I have to ask this because I'm nosey. Do you hide any secrets in your books that only a few people will find?
PF: Well, I have so many real events weaved in my stories… Most artists find inspiration in their own lives. The professional incidents in my career or the intimate parts are hard to write at times. Most people assume the last bits come straight from my bedroom. The reality is they don't. Many people have more 'action' than I do because I'm an ascetic. A lot of intimate scenarios are just plain imagination and mischievousness. You got to let it out somewhere *laughs.* To give you an example, in my latest novel, the protagonist has a couple of office romances. I have never had these things, but did people around me at my old job have them? Yes.
I will end with:
"A writer is someone who has taught his mind to misbehave." ― Oscar Wilde.
And I have…
SA: Are there any book projects you currently are working on now, both as a publisher and as an author?
PF: I'm working on launching three children's books by three different authors, alhamdulillah. As an author, I must finish reading a graphic novel, a children's book, two YA books, and a historical novel. To avoid writing my books, I binge read, lol!
SA: Where can readers ––and writers–– find not only your work but your publishing company?
PF: They can look me up on my Amazon page: https://www.amazon.com/Papatia-Feauxzar/e/B00JH4H2V0 or my blogs mentioned in my bio. I use the company website mainly for business dealing with my signed authors.
Papatia Feauxzar is the Founder of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing. She is also an American author, barista, and publisher of West African descent living in Dallas, Texas, with her husband and son. Feauxzar holds a master's degree in Accounting with a concentration in Personal Finance. After working as a senior accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue Accounting from home while homeschooling her son. She is now the Online Editor at Hayati Magazine, the founder of Fofky's online store, and has been featured in DFW Child and Voyage Dallas. To learn more about Papatia, you can visit her blogs at:
If you would like to contact Papatia Feauxzar, you can follow her on Facebook and Instagram:
@Djarabikpub and @fofkys
Follow us on Twitter:
@Djarabikpub and @fofky_s
For more information, contact
DJARABI KITABS PUBLISHING
PO BOX 703733
DALLAS, TX 75370