Tell us a little bit about yourself - what should our readers know about you?
My name is Sanura Williams and I am the laugh out loud, solo traveling, book loving owner and founder of My Lit Box, a book subscription box committed to celebrating writers of color. I was born, raised, and currently reside in Los Angeles, CA.
Can you describe the inspiration behind My Lit Box? What's the most important thing that you want people to know about it?
The decision to start a business came from wanting to have a say in the work I was doing and wanting it to be impactful in some way. Given my love reading, it was a no brainer that books would be involved in a major way. As for My Lit Box’s focus on writers of color, that stemmed from seeing how little effort was being put into amplifying their works. It looked as if the book boxes that already existed were just keeping the status quo going, and I wanted to interrupt that and say “Look at these amazing writers over here, telling their own stories!” And that’s the most important thing I want people to take from My Lit Box.
On a technical level, what does your day-to-day routine look like when you're running My Lit Box?
I’m always reviewing books to consider for inclusion in future boxes so I’m reading books every day and My Lit Box is nothing without our community and they are priority number one. So the day to day largely involves engaging that community by sharing news, articles, interviews, about books, reading, and writers across our social media platforms and addressing any questions and concerns.
Have you faced any challenges since starting My Lit Box? Can you describe one particularly difficult one, and how you overcame it?
I think the biggest, ongoing challenge I face with My Lit Box is that it’s a one woman show. Although I’ve had help on occasion, most of the day to day responsibilities fall on my plate in addition to having a full time job. The one thing that has been my saving grace in helping me manage is planning and scheduling my days. Allotting time to just reading, or sourcing product for the boxes, or creating content to share across our social media platforms.
Describe your working style - do you think best when you're around other people or alone? How do you connect with other creatives?
I do my best work alone early in the morning. I call 5AM - 7AM my magic hours because I feel like the rest of the world is still asleep and I can avoid distraction. By the end of that two hour block, I’m always amazed at how much work I got done.
As for connecting with other creatives, this is a work in progress for me because I’m such an introvert and building relationships has always been tough for me. But social media has made that easier. I look at some of the connections I’ve made with other creatives that started just from liking or commenting on one another’s work and everything blossomed from there. So, as bad of a rap as social media gets sometimes, good definitely blossoms from it.
What have you learned about yourself since starting My Lit Box? Do you think you've grown as a person?
Since starting My Lit Box, something that has been validated for me, rather than learned, is that I have good ideas. My Lit Box was just an idea that came to me one day and it still blows my mind that people see the value in it and that is so affirming for me.
What's the best part of running My Lit Box? What do you love the most about your business?
The best part of running My Lit Box is honestly the community it puts me in contact with. Creating content that resonates with them, selecting books that speak to them, and hearing their feedback means the world to me and makes the occasional hiccup all worth it. This community is what I love most about this business.
And check out her Ten Facts feature here.