Authorpreneurship as a Platform for Transformation by Cameka “Ruth” Taylor

“Endurance is not just the ability to bear a hard thing but to turn it into glory.”

- William Barclay, Author and Theologian

On the heels of a broken engagement in April 2014, a quote I read in a book as a teenager leaped into my mind. It was a rallying cry to not waste my experiences and a call to write and go the extra mile to see lives transformed. After that heartache, I had lost the will to live, but God used the experience as a springboard to give birth to my writing career and a business called Extra MILE Innovators to transform my struggles into something glorious.

In just a little over a month before my 34th birthday, I wrote my first book, “Heartache Queen Unshackled.” Little did I know then, that the call to write would perfectly align with my missionary goals and the vision I had received in Namibia and Zambia in 2013, on one of my missionary journeys. Little did I know then that writing would play a role in my studies in the future, or that I would pursue a doctorate in Transformational Leadership at Bakke Graduate University.

When my service as a missionary with Operation Mobilization ended in 2014, and my marital plans failed, I started making plans to migrate and study overseas, but God interrupted my plans. One day while reading Psalm 37, I got an explicit command, “Live in the land, feed on truth and I will sustain you.” By this time, I had exhausted all my funds in making preparations to do my GRE to matriculate into a doctoral program. So, now I was broke, broken-hearted and stuck in Jamaica, in need of a way to still do my doctorate without leaving the island.

During this period of upheaval, in June 2014, God gave me a blueprint for my future which I called my “Design to Win.” It involved transforming lives globally through writing and missions while living in Jamaica. By January 2015, my first book was published, and by the end of that year, I had been accepted into BGU to do my doctoral studies online.

However, I did not start BGU as I still needed much inner healing and my finances were in a bad way. In 2015-2019, God began to show me how to implement the blueprint, similar to what a missionary in Africa, whom I met in Zambia, was doing.

Hannes van Jaarsveldt was a South African missionary working with Operation Mobilization (OM) in Zambia. He had found a new way to support mission work, provide jobs, disciple others, and engage in community transformation. Hannes did this by building apartments and renting them. In the process, he financially supported 60% of the mission work. This meant that OM Zambia would not have to depend primarily on donations for their mission work. He called what he did “Impact Multiplied.”

I wanted to replicate the model, but I was no architect. However, God showed me how, through writing, I could do the same thing, starting with myself as a pilot.

In October 2019, I did my first course at BGU and this helped me to connect the dots. By this time, my writing had begun to sustain me financially through building book-based initiatives and a concept called “Authorpreneurship.”

For me, authorpreneurship meant leveraging books as a platform to build a business for impact and income by creating book-based initiatives like courses, seminars and author support services. Books, in this model, become a vehicle for a vision and a platform and tool for transformation and financial freedom. Through authorpreneurship, I started to gain financial freedom, and no longer needed donor-based financial support to survive.

My second course at BGU, “Organizational Assessment” with Dr. Jeremy Graves, taught me how to organize a business to mirror what Hannes had done. That course, along with Asset-Based Community Development and Appreciative Inquiry (ABCD-AI), changed my life. Both showed me that Jamaica was an asset, along with my lived experiences, and I saw why God told me to remain in Jamaica.

Using the knowledge of the course and Dr. Graves’ counsel, in November 2021, in the middle of a pandemic, I incorporated a business called BambuSparks. This is a book-based business for transformation that will help others to gain economic freedom, do mission work, and empower others globally. BambuSparks offers book publishing services and has a job creation arm. We believe books are the perfect spark to get the fire going in your personal life, business, or ministry.

Our vision is to raise up 10,000 Authorpreneurs by 2030. This means getting 10,000 first-time authors from the Caribbean, its diaspora and other developing countries to tell their stories in a book and build initiatives around their books. It is replicating what books have done in my life in the lives of others. It expands on the work I have done since 2016 with books.

Since 2016, I have helped over two dozen authors to write their first book, and they have started or expanded new ministries/businesses and seen increased income. Along the way, I have also published over 20 books for myself and enabled over 20 persons from across the Caribbean, Europe and Africa to earn an income by working with me to publish books. These include teenagers in my publishing school for teens.

This is how God has turned my heartbreak into something glorious.Now, how does this all tie in with my dissertation? The proposed topic for my dissertation is “Authorpreneurship as a model for poverty alleviation.” When I spoke to Dr. Martine Audeoud, the Associate Dean at BGU, she said it was a good idea. It will capture my authorpreneurial journey, the work we will do in BambuSparks and the transformational impact of this model. I know first-hand that books alleviate poverty, open doors for us to share our testimonies and take the Gospel from the four walls to the world. This is my Design to Win blueprint in motion.

I am grateful to BGU and for those two courses that showed me beauty and abundance in places where I once saw only deficits. I am grateful to my tutors for their support in fleshing out the vision. By God’s grace, I will finish BGU and put this degree in Transformational Leadership into action.

For more information on BambuSparks, visit To see my books, visit