Conversations: Self-Publish?


You know, one of these days I am going to take my courage in my hands and actually do the unthinkable again. Attempt to self-publish. My last experience left me so badly frightened that I ran yelping to traditional publishing.

I have read Guy Kawasaki, for days after that; I saw vision of me becoming a successful Indy author. Slept at night with such dreams and woke up with palpitations. Each time my husband asked what the matter was; I will whisper and dramatically announce I was thinking of doing the self-publish route again. Alarm would jump into his eyes and I would hurriedly assure him I was really toying with the idea.

light-at-the-end-of-the-self-publishing-tunnelYou will need to understand where we are coming from. Self-publishing in my country is really the only way to get read. But take a pause and see what gets published, some of them have no business being published because it was not edited, nor spell checked nor… I could go on.

On the other side of the lake are the traditional publishers, in my country, you will need to be in the suffocating air of the politicians for a serious publisher to take you seriously.

Here is a simple scenario, so you think you have written a good book? The questions start coming in

  1. Is it a recommended school text? And you answer with a tentative no defending yourself by saying it can be read for pleasure… the publisher’s looks behind you wondering who let the lunatic into his office. This does not look like a charity organization damn it.
  2. Are you a politician and spilling the dirt on some opposition? The publisher will first check with his lawyer to see if you had the potential of getting away with it and so more people are likely to want to buy the book so they can tell what the rumpus was all about. The publisher really doesn’t want to know if you had just scratched your itchy backsides and was using the book to rile your opponent up so you get publicity. A political party might just be interested in giving you political office if you story is really irritating enough. The publishers like this. They have a style, they do a big Book Presentation, call all the honorable thieves from your camp and the other opposing camp and the book is launched. You get paid and everybody forgets the book. No one wants to know if you never sell one more copy after the presentation date. See what I mean?
  3. There is the other option though as the publisher allows his finger to hover the security button, He makes a small cough, puts his most charming fake smile on his face and asks you if you know someone in the education sector, specifically in the curricula section who might suggest your book as a recommended text. The Lord help you if you answer is negative because in a blink you will be outside the gate of the establishment.

The last time I tried something like that, I almost had to promise my arm and my heart. The trouble was, my heart bled so much that nobody wanted it, least of all me.

Then I came online and I am being seduced into thinking I can try again. But maybe I need to go read Guy’s book again. Maybe I need more dreams, or hunger so acute that I would grab at a chance to do it alone again. It is a nice nightmare that has the potentials of being a dream and who knows you just might reach for it one day in a book store near you.

How is that?

  1. Avatar of Jack Eason
    Jack Eason says

    Biola my dear, have the courage of your convictions. Go for it! 😀

  2. Avatar of Andrew J. Sacks
    Andrew J. Sacks says

    Biola, I echo the positive words of our colleague Jack. Just always be sure to take on the sacred duty of most careful editing and proofreading, as you may well be the first and last step in the writing process on this journey. Best of fortune to you!

  3. Avatar of Joyce White
    Joyce White says

    Biola, best of luck. Follow your heart.

  4. Avatar of Biola Olatunde
    Biola Olatunde says

    Thanks everyone, I am taking the first tentative steps and sweating blood as I go over what I have written, editing and hoping someone else will check it through for me. Steeling myself for the feared kicks that may come and praying I may get a nod or two of approval. Who wants to read Nigerian?

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