Ek’abo Ebi! (Welcome Family!)
I am currently facing a conundrum.  When I started my journey with Amachi’s Hope, I was absolutely sure that my path would lead me to traditional publishing.  I queried agents and publishers with my mind set in that direction. But as time progressed, I began to re-evaluate my decision.  Is traditional publishing the right choice for me? Or should I consider self-publishing instead.  I know. I know. “A decision like that should be made before you start querying.”  But things can happen during that time that may affect or cause you to question your choice.
When I wrote my book, I placed it squarely under the category of YA fantasy.  But then I found out about other genres such as: speculative fiction and sword and soul (for those of you who are not familiar, sword and soul is African-inspired heroic fantasy) and I discovered that my book may also fall under one of those categories.  Not to mention how certain elements of my story (e.g. Yoruba deities etc.) influenced my book’s sub-genre.
I needed to decide which option would most benefit my book and me.  So I decided to sit down and review the pros and cons; self-publishing vs. traditional publishing.
There are a number of pros and cons for self-publishing but the ones that stood out for me were:
Pro:    You have control over the price of your book and the cover art
Con:   You are solely responsible for marketing your book
Pro:    Publication is instant
Con:   You are also financially responsible for professional editing and formatting
Here are the options I found interesting for traditional publishing:
Pro:    Publisher is responsible for distribution and marketing
Con:   It can take months before your book is published
Pro:    Advance J
Con:   Difficult to break into the industry
Pro:    The publisher handles the editing and formatting
Con:   Your opinions/decisions in regards to your book don’t hold much weight (e.g. cover art)
A small-press publisher even informed me that if you self-publish, you can still pursue traditional publishing or a traditional publisher may consider your work. Goodness.  My hands were up in the air.  What choice was best for me?
Would my story draw a larger readership if I self-publish first? Would a publisher be able to reach out to more people than I can?  After some extensive research, I realized that there’s a market and following for my kind of book.  Not to mention, there are a number of publishers who handle fantasy based books influenced by cultures that are outside the norm.  So where does that leave me?
Regardless of my decision, I believe in me and my story.  Isn’t that all that really matters?  What direction have you decided to take? I would love to hear about your journey!
Mari e laipe!
See you soon!
Thanks for visiting ‘Amachi is Hope.’ If you were inspired or felt a connection with today’s blog (or any of my previous entries) please leave a comment. J