Things to note if you want to self publish

September 12, 2020

Paul akowatacharo mu ifea ofuma (Paul did not clearly describe this thing to me) Andy, the lead character told his friend Paul when he came to reality on the requirements for joining a secret cult in the movie Living in Bondage. I guess Andy did not ask and hence was not told that the journey was that far so he was caught up between the devil and the deep sea.

Like Andy, I did not ask Paul for clear description of what it meant to self publish and hence have been caught up in many places and I am still trying to navigate my way around the business. Like every trade, even if it is selling toothpicks, there are always details you will not know until you are initiated.

I had set out to write a book having been writing short essays and encouraged by my audience to give them something more than the little tonics. So I gave it a thought and on 13th September 2013 opened an abstract on the work. My aim was to create something different, enjoyable for my audience and myself. That was the motivation but nothing prepared me for the journey of a thousand miles the whole episode turned out to be.

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Having completed the work, the first distaste was realizing that I had to reread the material for every reviewer feedback. You can imagine that this is not same as reading a novel, since you have to read with pen and pencil to correct and update the manuscript. Worst is when you realize you may have to make major changes to the manuscript depending on the feedback. And when you have finished working on your reviewer’s feedback and think you are done, only to realize that it is just phase one.

For me making a choice of publisher was another phase. Local or international; with their pros and cons. I settled for international and then the issue of cost for the publication. The publisher in this case had different products in offer and as a starter it was not easy understanding what each product entailed in detail. I tell you, their Paul agaghi akowatachara gi  (will not tell you ) everything. I defaulted to the least product they had on offer because of the price. However when the first round of their review came back the consultant working with me encouraged me to upgrade my package given the potential they had seen in the work! They off course offered 50% discount on the package to woo me. To be fair I was better off subscribing to the upgrade but my only problem was that Paul akowatachara mu ifea ofuma (Paul did not give me the details!). With the first review then came the real content editing. This is different from my earlier private reviews. This time you are looking at a specialist working the material to bring it to international standards and you even have to choose whether you want the work reviewed in UK or American English. The problem with this phase was that the work was not part of the publishing deal! Akwam gwara gi na Paul… (I guess I told you that Paul..,) Anyway the worst part of this one is that the work is done per word count and boy my word were plenty at over a hundred and fifty thousand. Who send me bikonu! The cost was about 2 or 3 cents per word! Again I had to ask for massive discount to get through this phase. After several months of stalling, I got through with the discount and we continued our journey. After the content editing, as usual you have to review the manuscript again to accept or decline the proposed changes. Once that is done, they got to the production stage where again you had to review the manuscript to accept or update the work before it goes into production. At some point you are required to pay for any subsequent changes. In my case I was to pay up to three hundred dollars for relevant updates but I wriggled my way out of that one by arguing that I was not warned upfront about the pending charges. My argument was solid and based on the fact that if I was warned it would have triggered more diligent hard copy review than the on-screen reviews I had done. I narrowly escaped that one but not the advertising consultant’s bucket of advertising options that starts from about 2000 dollars! Yes 2000 dollars!

Up to this point I had never given a thought about advertising. But I then realized that the mandate does not stop at writing a book! It became clear that if you write a book no one gets to know about or read, you have not accomplished anything! Hence you have to think about a budget to put the book in the front burner for people to see it is there.

Finally, a complication for me was the way to get the book to the Nigerian audience my first line audience for the book, though it is written with an international audience in mind. That was when the complication associated with hiring an international publisher dawned on me. The fact that you can’t find a print-on-demand company locally, since printing and stocking books is not ideal. When you buy books on Amazon for example they print it just as you demanded it! Having such service locally will at least lower the transportation cost for the buyers but it is difficult for me to find such service. Maybe I have not looked wide enough. The ones I was pointed to have ebooks and the one that does print copy requires you to send the books to them. They do only distribution which increased the cost as you first have to ship the books to them.

Interesting dynamics to the world of self publishing that Paul…..

At least now you know so don’t blame Paul next time.

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Good news; Aladinma my first self published work got released 23rd July. Find it on Amazon, Barnesandnobles and other webstores. If you are in Nigeria You can also contact me via email or phone to order a copy on your behalf and have it Autographed.

Obidike Peter wrote from and

Monday 17th August 2020

Praise for Aladinma by my very busy friend Godian Ndukauba

Dr Piro! I’m so excited to let everyone know that Aladinna is one of the most interesting book judging by the few chapters I’ve read.
Naturally I’m a slow reader unless it’s work related or a book that will bring in money, however I’ve already done five chapters in just 24hrs even with my tight work schedule.
No doubt I will soon place a couple of orders for close friends and relatives.
I’m awed on how you were able to put this together considering your petroleum engineering background.
Congrats bro and looking forward to more publications from you in the near future.

Praise for Aladinma by Nonso Agharanya 1
I read Chapter2 (Ginika goes to school) aloud with me children. They did not allow me drop it until the last full stop.
They want to know what happened to Ugo And Ebi the lagos boys who came back to Owerri to have their primary education just to imbibe Igbo cultural values?
Infact my son after the story begged me to sent him to Adventist Techical school Owerrenta.
And am considering that.

Praise for Aladinma by Nonso Agharanya 2

I de do like *Ginika*.
@ Chapter 2 of *Aladinma*
That Odaginma son is something else.
Am enjoying the piece
*Aladinma na sure bet*
Peter well done for that master piece of a book.

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