Congratulations at whatever point you have reached with your author journey. I know that it’s challenging as much as it’s exciting, but am so proud you have chosen to express yourself in this way while at the same time impacting the world.

Photograph by: Mwalumah Joseph

Am a self-published author having successfully published two books. My first one is an inspirational one, ‘The Quotist’… and the second one a fiction fairy tale book ‘The Crystal Ball Fell’.
There are two ways of publishing. Using a publishing house or self-publishing. You might pick either for your first book but the thing is, as in any other case, there are pros and cons in both methods.
In case you do not have the finances to do self-publishing, you may approach a publishing house but they might not pick your book if it may not be resonating with them, their genre, their market or their niche or just maybe the exact thing they might be looking for at that moment. Don’t worry and do not settle queen or king. Dust settles, you don’t. You can still publish your book via the self-publishing method but honey it will cost you and cost you well. Again, do not be dismayed. You could have set the money aside but if you haven’t set enough, you probably have someone who can support you or you could fundraise from your friends or even get a company to sponsor towards your idea or just something. All in all, do not give up on your dream because of finances.
So the self – publishing process, what does it entail?
Three main sub-processes: Editing, layout & cover design then finally printing.
These three main processes is where the buck stops and they are carried out by three main entities.
Now why I say this is where the buck stops is because, these people can either make or break your book. You can pay them hundreds of thousands of shillings and still end up with no book or a book that is not up to standard especially if it’s your first book or books. Am sorry to scare you… but you see, for any job, you must find the correct people to do the job and in life, I advice people to have a life mentor or guide and this may include a talent mentor or career mentor.
One of the challenges I experienced while editing my second book is not finding a great fiction editor in Kenya, who would be as crazy and diverse enough to understand my mind and ideas and bring my baby into fruition. I ended up using three editors and only the first one was as crazy and creative enough to streamline my fiction thoughts while at the same time bring the ideas out in a palatable and interesting manner. By Jove. The Struggles.
You can check out my books on the following links by the way:

The Quotist

The Crystal Ball Fell

Also feel free to order by calling 0748000820.
Let me continue to advise you to be a reader if you desire to be a writer because, well you have to jog your brain constantly. My books are written in Kenyan settings and hence will be great for you to benchmark upon as you continue to grow as an author. Hey, am growing too. Do benchmark with other books as well. Please do.
Back to the self-publishing process.
Editing will entail numerous back and forth emails where you discuss about the book. For my first book, it was smooth sailing since it was non-fiction. The second one, all my editors got stuck at some point.
Layout and cover design just require someone creative, periodt.
Printing can be another mess if you are not keen. Ensure you check the sample thoroughly but even though you do, check again on final delivery. We had to re-do some of my fiction books even after final delivery.
A publishing house can be great to launch you into the market and build your brand. Either way, nothing is stopping you from doing both, but remember the publishing house takes quite a high percentage of your book sales money since they finance everything including marketing.
I have found self-publishing create a better relationship for me with the people I sell to since I push the book myself and create that one on one real time arena, where the people even get to know me deeper, the other enterprises I own, the causes I stand for an push and just who I am. For the publishing house, just expect a cheque and probably a few meet and greets here and there but you are in a controlled setting and a bit distanced from the hoi-polloi.
I am looking into launching a book consultancy program to enable first time authors to have a better structure of working to create their books and also be able to select the best service providers to work with.

For now, am doing a one-on-one consultancy with regard to this. Reach me on the same number that you’ll use to purchase my book i.e. 0748000820 if you require someone to walk with you on this critical but tremendous journey but so that you can thrive faster and safe. Remember cheap is expensive. Seek some guidance and win in the end.
Nice chatting with you all. May you thrive and prosper.



Muthoni Kirumba

The author Muthoni Kirumba

Leave a Response