Manga Mania!

October is here! My favorite month. I’m also over excited because the creators of Bleach are blessing fans with a new final arc called BLEACH: Thousand-Year Blood War on October 10th, 2022. This blog post is going to take a minute to celebrate VIZ Media by taking a moment to gush over the awesome manga titles I’ve read from them as a rabid manga fan.

Bleach!

Here is a look at the new trailer, premiering on October 10, 2022. Ichigo Kurosaki coming your way with some Bankai! Don’t miss out. This show was really fun to watch. The characters going through multiple levels of growth, and the visuals only improved with each arc. Check out the full series if you can before you find the new arc.

VIZ has had some great releases. Here are a few of my fave preferences


1. Moriarty the Patriot

Moriarty the Patriot volume 2 cover

In the late 19th century, Great Britain rules over a quarter of the world. Nobles sit in their fancy homes in comfort and luxury, while the working class slaves away at their jobs. When young Albert James Moriarty’s upper-class family adopts two lower-class orphans, the cruelty the boys experience at his family’s hands cements Albert’s hatred of the nobility he was born into. He asks the older of the two boys—who has a genius mind and a killer instinct—to help him rid the world of evil, starting with Albert’s own family!

Storyboards by Ryosuke Takeuchi, Art by Hikaru Miyoshi

Based on the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Imprint SHONEN JUMP


Demon Slayer Final Volume cover

2. Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba

Learning to destroy demons won’t be easy, and Tanjiro barely knows where to start. The surprise appearance of another boy named Giyu, who seems to know what’s going on, might provide some answers—but only if Tanjiro can stop Giyu from killing his sister first!

Story and Art by Koyoharu Gotouge | Imprint SHONEN JUMP

Demon Slayer is complete. The final volume is No. 23. You can also check out the anime on Netflix.

Demon Slayer art

3. Platinum End

Platinum end volume 1 cover

As his classmates celebrate their middle school graduation, troubled Mirai is mired in darkness. But his battle is just beginning when he receives some salvation from above in the form of an angel. Now Mirai is pitted against 12 other chosen humans in a battle in which the winner becomes the next god of the world. Mirai has an angel in his corner, but he may need to become a devil to survive.

Story by Tsugumi Ohba, Art by Takeshi Obata | Imprint SHONEN JUMP | Platinum End is complete at Volume 14


4. Levius /est

levius est volume 1 cover

Having fought his way into the top grade of Mechanical Martial Arts, Levius faces an ever-changing world that grows more threatening by the day. The shadowy megacorporation Amethyst wields its military might across the world through advancements in the arena. Can Levius be the fighter who changes the course of the world’s fate?

Story and Art by Haruhisa Nakata | Imprint VIZ Signature

Levius /Est is complete at Volume 10.


More titles:

Fullmetal Alchemist

Bakuman

Blue Exorcist

Call Us What We Carry – A Beautiful Poetry Collection

Call Us What We Carry book cover

Call Us What We Carry

Amanda Gorman

Formerly titled The Hill We Climb and Other Poems, the luminous poetry collection by #1 New York Times bestselling author and presidential inaugural poet Amanda Gorman captures a shipwrecked moment in time and transforms it into a lyric of hope and healing. In Call Us What We Carry, Gorman explores history, language, identity, and erasure through an imaginative and intimate collage. Harnessing the collective grief of a global pandemic, this beautifully designed volume features poems in many inventive styles and structures and shines a light on a moment of reckoning. Call Us What We Carry reveals that Gorman has become our messenger from the past, our voice for the future.


Thoughts

I fell into this poetry book on a Saturday afternoon. I love so many poems in this book. I wish I could share them all, but that would spoil the fun of you discovering them for yourself…hahaha. So, I can only share the little gems I found between the many pages filled with Miss Gorman’s poetry.

In There’s No Power Like Home, she says:

 ‘…we were sick of home/Home sick. / That mask around our ear/ hung itself into the year.

The pandemic year so aptly described and our time at home certainly felt like forever. We became homebodies.


What we Carry banner

In Good Grief, she says,

‘…All that is grave need not be a burden, an anguish/ Call it, instead, an anchor…/ What we carry means we survive/It is what survives us

There are many grave experiences that touch our lives, the most profound one being the loss of those we love. In the storm that follows, the grief we carry makes us, defines who we are, who we become…Ms. Gorman argues it can be called good grief. Something that anchors us to what matters.


In the poem, Call Us, she says,

‘…at times over half of our bodies are not our own/…we are, a boat of a being/ A country/ A continent/ A planet / A Human/ We are we/ Call us/ What we carry

We are never the one thing, no matter how much one thinks so. If not from the country’s viewpoint, even at home we are a child/siblings/parents/aunts and uncles/friends/coworkers…so many parts of us. I love this poem.


In the Lighthouse, Miss Gorman quotes Terrence’s Homo sum, humani nihil a me alienum puto. (I’m human, I consider nothing that is human is alien to me.) Then writes of a year lived in isolation mode.

 ‘…this year was no year/ when next generations ask, we will say/ it went something like this: / the empty/ creaking playing grounds/…gatherings and people, gone to rust/’.

Describing the endless months of not meeting loved ones, coworkers, friends, and family. This poem ends with a bucket of hope that our harsh memories from that year will pass.

‘…hope is no silent harbor, no haven still/ it is the roaring thing that tugs us away/ from the very shores we clutch/…

We move forward despite the hard patch. We meet others now, pushing the fear of the pandemic away, after all, nothing human is alien to us.


In What We Carry, she says,

‘…children understand/ even grime is a gift/ what is mired is miraculous/ what is marred is still marvelous/

This poem reminds us of our childhood days, of running around with no care in the world. Playing in the dirt and lying on the grass staring at the clouds for hours. How we saw beauty before we grew up and our opinions and perception hardened. She speaks of emerging from the pandemic era.

‘…we have recalled how to touch each other/ and how to trust all that is good and all right/’.

How we must look beyond. Carry our hopes forward.

What We Have Left banner
'…We have learned our true names—/ not what we are called/ but what we are called to carry forth from here/ what do we carry, if not/ what and who we care most for/…’

Ms. Gorman ends this poem with a call to let go, to discard, ‘…our rage, our wreckage/ our hubris/ our hate/ our ghosts/ our greed/ our wrath/ our wars/ on the beating shore.’ She hopes we find a haven in what we have left after the ravaging storms we have faced.

‘…what we have left/ is all we need/ we are enough /armed only/ with our hands/ open but unemptied/ just like a blooming thing / we walk into tomorrow/ carrying nothing/ but the world.’

The Gilded Ones – Book Review

The Gilded Ones Book Cover

The Gilded Ones

by Namina Forna

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself. 

Book Review

Deka is hoping to undergo the purity ritual and earn acceptance among her people. However, an unexpected event in her village makes this dream impossible. She soon discovers that the people she has cared for, loved, and leaned on can turn on her in a second. Her blood runs gold, marking her as impure. In a society rooted too deep in patriarchy, this impurity dooms her to death without trial.

Deka’s people believe in Oyomo’s teachings. Communities revere this religion, and anything that ventures away from the teachings becomes impure. A girl with gold blood in her veins is judged impure on sight. For “…an impure girl is despised by Oyomo, her very existence an offense to Him. Her murder is sanctioned by the Infinite Wisdoms, and who can argue with the holy books? Who would dare even try? All the families can see from then on is the demon that somehow invaded their bloodline. The sheer wickedness of it stings…” – The Gilded Ones.

Deka is doomed to die until an opportunity finds her in the hole the elders have placed her. A hole where they kill her repeatedly in an effort to end her. This opportunity gives her a chance for a new life. A chance to discover if there is more to her gold blood, and may give her a reason to live. For Deka must learn how to live with impurity as she views it. She is a believer in Oyomo too, and hopes for salvation, even as she is the very thing this Oyomo condemns. It takes great effort to get her past these beliefs and the torture and pain she endures to find herself beyond the Infinite Wisdoms can only be called a rebirth.

The Gilded Ones is not an easy fantasy read. It is full of torture and abuse of women, born from the weight of religious extremism. The religion in question is Oyomo’s holy book called the Infinite Wisdoms. The priests who teach these pearls of wisdom persecute young girls and women like Deka born from what they call The Gilded Ones. The truth of the Gilded Ones is therefore hidden in the persecution that soon turns the cruelty toward the gold-blooded women into a common occurrence.

Deka fights these injustices, trying to find the truth behind her existence. Who she is and why she is persecuted. In time, when she learns the truth, it becomes clear that she must survive and earn a life for herself.

This book is an absolute ride. I love the characters, and the world-building. I do wish there was less torture, and in the end, I feel that Deka has serious mental health issues that need resolving in time. However, I also know there is a second book and perhaps she will get to address her ghosts then.

August Adventures and a Fun Bookstore Named Nuria

August 31st is here and it is a mix of warm and cold. Our little corner in Nairobi is feeling dry-ish. Still waiting for decent rain. The month was filled with a voting week and the strange limbo that follows result week. Kenyans, we remain resilient. The business continues, and we march on. On the fun side, Netflix keeps on giving. I love the Sandman and hope they come through for a second season and a third. The Sandman comics are so much fun to read. My favorite episode remains the one with the cats and Calliope.


Maktaba Kuu

We made a trip to our national library, now labeled Maktaba Kuu.  My sister and I went there to make a legal deposit for books we printed. It is always the most interesting activity to do. The government has recently revamped the national library and everything looks spanking new. There is so much space for books, which is awesome because when you buy an ISBN in Kenya you have to deposit two printed books with the ISBN to the library. This is the only to buy a new ISBN batch. I loved all the new reading spaces, and the librarians are all so friendly, that you just want to move in and stay. Hahaha.

The ISBN legal deposit of books is a great initiative in terms of contributing new titles to the national library. It also allows anyone to find the book and read it at no charge. So, if you want to read a book printed in Kenya and can’t find it or afford it for the moment, try visiting the Kenyan Library. Give it a read and leave it for the next person to check it out too.


Nuria the Honest Store

I recently reviewed Murdering Romance by Kendi Karimi. Through her, I got to pick up her book from Nuria the Honest Store. I love the concept of this online bookstore.  They stock a wide range of genres, and especially stock Kenyan writers. You purchase these books online through their website and have them delivered to your location.  I got my package and a cute bookmark that I will definitely use often. 

If you’re a writer, consider approaching Nuria to sell your books. If you’re a reader, check out the Nuria Online store and see if they work for you. You can also visit their location in town to get a look at the titles they carry.


Amari’s Baking with Amari

This big book always excites me because it took some work to get through the editing process, the formatting, and the cover design. When the printed version comes home, I always have this moment of excitement going through the pages to make sure everything is as we planned. Yes, we do find a typo or a detail that should have been removed and it’s like…argh. But then, we shake it off and make notes to get it in the next edition. This is the journey, but nothing beats having the book in hand in printed form.

So, here is a plug. Get the Baking with Amari Recipe Print Book exclusively at Topserve Ltd. Or, you can buy the ebook from Amari Baking Center.


wash day diaries book cover

On Reading

My reading list was done faster this month. I got through five books, which is awesome. I hope I do about the same in September if I’m to get to 52 Books for the reading challenge. Hahaha.  The best book this month has been Wash Day Diaries. Just…the best thing I’ve seen in a graphic novel.


On Writing

I’ve spent August in editing mode. Editing remains full of teachable moments, like keeping my writer self away from someone’s voice while insisting on rewrites.


September is coming. It is one of my favorite months. The second one is in October. That’s the update from the blog this August 2022.  I’m super looking forward to September’s sunny days in our corner. Take care of yourself, and I hope you make a dent in your ongoing projects.

Wash Day Diaries by Jamila Rowser and Robin Smith

Wash Day Diaries tells the story of four best friends—Kim, Tanisha, Davene, and Cookie—through five connected short story comics that follow these young women through the ups and downs of their daily lives in the Bronx. The book takes its title from the wash day experience shared by Black women everywhere, setting aside all plans and responsibilities for a full day of washing, conditioning, and nourishing their hair. Each short story uses hair routines as a window into these four characters’ everyday lives and how they care for each other.
Jamila Rowser and Robyn Smith originally kickstarted their critically acclaimed, award-winning slice-of-life mini-comic, Wash Day, inspired by Rowser’s own wash day ritual and their shared desire to see more comics featuring the daily lived experiences of young Black women. Wash Day Diaries includes an updated, full-color version of this original comic—which follows Kim, a 26-year-old woman living in the Bronx—as the book’s first chapter and expands into a graphic novel with short stories about these vibrant and relatable new characters.

In expanding the story of Kim and her friends, the authors pay tribute to Black sisterhood through portraits of shared, yet deeply personal experiences of Black hair care. From self-care to spilling the tea at an hours-long salon appointment to healing family rifts, the stories are brought to life through beautifully drawn characters and different color palettes reflecting the mood in each story.

Thoughts

So, I love, love this graphic novel. I love the illustrations with the different types of natural hair we have. The texture, the complexities of taking care of our hair, and yes, how sometimes it does take a day to get it just the way we want. Wash days are a large part of us. They can be easy and/or hard. They can take all day, or half a day, if you’re getting braids, it’s an event packed in with a movie session. These natural coils may frustrate us or bring us joy, there are tears, and sometimes laughs. It’s a day that pushes very personal buttons, and I love how this graphic novel touches on subjects like depression, mental health and relationships. Because washday is that day that will pull and tug at what is going on in our lives.

All plans do gotta stop, take time and revitalize.  I wish this book was longer, but mostly, I loved the representation. I felt seen and acknowledged in a comic, which is awesome.

How to Publish your eBook on Litireso Africa

Litireso is an African platform that allows you to upload your eBooks for sale or for free. They also have a print distribution option. You can also purchase Print books and eBooks from Litireso Africa’s Shop. Discover new African Writers.

Litireso is a content distribution platform established to help independent African authors and publishers distribute their creative works globally.

litireso.africa

This post will share the process of uploading an eBook on Litireso Africa all the way until the book is live. I hope it gives you the courage to publish your own ebook. Let’s get Started!

  1. Create Account
  2. Upload My Ebook
  3. Book Description and Info
  4. Cover Size
  5. Ebook File Type
  6. Collaborators
  7. Pricing
  8. Vouchers
  9. Wallet
  10. Preview and Publishing

Create Account

If you’re an author or publisher looking to publish your books on Litireso. Create an Account on Litireso Africa. Follow instructions as needed. It’s easy signup at no charge!

On the upper left corner of the site, once you sign up, you’ll see two prompts. Publish on Litireso or Print Distribution. Publish on Litireso will take you to the page where you’re able to upload your eBook. The Print Distribution page takes you to more information about how you can sell your printed books on Litireso’s Platform. We are uploading an ebook, so in this post, we shall choose the Publish on Litireso option. This gets you here:


Upload My Ebook

Choose Upload My Ebook. When you do, you end up on the dashboard where you will have access to Publications you upload, your Wallet, and Integrations, (which are marked as coming soon). For now, your biggest concern is the Publication section where you will upload your completed eBook.

Before you click on Add Publication, you need a PDF or Epub file of your Ebook, a Book Cover, and a Description of your Book.

If you already have these details, click on Add Publication and a prompt window will appear to get you started. Input your ebook’s Title and choose eBook and then Create.

Your Book Publishing Starts.


Book Description and Info

Once you hit Create, your book is titled and now you need to provide more information about your work. This is where you need the Book Description, the Year of Publication, the Genre of the book, and the Language used in the ebook. Litireso has a very diverse option when it comes to languages, from Igbo to Swahili, French, Ndebele, Yoruba, Italian, English, and more.

A note on ISBN, Publishers, and Release Dates – If you have purchased an ISBN for your book, use it here, and if you have a publisher or are the publishing company be sure to include these details in the publisher’s part. Litireso also allows you to schedule a release date to alert readers to the book’s upcoming release. When you have inputted this information, hit Save.


Cover Size

Once saved, move to the Media Tab where you will upload your Cover and your Ebook PDF File. Please note that Litireso’s Book Cover Requirements are a Width of 800 pixels x Height of 1200 Pixels. The size of the file should be up to 1MB. Any larger and you will not be able to upload the cover image. Once uploaded, hit Save.


Ebook File Type

Once you upload your cover, we move on to your eBook File. Litireso recommends PDF files for Magazines and Comics. Epub files for Stories (Novels) or other book formats to provide the best reading experience for your readers. In this case, I am uploading a novel or a short story, so I will upload an Epub file. Once it is uploaded, click on Save.

Once you hit save, you will get the following note from the platform.


Collaborators

Move to the next Tab written Collaborators. The Collaborators are the authors of the book, and if you have illustrators and artists, they should be added here. I assume they wrote collaborators to include editors and others who are not the author but contributed to the creation of the work. If you’re a one-person show, add your author credit here and submit.


Pricing

We move on to Pricing. The book remains available for free until you add a Price. Litireso offers you different currency options. For example, you can use US Dollars, Kenyan Shillings, or the Nigerian Naira to price your book.  Once you have decided on the price, click Submit and the price of the book will show up on the pricing tab.


Vouchers

The last Tab is all about Vouchers. If you want to have a Book Sale that will allow you to slash the retail price on your eBook, this is where to make those vouchers.

For example, If you’re selling your book at 500 Kenyan Shillings and want to offer a discount and sell it at 400 Kshs, this is where to make the voucher.  Follow instructions, as provided by Litireso, when creating the voucher.


Wallet

Read the Terms and Conditions carefully when it comes to pricing and handling your wallet on Litireso Africa.  If you have questions, reach out to Litireso for support.


Preview and Publishing

Use the Preview button to check on your book and how it will look in the Litireso Shop. Make sure you have saved your content at each step to avoid losing any of your work. I open the preview on a different tab. Pay attention to the genres you choose as they classify your book. Also, remember that as long as you don’t put in the price, the book will be available to readers for Free as seen below.


Once you are satisfied with your Title’s information and you’re sure there are no mistakes, click on the Publish button. Your title will be available on the Litireso Shop right away.

I Dream of You on Litireso Africa


To access your uploaded Publications to edit them or check on their performance, Click on My Account and you will find them under Publications.


For more information on how to upload eBooks on Litireso, or if you run into trouble while going through this process, reach out to Litireso Africa on their support platform. Or through their social media handles on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook.


Ember Queen – Book Review

Ember Queen

by Laura Sebastian

The thrilling conclusion to an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo’s blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers.

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way.

The Kaiserin’s strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart’s sister.


Book Reviews

Ember Queen is the last book in the Ash Princess Trilogy. Theodosia is no longer unsure of who she is to the people of Asteria. She has taken on the mantle of leadership and there is no longer doubt. She is also stronger, which is a very different Theo from the one in the first book.  It was nice to see this growth in her, a movement from being unsure, to a powerful, decision-making individual.

The cast of characters supporting Theodosia also took center stage. Some of the losses were hard to take, and I suppose that’s what makes a great tale. The sadness that grows from the death of a great character. In all, I suppose Theodosia’s own grief is enough to mark the passing of these great characters.

I died the Queen of Peace, and peace died with me…But you are the Queen of Flame and Fury, and you will set the world on fire.”

Ember Queen

I enjoyed reading the Ash Princess Trilogy. The story is good, but not epic. It is very character-driven, told primarily from Theodosia’s perspective. I felt that it would have been great to know what the other characters are thinking and what is driving them. Dragonsbane is a character I would have loved to discover more about. The Ash Princess Trilogy is definitely a journey about the Ember Queen’s quest to get back her throne.

Lady Smoke Book Review

Lady Smoke Book Cover

Lady Smoke

by Laura Sebastian

The Kaiser murdered Theodosia’s mother, the Fire Queen when Theo was only six. He took Theo’s country and kept her prisoner, crowning her Ash Princess–a pet to toy with and humiliate for ten long years. That era has ended. The Kaiser thought his prisoner weak and defenseless. He didn’t realize that a sharp mind is the deadliest weapon.

Theo no longer wears a crown of ashes. She has taken back her rightful title, and a hostage–Prinz Soren. But her people remain enslaved under the Kaiser’s rule, and now she is thousands of miles away from them and her throne.

To get them back, she will need an army. Only, securing an army means she must trust her aunt, the dreaded pirate Dragonsbane. And according to Dragonsbane, an army can only be produced if Theo takes a husband. Something an Astrean Queen has never done.

Theo knows that freedom comes at a price, but she is determined to find a way to save her country without losing herself.

Thoughts

I enjoyed Lady Smoke more than the first book of this series. Theodosia is free of the Kaiser and is on the run. She is set to take on her title as the Queen of Asteria, but her people are still enslaved. She has no allies, no army, no means to fight for her people’s freedom. She is a queen with only hope, and good friends.

This book is about Theodosia finding out where she stands with her people. She works to gain power, and enough strength to fight for her people’s freedom. She must also convince her people who have been long enslaved to fight for their freedom. That there were will be a time they will be able to feel and hold that freedom. In many ways, Lady Smoke describes that coming-off-age stage perfectly and finding inspiration to fight for a worthy cause.

Murdering Romance by Kendi Karimi- New Book Alert!

Murdering Romance Cover

Murdering Romance

by Kendi Karimi

Murdering Romance is a fictional story about one woman whose love for peanuts unknowingly sealed her fate, her missing father who had a lot to say about his absence in her life, and a little time to say it, then suddenly none at all, her ex-lovers who had a lot of her to kiss, but not to love, never to love.

Mukami wants to understand love and has spent all her life understanding death, like picking up yellow flowers from the brown earth and having them turn a pale blue in your hand. And she has lived a long life. And she is tired. She has been brave and is tired of that face. She has written herself to fame and is tired of the fame.

Available at these places –> Amazon.com | Nuria the Honest Store, Nairobi | Naivas supermarkets | Writer’s Guild Kenya bookshop | Kibanga books | Candy and Books Kenya


Book Review

Murdering Romance is about Mukami, a woman in a quest to discover and experience authentic love, freely given by a father, or even a lover.  She has wondered where to find this love, for what she has seen and experienced for herself does not compare to her imagination.  She has also always wondered why her father left, why he didn’t stay and make a family with her mom. Perhaps his love and care would have taught her more, shown her how to find an authentic love for herself years later.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mukami starts a conversation with her estranged father via email, in which he tells her about the past, and she does her best to tell him about her present. She works at understanding his choices while doing her best to resolve a longstanding grudge over his neglect. Their conversations are fresh and revealing.

As these conversations unfold, Mukami shares her own experiences with love, or the lack of it, in the form she imagines authentic love should be and exist. The most disturbing of these accounts is a relationship with ‘Peanut Man’. An experience that is treated as best as it can be. I do feel as though the Peanut Man’s saga should be an entire book plot on its own, complete with a therapy session for the character, but I digress. Thankfully, Mukami does move on from Peanut Man to other relationships.

There is a rawness to Murdering Romance. Mukami does her best to share and unpack her life and the experiences she has lived. Each one made her wonder, making her wish and hope for the right one, the perfect moment. The conversations with her father become important. Murdering Romance is a story about Mukami who simply wanted to experience an actual authentic moment of genuine love and call it her own.

Print on Demand – Book Publishing in Kenya

Q. Should I Use Print on Demand for Book Publishing in Kenya?

Answer: Yes. It is a reasonable and affordable way to print your books on a budget.

Here is a scenario. If you have tried to publish a book in Kenya, chances are you have approached a large printing press and they have quoted for you a minimum of 100 books. (500 copies in our case). The price of this entire job comes to around Kshs. 100,000 or more depending on the size of the book, color requirements, etc. If you do not have this amount, you will feel instantly discouraged and think, “Ah, publishing in Kenya is very expensive!

The most interesting truth about the printing press’s quote is, that it is cheaper to print a large number of books with them. It also guarantees the availability of the book.

However, Smaller Printing Press shops offering Print-on-Demand are the best for authors who are growing, starting out, and hoping to get out there in the market. They need an affordable starting-out option that will not make publishing seem impossible and obliterate the savings account amounts.

What is Print on Demand?.

Print on demand in book publishing is the production of a small number of books as requested by the publisher, author, or customers.  The printing happens at a fixed cost per copy each time regardless of the size of the order that is, 1-5 books or 50 books. It allows the author to keep up the availability of their book for their customers, and have a dependable printing source who will always make the books as needed at the same price.

The author’s biggest challenge is finding a Print-on-Demand company that will keep the fixed cost per copy reasonably intact. There might be fluctuations as per current inflation challenges in Kenya, but there should be no life-changing increases.

For example, a book first printed at 180/- per copy cannot suddenly change to 350/- per copy the next time it is needed for print.  Such a change would increase the retail price and the author might have a hard time finding customers with a new price to match the new printing cost. The author might not be able to afford this change of printing cost either.  It is important to find a Print-on-Demand shop that will work with you and keep prices reasonably intact for your book.

Kenya has gone through a very large shift in terms of offering Print-on-Demand Services. There are more Print-on-Demand printers, alongside the Offset Printing shops.

So, if you’re on the verge of finding a printer and your budget is not at the 500 copies level, find a Print-on-Demand shop. I will shamelessly plug Publish4All Kenya here.  They have been quite reasonable to us and always fulfill our orders without issue. They are the best printers we have dealt with so far.

An author hoping to put out books can easily find a printer who is willing to print out 5-10 copies of a book at a reasonable price. The author can then sell the books and return to print another set. The more the book’s demand grows, the more you can print. In time, you can work up to getting the 500 copies, of which you’ll find an offset printer to keep you stocked at mass-printing levels.

For entrepreneurs in Kenya, the Print-on-Demand industry has a clear existing gap waiting for you to fill it.  Affordable printing prices are attractive to budding authors. The existence of these services at reasonable costs and offering quality end-products will also encourage more people to print their books.

Are you interested in printing a book, You can email Publish4All Kenya for a quotation. – p4akenya@gmail.com