Now as we finished with the book design, let's talk about publishing options. I have some insider info for you:)
So of course the first question was, publishing house or self-publishing? I decided to investigate. What I found out was that first of all you need to make a book proposal and every publishing house has its own preferred format. But thank fully these formats have the same building blocks, so you don't need to rewrite everything from scratch. Just go to the publishing house homepage, read their statement or story, see the format the want and go ahead. Always include at least couple unique sentences with facts from publishing house's story or their twitter feed to let them know you have done your homework.
Most of the publishing houses have free submission. Daylight asked to buy at least one of their book before submitting. I did that and I got positive reply from them (this first barrier for entrance must have decreased the amount of proposals they get). Many of the publishers tell you that they don't take submissions at the moment. In my experience it gives no result to write to them anyway. One more tip: many publishers don't answer to the first letter, but get back to you after a follow-up.
Ok, so I got to "yes!" answers: ORO and Daylight. But it was not just a strait yes. They told me that they want to divide the risk between us - I should contribute 23k and 30k respectively and they will contribute double the amount in their own services (design, print, distribution). I went to the Kickstarter and saw that many other artists are indeed raising 30-40k for a deal like this. I honestly knew from my prior successful Kickstarter that I can raise maybe 5k, but not 30k, so I decided I will apply for a grant.
So next step was the research of grants. There are several dozens of grands for artists, but most of them are micro-grants (500-1k), in fact there were only 5 grants with more then 5k budget that could fit me and 4 of the 5 were for US citizens only. So it looked like I had just one chance and I would need to be on hold for several month, because they have the jury once a year.
And then COVID hit and changed everything. From everything the publishing house promised for 30k only design was left, and my design was already done. So basically it became a vanity venture.
That's why I went with self-publishing at the end. Was it my loss - maybe, I don't really know. But at least it gave me full control in what happened next
(to be continued)