2 Aug 2019

Publishing Woes, and other news

Hello readers!

It has been a while (over a month, in fact) since I last wrote on the Magical Realm. Alas, this is inevitable: there was too much work to do in June—the final month of my studies—and after July 1st, when I graduated. The wonderful housing corporation, which every single AUC student is obliged to rent from, made me move out on July 15th. That’s barely two weeks since I graduated.

After I managed to sell my furniture—or rather, a single piece, the rest of which I simply dumped—I travelled with my parents to Romania, and visited beautiful places in Austria along the way. The journey is about 2300km in length, and we were in no hurry, so we stayed 2 weeks on the road. You can check out my album here.

In Romania, I hoped for some peace and quiet, but naturally, got neither. Part of it is because of my family. Part of is it also because of a medical problem: I have developed foliculitis decanavans on my scalp and hair, thanks to years of antibiotics and reclacitrant acne. The good news is that I have convinced a local dermatologist to put me on isotretinoin (also known as “Accutane”). This is a Vitamin-A derivative that drastically reduces sebum production—sebum being a fatty secretion on the skin. Acne like mine has a variety of causes, but a huge overproduction of sebum is the main cause.

(The above is still a very simplified explanation: you can read more about it online, if you are interested.)

The medicine is, unfortunately, known for its side-effects, and I will need monthly medical supervision during the 6-month treatment course. But it’s the only permanent treatment available for both my acne and foliculitis.

You, dear reader, are probably interested to know more about my new novel—Fallen Love—as well as my experience at AUC. The latter is a topic I will be addressing in an upcoming blog post, entitled “My Experience at AUC: A Review”. I will be posting that shortly.

As for my new book, progress has once again stalled. I have queried another batch of agents, receiving one rejection and no replies after 1 month. The situation is so bad that I’ve seriously started considering how I will self-publish. Self-publishing requires three things: knowledge, time, and money. Naturally, money is the most difficult of the three. One good thing about AUC is cost; the cost of living in Amsterdam was manageable thanks to student housing and subsidies, and the tuition was mostly covered by loans. The loans have 0% interest and a 15-year repayment period starting in 2021. This means that I am not broke.

Even so, I have divided the self-publishing option into two plans: the cheap plan, and the expensive one. It is impossible to self-publish effectively without a good cover and a solid marketing strategy; and since editing is expensive, it must face the financial guillotine.

The two plans cost as follows:

  • The cheap plan costs €2500. This includes cover design (in the region of €500); the services of a marketing professional (€1000); miscellaneous expenses including a self-publishing course, for around €200; and the remaining €800 is budgeted for ads.

  • The expensive plan costs €5000. It budgets €2250 for editing (developmental + a proof read) and €750 for cover design, just to make sure I get the best cover I can.

The cheap plan is feasible for me right now; the expensive plan is predicated on getting some sort of job.

Right now, I’m honestly still uncertain as to what to do. I have applied for a master’s degree and a scholarship at Strathclyde University in Glasgow, where I can save rent living with my parents. If that doesn’t pan out—and there’s no guarantee it will, financially—I will look for a job or start a master’s degree in the winter.

Now you understand my quandary. I will leave you now, dear reader, for I need review the quality of my university’s education, on which I shall be writing again soon!

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