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Interview with Gibran Tariq, Self-published Author

Today at jexbo, we talk to self-published author Gibran Tariq. Here’s what Gibran had to say:

• Tell us about your self-published book.

The name of my self-published book is "When I Say Jump," and it is about a government conspiracy to imprison one out of every four black males born in this country. To a lot of us in the black community, this grim statistic is more than a mere conspiracy theory. In fact, it is more of a governmental prophecy. I chose to write about it because I have spent 35 years of my life in prison and dating back to when I was 14, I have seen up close and personal the devastating rape of the black community by the invisible hand of the prison/industrial complex.

• Why did you decide to self-publish?

In 2002, I had a very bitter experience. I was still in prison and my work had become known in the greater Atlanta writing community and I was approached by an independent publisher to write a novel. I did.

However, I never received any royalties on the sales of the book. Upon my release, I was secretly contacted by the husband of the publisher who provided me with the details of what had happened to the money of the writers who had all been cheated by this particular company. They were going through a nasty divorce and he wanted me to sue her. Instead, I simply chalked it up as a lesson learned, deciding then to self-publish if I continued in the world of literature.

• What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

A total lack of confidence. Not in my work, mind you, as I was absolutely convinced that I had a viable product. However, I did lack confidence in my ability to reach out to the world. Being in prison severely limited my perspective, forcing me to think small. Sure, I had dreams of reaching a world audience, but had no real clue as to how to sustain this dream or how to put it into motion. The Internet had narrowed the vastness of the world's cyber-geography, but I was the new kid on the block when it came to computer use.

Then I got a miracle in the guise of Angela Morrow, her partner Chris, and the Writer's Choice. They believed in me, my work, and my aspirations. They then put together a literary package for me that was tailor-made for my particular writing sensibilities, and in addition formulated a promotional plan to help me go from one level to the next in a timely fashion so I wouldn't feel overwhelmed. They have even helped me start a creative writing class where I teach and use my own unique brand of writing prompts that I personally developed as writing tools while I was confined.

• What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

Now that I am not alone, my confidence in my ability to promote myself has soared and now I enjoy meeting people and talking to them about my work. Self-publishing awards me total control of my work and this is very therapeutic for me. After 35 years of having absolutely no control over my life where I was told when to go to bed, when to get up, when to eat, when to talk,etc... it feels great to wake up in the morning, knowing that what I accomplish throughout that day will be according to the plan of my choosing.

• What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

Even though they may not encounter the mental roadblocks I did, I urge them most emphatically to pursue the dream of doing for self. But even more than just offering a slogan, I encourage them to study their craft and then to study the market. I do not hesitate to tell anyone out there who is embarking on this wonderful, creative venture to contact Angela Morrow and Writer's Choice. I promise that they can and will help anyone navigate their way through the murky waters of the publishing world. And help is indeed needed. I was once a drug-trafficker and I conducted a lot of business with a lot of shady characters in a lot of dark alleyways, but they didn't frighten me half as much as some of the shady people I have met in the literary world. Writer's Choice helped me determine who was who, and what a blessing that was.

• Is there anything you would like to add?

At long last, it is my time to shine and I will seize the moment. "When I Say Jump" is merely the beginning of something I will be doing for quite a time to come. Thanks for the opportunity to express my views.

Thanks for the information about you and your book Gibran! Good luck with more book sales!

Questions to Ask a Self-Publishing Firm Before You Give Them Any Money

I think self-publishing your book is a great idea, but there are a number of things to consider before you decide to pay a self-publisher to publish your book. First of all, how much you are willing to spend to have your book published? Once you know your limit, then you need to shop around for a publisher that will fit your budget.

It’s very important to understand what you’re paying for. Some publishers will merely print your book exactly as you give it to them. If you’re confident in your editing, this might be the best way to go. If you need some editing help, however, you might want to look for a publishing firm that includes it as part of their package. Then you’ll need to ask what does editing mean to that firm? Is it a basic editing such as a spell check, or something more thorough?

If your book needs cover art, will you have to supply it? Does the publisher have someone who will work with you to decide on the book cover? How much will it cost to have a cover designed for your book?

Other questions to consider include: Are there hidden charges, such as shipping and handling, that won’t show up in the basic package rate? If you’re using a print-on-demand service, what is the up-front charge?

Overwhelmingly, I hear positive comments from authors who self-publish their books, but these are some things you need to keep in mind when you’re deciding to self-publish your own book.

Interview with James Lynch, Self-published Author

Today at jexbo we talk to self-published author of three books, James Lynch. Here’s what James had to say:

Tell us about your self-published book.

At this point there are three books that fall into my slogan: “Fictional books of another kind.”




All three books are in paperback, kindle, and eBook versions. They can be purchased through customer friendly websites such as jexbo and There is a listing found at in addition to my blog.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

Well, there was a story to be told. I say this with big smiles. When it comes to a creative work or vision, often times, you have to lay the foundation or groundwork in order for people to see where you are coming from before they will hop aboard. You know this for a fact, there are many manuscripts sitting in basements, under the bed, and garages that would make great reading material for many people, but the publishing industry did not see the author’s vision or just plain wouldn’t give the author a chance. Hence, some things you just have to do yourself. The tools for the self-publishing author today make this once astronomical feat possible. I am more than happy to avail myself of such tools.

What was your biggest challenge to overcome in self-publishing your book and why?

It would have to be creating a schedule for writing and not letting anything else interfere with it. Just an hour a day, five days a week, can do wonders for the creative process. The key is realizing that one hour of writing, meditating, or editing is priority for the designated timeslot.

What has been the best part about self-publishing your book and why?

How well the book has been received by the readers. Young people and teenagers in particular express how much they ‘love’ the books. There is one character in “Who are the Colesmiths?” that young and old alike fell in love with.

What advice do you have for other writers who are self-publishing their book?

Quite simply, tell the story. Then do the following steps.

1) Read the story out loud while making editing notations.

2) Get a team of proofreaders from different walks of life or professionals. Sit down and have a meeting with each of them if you can. Why is this beneficial? You will find that even if you have 'Dotted your i's and crossed your t's' that enhanced emotional flavor could be added to the book by listening to the opinions of how it made your proofreaders feel.

Is there anything you would like to add?

Jill, thank you for the interview and the readers for taking an interest in the Product of Culture fictional book series. May you find success in what truly matters!

Thanks for your information and tips James! Good luck with more book sales!

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Decide to Self-Publish a Book

Self-publishing is a great way to go to get your books out to readers, but it might not be for everyone.

First and foremost, you’ll need to think about the cost involved, a cost that you might not recoup. Self-publishing means you’ll be buying your books from a printer, and then selling them yourself. How many books can you afford to have published, and are you able to risk purchasing more than you’ll be able to sell?

Also, you need to be prepared for the huge amount of work you’ll have to do in order to market your book yourself. Do you have both the time and interest to do this? If you don’t, do you have a friend or family member who would do this for you? Would you be willing to pay someone a percentage or a flat fee to promote your book for you?

These are just a few questions to ask yourself before you decide to self-publish your book. Do you have any other questions you’d advise writers to consider before they choose to self-publish?

Did you think through any of these questions before you self-published your book? Please let me know – I love to hear from you!