Step4: Requirements for Self Publishing

A finalized manuscript that advances the centrality of Christ and does not contradict Christian faith.

What does it mean to have a finalized manuscript?

A. A finalized manuscript means that as the writer or author, you have given it your 101% in terms of content. If you are struggling with honouring your finish-deadline, you should consider working with a writing coach or joining a group writing class.

Some of the mistakes to avoid as an author is to submit your manuscript to publisher and then continue to write more, advance it or make adjustments. When you have several working documents you encounter the following challenges:

(i) You waste time and resources – the editors will have one updated version and you will have a differently updated version. Merging these updates can be painfully time consuming and tends to bring confusion and frustration for all parties involved.

(ii) You lose out on improvements that come from synergy of teamwork. Most of the time, everyone is pulling in different directions.

B. A finalized manuscript also means that it is available for others to give input. It’s important to save your most recent work safely. We recommend using a cloud based platform like Google DocsReedsy or other writing platforms available online.

It’s possible to have the manuscript completed but get shy or cold feet to have others have a look. If you face this challenge, you should be comforted to know that self doubt is common among authors. You can be very excited to write then doubt if the content is good enough after you are done. It will possibly come up again when you finish publishing and need to launch. If this happens, you should remind yourself why you started writing in the first place. For Christian writers, God has given you an assignment to communicate His truths to others. So understand and accept that it’s not just about you – there is a bigger picture in play here. Trust God to lead and order your steps.

C. For CLC Kenya publishing requirement, a finalized manuscript also means that the content advances the centrality of Christ and does not contradict the Christian faith. We are an interdenominational ministry serving the body of Christ irrespective of the interpretation of Scriptures. However, the core foundation must be observed – centrality of Christ.

Does the manuscript have to quote Scriptures? Not necessarily but it cannot contradict the Christian faith. Our best example is world renown fiction writer, Francine Rivers. She has done an amazing job to weave the foundation of Christ in her stories without quoting Scriptures after every page. So we accept both Scripture-quoting manuscripts and others not quoting Scriptures – but we have to see Jesus in the bigger picture after we are done with the last page of your book.

This means that as a publishing ministry, we do not publish academic books (we recommend Royalite Publishers) and we do not publish non-Christian content (we recommend Writers Guild of Kenya).


Non-Disclosure Agreement

A non-disclosure agreement (NDA) is a legally binding contract that establishes a confidential relationship. The party or parties signing the agreement agree that sensitive information they may obtain will not be made available to any others.  An NDA may also be referred to as a confidentiality agreement.

NDAs are generally required when an author and a publisher (or editor etc) enter into discussions about publishing a book together but want to protect their own interests and the details of any potential deal. In this case, the language of the NDA forbids all involved from releasing information regarding any publishing processes or plans of the other party or parties.

Over the past years in publishing, I have encountered several writers who lost their manuscripts to rogue self-proclaimed ‘publishers or editors’. One young lady I met in 2017 had found her book on the streets of Nairobi bearing another author’s name but with her story inside. There was no paper trail that she had submitted the manuscript to the editor so there was no legal case to her advantage. More so because she had also submitted the manuscript in a flash disk. On the minimum, send your work always on email.

Offcourse, the start of publishing journey is finding a publisher you can trust, and even so, it is important to have some form of documentation to show that you are the originator of the content.


Time Commitment to Be Consulted

Your publisher or editor will need your availability to consult on sections of the manuscript that do not make sense, need rewriting or replacement. In your alone time writing, sometimes you can get carried away by a concept and supply additional but irrelevant details. Other times, it’s possible to get overwhelmed remembering an incidence in your life that should go into the book. If it was a painful moment for you, after you finish crying and overcoming the hurt from the memory, you can subconciously ommit to complete the story or the concept.

Earlier we established that you must release your manuscript to the publisher, however, note that you will be called upon to work on highlighted sections.

Financial Investment

If you are taking the self publishing or hybrid publishing routes, you will need capital to get editors, proofreaders, designers and book managers. In CLC Kenya Self Publishing, a book takes up to one year to be completed and we have a flexible payment plan that allows authors to make monthly payments throughout the year to be completed at the time of the launch of the book. The strategy here is to enable as many authors called to write in this era, to finish their assignment from God and impact as many lives for Jesus with well done and well packaged content.

Next we will look at The Steps in Self Publishing – Review.

Training by: Dr. Muthoni Mercy Omukhango

Publisher in Africa | National Director @CLC Kenya |Authors’ Manager @African Christian Authors Book Award-ACABA | Marketplace Minister | Patron at CLC Kids and Teens | Advancing God’s Kingdom through literature. 


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