Sweet, sweet Ninja Turtle Money: Coming my way soon??
As mentioned in last Friday’s entry, whether or not I self-publish depends heavily on the outcome of my bid for a Monbusho Scholarship to study in Japan. The problem is that I won’t find out about that for another five months or so. This uncertainty about even what country I’ll be living in come April makes it difficult for me to take any concrete steps towards self-publishing (or anything else).
But actually, in addition to the Monbusho Scholarship, there is one other factor that asserts major influence over this decision. And thankfully, this other factor should be resolved one way or the other in just a couple short weeks. That is my application for a comic book self-publisher’s grant from the Xeric Foundation.
The Xeric Foundation is a charitable nonprofit organization, the purpose of which, according to its website, is to “…offer financial assistance to committed, self-publishing comic book creators…”. It was founded by Peter Laird, one of the two creators of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Before Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles became a Saturday morning cartoon, movie franchise, and merchandising juggernaut, it was a self-published comic book. Needless to say it went on to make its two creators very wealthy indeed, so in 1992 Peter Laird created the Xeric Foundation as a nod to his self-publishing roots.
Money from the Xeric Foundation has to be used towards expenses related to the production of a self-published comic book of course, but other than that it’s pretty much no strings attached. In addition to the moolah, the Xeric Grant is well-known in the small press community, so there’s prestige attached to it. It also gets covered by the alterative comics media, so there’s a bit of free publicity thrown into the deal as well. All around it’s a really great deal.
So since the issue of the Monbusho Scholarship won’t be resolved for months, my new self-publishing ultimatum is this: if I get the Xeric Grant, then I storm ahead with self-publishing. If not, I’ll send out query letters to established publishers to hedge my bets, and wait to hear about the Monbusho.
My Xeric application is currently under consideration, and I should hear back from them mid-October about it. Readers of this blog will be among the first to know the outcome, so stay tuned.