I would prefer to self-publish my comic book Tonoharu, for reasons described previously. In fact, if I knew I was going to be in the United States for the next, oh, twelve months or so, I think I’d just bite the bullet and do it.
The thing is, if my bid for a Monbusho Scholarship is successful, I’ll be out of the country beginning in April of next year. Even if I put it on the fast track, I probably couldn’t have my comic printed up & ready to go until this November. This would only give me four or five months to sell them before I left. That’s just not enough time to do all the tasks associated with starting a new publishing business, like soliciting distributors, sending out review copies, and doing all the marketing (all while preparing to go to Japan, no less). Granted, thanks to the Internet I could do some of that stuff while abroad, but not all of it, and not while studying full time.
So in a nutshell, if I get the Monbusho Scholarship, I should probably give up on the idea of self-publishing (for now) and just solicit a regular publisher. If I don’t get the scholarship, self-publishing would be the way to go after all. So until I get a final answer regarding the Monbusho Scholarship, I can’t really make an informed decision one way or the other.
And therein lies the rub.
Somehow I got it into my head that I would find out about the Monbusho Scholarship as early as next month. I could have sworn I read something about “October” somewhere… But recently I checked into it again, and it appears that final notification probably won’t come until a matter of weeks before school starts in Japan. In other words, like five months from now.
Now, I understand that the Japanese Government has hundreds of applications to sift though, as well as budgets to sort out, negotiations with universities… I can see how it would take a while. And if February rolls around and they tell me I’m in, I’ll be overjoyed, and laugh about all the fretting I did about it now.
But on the other hand, if come February they say “Sorry, not interested”, then not only will I not be able to study in Japan, but I’ll’ve sat on Tonoharu for five months for nothing.
But there’s no helping it, I guess. Beggars can’t be choosers, as the saying goes, so I guess I’ll just have to wait it out…
(Actually, there’s another factor in play that will have a strong impact on whether I choose self-publish or not. That will, at least, definitely be sorted out next month. Check back next Friday for the deets.)