Can a Cuban Author Self-Publish their Work?

By Caridad

HAVANA TIMES – While the world seems to be dancing like a dog with lice: feet up in the air and wriggling its back against the floor to try and get rid of the itch, I sat down and finished writing a fiction book.

Even though I had had quite a bit of luck with writing in Cuba -thanks to the different competitions I had won-, I was able to publish some of my books -, it’s been almost 10 years since I put the little interest I had in writing on the backburner.

Yep, I admit it, being a writer never appealed to me.

When I told Circles that I had just finished writing this short novel and that I was thinking about sending it off to a contest (as it’s been the age-old way of getting published if you are unknown, because I don’t live in Cuba anymore), he told me about self-publishing, ebooks, indie books or whatever you want to call publishing a book in a digital format.

At first, I didn’t think it was a good idea, as my generation isn’t exactly the closest to this digital era; but doing a little research, I discovered that it is in fact a great opportunity, that thousands of writers and readers use this means of publishing to share their books and opinions about them. Books that many publishers wouldn’t be interested in publishing, but that many readers are willing to buy.

The best thing about this is that digital publishing doesn’t condemn a tree to being cut down just because you want to print a book. So, I went straight to Amazon, the great capital of digital bookstores and BOOM! I ran straight into the blockade’s wall.

I’m a Cuban, you already know… blockade, sanctions…, there’s no way for me to sign up for an Amazon account, plus I live in Venezuela.

It turns out that Venezuelans can buy on Amazon, but officially there isn’t any communication between banks here and the company when it comes to purchases. As a result, there is no direct way of making a payment. So, I went to look at other online bookstores: Bubok, Lulu, etc.

I posted a couple of books on them, but who knows about these bookstores? I guess half the number of people with an Amazon account… or less than half. So, I tried again to sell my books on Amazon.

I did my research. I did some more research.

I became impatient and then sat down to do more research.

Until I came across an answer.

I think it’s better I don’t go around shouting it out on here, don’t you think?

The result? I’m already selling one of my collections of stories, Decálogo Sicodélico de La Habana, and I’m getting Lía, el Sexo Oscuro (the last novel I published in Cuba) ready to sell too. In the meantime, I continue to learn about this whole system before publishing the book I’ve just finished writing while the world has been turned upside down, La Mujer de los Pajaros.

Caridad

Caridad: If I had the chance to choose what my next life would be like, I’d like to be water. If I had the chance to eliminate a worst aspect of the world I would erase fear. Of all the human feelings I most like I prefer friendship. I was born in the year of the first Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, the day that Gay Pride is celebrated around the world. I no longer live on the east side of Havana; I’m trying to make a go of it in Caracas, and I continue to defend my right to do what I want and not what society expects of me.

2 thoughts on “Can a Cuban Author Self-Publish their Work?

  • Muchísimas gracias George. Te agradecería que compartas tu opinión en Amazon cuando termines de leerlo. Abrazo!

    Reply

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