Guest post by Marija Bulatovic, author of 'Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia'

I chose to self-publish.  FANTASTICAL is a work of passion and a very personal and dear project to me.  As such, I was interested to personally and deeply become involved in all aspects of publishing, from identifying the right experts to edit, illustrate, layout, and print the book to working with a tremendously talented publicist to bring it to light. 
At the same time, we are experiencing an explosion in tools and services suited for first time and self-publishing authors.  The publishing industry overall is at an inflection point, destabilized by the explosion of self-published books and outlets offering self-publishing services.  Self-publishing houses such as CreateSpace, Lightning Source or Bookbaby offer quality services at an approachable price-point.  However, the learning curve is steep for a single author to learn, discern differences in offerings and advantages among these services, along with their complementary or duplicative nature. 
I was curious about this process and it gave me an excellent opportunity to be personally engaged throughout the journey and understands all aspects of publishing. It’s been a great learning experience!
Self-publishing is tremendously labor and time intensive, but also very rewarding and profitable, assuming one is able to make investments to get the book to the finish line.
The pros of self-publishing are that you, as an author are 100% in control of your book and the every aspect of it.  You are the final decision maker and owner of the outcomes-good and bad. It’s a wonderful opportunity to merge one’s creative talents with flawless execution.  It does require much self-discipline and hard work, but it’s also a rewarding process.  While the world of self-publishing tools and services can feel like a maze, once the author understands them, they are generally easy and efficient to you.
The cons are that you have to invest money, time and energy to personally research and identify everything that shapes the book: editors, publicists, designers, printers, distributors, etc.  This is no easy task and authors can feel discouraged by it and by the long road ahead.  The self-publish path also requires that you make personal investments or raise money to fund your book project-which done right, is not an inexpensive proposition. 
As for the writing, I am a very disciplined person by nature and given the passion I have for my book project, I found it enjoyable and exiting to write every day.  I was tremendously motivated to pen another story, to share another episode from this special time with my audience. 

I was so excited to move my book project forward that I created a plan for myself-which was to write a story a day for 25 days.  These stories came easily to me and I felt well aligned with my goal of a story a day, so it wasn’t a challenge but a pleasure to be a step closer to bringing these tales to the public.

It’s been said that the truth is stranger than fiction.  Marija Bulatovic’s dazzling debut, Fantastical: Tales of Bears, Beer and Hemophilia, certainly underscores that adage.  Fantastical, Bulatovic’s reflections on her Yugoslavian childhood, is a mesmerizing memoir that takes readers on a wild and unforgettable tour of a country that has vanished from the map, but lives on in this lively collection. 
With a pitch perfect voice, and a keen eye for capturing the absurd, the outrageous, the hilarious, the touching, and the sublime, Bulatovic weaves a rich tapestry.  Bears, gypsies, quirky family members, foiled plans, unusual and unorthodox neighbors, Fantastical has it all.  Lovingly told with an unmistakable fondness and deep affection, Fantastical is resplendent with humor, magic, and whimsy.

In this colorful, captivating and clever collection of stories, Bulatovic captures the spirit of the Slavic soul—passion and melancholy with a twinkle in the eye.  Fantastical charms with its wit, keen insights, and larger-than-life stories. Part memoir, part love letter to a place and a people that lives on in memory, Fantastical is irresistible.

An exquisite assortment of stories—each more delicious than the last—Fantastical is a tale to be savored.

Find out more on Amazon

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Born in Yugoslavia in the 1970s, Marija Bulatovic, along with her parents, immigrated to the U.S. in the 1990s just ahead of the 1990s Yugoslav wars and the breakup of the country.  An accomplished business professional with years of experience driving enterprise business with Fortune 500 companies, Bulatovic graduated from Colgate University. Marija Bulatovic lives in Seattle with her husband and son.

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