Why I decided to publish my first novel all by myself

I discovered that I enjoyed writing back in 2004 when I first took to blogging. As a shy, introverted girl, Internet was my happy place. “I’ll write a book”, I promised myself.

I was pursuing Chartered Accountancy. My father, who had to struggle a lot growing up, wanted to ensure that his daughter has a secured career. You see, grandfather was also a writer, and writers never got paid as much as Chartered Accountants did.

“Who’d want to read what you write?” he told me in an attempt to discourage me from writing.

- Advertisement - - Article resumes -

In 2013, after completing my 3 years articleship training in Deloitte, Ahmedabad, and with 4 papers in CA finals pending to clear, I gave up. I quit Chartered Accountancy and pursued financial journalism for 2 years. I worked with The Financial Express, Ahmedabad, covering the 2014 elections and 2015 Vibrant Gujarat summit. It was a learning experience. From a cringeworthy first copy that I had filed to an error free copy in two months’ time, I learnt how to file a story.

In May, 2015, I quit to write a book. I had no backup plan. And I wrote. I finished my first draft by September 2015. That’s when I reached out to agents and publishers.

You’d have thought writing the book, about 60,000 odd words, would be the hardest job. Nope. Turns out it is the easier part. Getting a response from publishers and agents is the hard part.

Somehow, the publishing industry has such iron gates, that it is difficult to breach. Most never acknowledged the receipt of proposal and sample chapters. I got countless rejections. One publishing agent even decided to go out of his way to be rude and tell me it is one of the worst. All this because I broke the golden rule of ‘do not follow up otherwise he gets pissed off’. Wow.

Another agent offered ‘editing’ and ‘rewriting’ services for a couple of thousands with ‘no guarantee’ of finding me a publisher.

“Who’d want to read what you write?” kept echoing in my head. I was slowly losing any bit of confidence I ever had.

I couldn’t possibly have written that bad a copy, right? I mean, with all due respect, some of the books of Indian authors which have been published in the last few years are terribly written, with even more awful storyline. Those found publishers willing to pay money to print it! Is my manuscript even worse than that?

I kept the manuscript aside. I was so shattered. I decided I’ll rework the entire copy and go through the ordeal again.

I sat over it for 10 months, without making a single change. There were a few typos and some errors in the finished manuscript, which, as a writer, I missed while proofreading. I didn’t even bother to change them. I had lost all heart to re-read something which got rejected from all quarters.

Then I contemplated self-publishing. But isn’t it the last resort of the brats of rich parents who pay to get their substandard stuff printed? And doesn’t that cost a lot? Should I really pay for something I may end up making eventual loss on?

I checked out various self publishing platforms. Some were reasonable, some were way too expensive. If they were reasonable, the price of your printed book would be so high, no one would buy, and if you wanted to keep a reasonable sales price of your book, you had to pay too much to get it printed. You just couldn’t win there.

I even looked up the new age app-based publishing platforms, but they didn’t excite me as much.

But most of all, I was shocked and disheartened at the sheer lack of communication from the communications professionals. I mean, this entire industry is based on communication, how can you not have proper communication channels. You have to constantly walk on eggshells around them because you could not follow up as they might get offended. Most of the people I interacted with were either rude or arrogant or appeared to just not be interested in talking to someone who doesn’t come ‘highly recommended’ by the mighty and powerful.

Suddenly the idea of going back to studies and finishing off those 4 papers in CA finals seemed like a better idea. Well, I might end up doing something I don’t love, but at least there wouldn’t be heartbreaks like these, right?

And then, one fine day, out of curiosity, I checked out Amazon Kindle’s self publishing tool. I googled it up a bit and within minutes I had made up my mind. I had put in a lot of hard work and love in writing something which I know for a fact is good. I knew I had done a good job. I just wanted more and more people to read it. I registered for Kindle Direct Publishing and within 24 hours, my book was live on Amazon to be purchased and read.

I had put it up out there. I was ready for brickbats and criticism, but secretly hoped every one who purchased the book found it worth their money and time spent on it.

And when I started getting reactions from complete strangers, I was overwhelmed. Everyone had good things to say about it. Yes, there was some constructive criticism which came with it, but every single one liked it. I never strived to write the best-ever award winning fiction. No. I just wanted to entertain people. And I think I have managed to do that.

I am now working on my second book, because, I am not going to give up.

A big shoutout to those who stood by me. And those who didn’t. Those who told me I couldn’t. Because, I did.

You could buy my debut novel, Flawed But Fabulous, by visiting this link.

Politically incorrect. Author, Flawed But Fabulous.

Share and Support:
Support OpIndia by paying for content

Most read articles recently

Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Mizoram assembly election results

Latest updates and breaking news on counting day: EC declares 3 wins in Madhya Pradesh, all 3 go to BJP

Latest news and updates from 2018 assembly election results of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Telangana, and Mizoram.

Statue of all ironies: Pritish Nandy uses example of fake news to spread fake news

Pritish Nandy shared a fake image which was earlier shared by Youth Congress leader

Prashant Bhushan and left-liberal cabal was actively helping Vijay Mallya in UK court by attacking CBI special director Rakesh Asthana

Vijay Mallya's defence team was using Indian left-liberals' allegations agaist Rakesh Asthana in London court

Fact check: Did BJP President Amit Shah and PM Modi call Baniyas cheaters and accuse them of profiteering?

Earlier, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani had also been accused of making a casteist remark, which turned out to be a Photoshopped image

After stopping BJP’s rath yatra, West Bengal government allows Hindu-hater Bangladeshi Maulana to address meetings in the state

BJP's rath yatra banned, Bangladeshi Islamic preacher welcomed in West Bengal
Image Source: Zee News

Sidhu knew of the opening before Imran Khan was sworn in, Kartarpur a bigger conspiracy by ISI: Captain Amarinder Singh

Pakistan General Bajwa had revealed the Kartarpur corridor news to Navjot Singh Sidhu even before Imran Khan was sworn in as their PM, Punjab CM Singh indicated “a bigger conspiracy" hatched by the Pak Army.

When ‘anti-corruption crusader’ met the ‘Raja’ of 2G spectrum scam

Kejriwal, who till now has been religiously snubbed by Congress and its allies, is expected to participate in the meeting for the first time.
Vijay Mallya to be extradited

Big victory for India: UK court orders Vijay Mallya’s extradition who is wanted in India for a Rs. 9000 crore scam

The liquor baron, Vijay Mallya, is wanted in India in connection with an alleged scam worth Rs. 9000 crores and is to be extradited to India.

‘Journalists’ and politicians spread lies about RBI Deputy Governor’s resigning following Urjit Patel’s exit

"Journalists" started rumour-mongering about the resignation of RBI Deputy Governor Viral Acharya soon after Governor Urjit Patel resigned citing personal reasons

Jignesh Shah’s firm rented property owned by Rahul Gandhi, Priyanka: Here is all you need to know about NSEL scam

The NSEL suspended the trading of all contracts on the 31st of July, 2013. Eventually, 24 trading entities defaulted on their payment to the spot exchange, which amounted to around Rs. 5600 crores.

Latest articles

Connect with us

125,517FansLike
97,346FollowersFollow
6,057SubscribersSubscribe

Don't miss these