Publishing a book? 

Getting your work published is a long process. When traditional publishers do not accept your work, you’re left with little or no option. These days, self-publishing has given hopes to many. Not every self-published book is a success, but it depends on how you define success. 

While there are numerous articles on this topic, I’ll write about my personal experience with self-publishing. I’m not going to discuss about royalties here. 

In the first half of 2016, I decided to get my work published. I wanted to publish a book of poems. Since I wanted to give out only a part of what I write and not the whole, I decided on publishing a chapbook. In the first half of 2017, I was done organising the pieces I wrote years back and those written recently, edited them, made a manuscript, and finally reached the stage of publishing. It took me a long time to write and select pieces to publish! As I hadn’t told many people about it, I seemed to be impulsive. I had only let people know about a week before published.

There are many options for you to choose from. At the end of the article, I’ve provided useful links for you.

Kindle Direct Publishing can prove to be an amazing platform only if you know how to use it well. Kindle Select is a tricky option. It may and may not lead to good sales. If you opt for it, you will be enrolled for 90 days. So, choose carefully! Select can be great for you if you’re already an established author. There are promotions to choose from, but those will not run for all 90 days. Free book promotion is what I chose and it can only go on for 5 days. You can choose the dates. If you’re not a known author, think carefully before you join Select. With Select, you book becomes exclusively available on Amazon. You cannot have it on any other site. However, after 90 days you get the option to enroll again, unless you’d chosen automatic renewal. 

Exclusivity is a big debate in the world of publishing. Personally, I think having a diverse platform helps you and your readers too. 

KPD doesn’t let you keep your book perma-free. Perma-free is when you give your book away for free for as long as you want. With Amazon, you have to choose a minimum price to sell your book at. 

Again, perma-free is another debate. It can work wonders for new authors! Think like this: why would anyone buy your book unless you’re well known? You need them to know that your book is amazing and for that, perma-free works well. Some people may hesitate to buy your book if they don’t know who you are. It’s a good strategy.

KDP places your book only on Amazon.

As soon as my Select enrollment ended, I went on to Draft2Digital. 

Draft2Digital is another good medium for new authors. It distributes your book to various platform. However, it doesn’t distribute it to Amazon. You can keep your book perma-free on it. iBook, Barnes and Noble, etc. are some platforms where it distributes your book. 

My observation was that giving my book away for free was doing me more good than setting a price on it. I’ve sold more books on Amazon for free than on any other platform. 

I don’t define success by numbers. Hence, making money wasn’t my aim. For me, success is when people love what I write.

Blue Ashes hasn’t sold in millions, but whoever has read it has liked it, found inspiration from it, and given a good review of it. That is success to me. 

Of course, everyone’s experience is different and nobody can be certain what works for them. It’s all about experimenting. So, if you’re looking for getting it all right, don’t lose hope. You never know what works for you. 

Here’s a brilliant article I found that would be of some help to you! 

Here’s another link to an article briefing you on various platforms. 

Carpe Diem!

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How I fell in love multiple times 

I’m sure if my family or friends read this title, they’re going to start wondering what I’m talking about.

Before you all start wondering, I’ll explain.

We all know that the world has been in some of the most difficult times. There’s so much going on that some of us may have already lost faith in humanity. I, however, fell in love with it multiple times.

I’ve seen people who deserve nothing but all the love, people who deserve all the respect, people who demand nothing and give everything.

I was in a hospital for about a month last year. I met some incredibly beautiful people there. Doctors were amazing at their work. In a world where we are losing our faith in this industry, I had mine intact. The workers there, cleaners, nurses and literally just everybody knew me. They’d do their duty of taking care of me, but many times, mostly always, they’d go out of their way to care. If I haven’t thanked enough, I’d want to thank now. All of them, including my doctors, each person that ever came to see me, I respect you all not just for doing your job wonderfully, but also for being massively supportive.

Last year, roughly around this time, I met an old man. Sitting in the waiting area of the hospital that I went to after getting discharged from previous one, I was with my mother and aunt. Completely clueless about everything going on with me, I sat there looking hopeless. Just about a month back, I had a normal life. A month later, life was everything but normal. I couldn’t recognise myself. My face looked as if it was painted black with hopelessness, exhaustion. I was just not myself. That old man had no idea why I was there, looking extremely deplorable. He had no idea that I was not myself, that my life changed drastically in less than a moment. He asked us if I were sick and then said that I can’t be sick. He then asked me to sit beside him and I obliged. He told me that I am not a patient, that I am such a beautiful girl (I really wasn’t. I really was in a terrible condition). At that moment, I had nothing to say. I was so overwhelmed, I had no words to say. That man left soon. If I’d have to describe what hope looked like, then it’ll be him. I don’t know why he said what he said, but I do know that he’s always going to be in my heart. This is highly unlikely, but if you’re reading this post, uncle, know that all of it meant so much to me. It still does. I fell in love with humanity once again.

I was admitted for some days about a month after meeting the old man. I met a nurse there who was admitted as her hand was fractured. She had come to see me in my room and I’ve known her since then. One of my nurses needed help and she, with her fractured hand, helped out. Whenever she would see me, she’d smile. Little did I know, I met her once again months later when I got operated. I had just gained consciousness when I felt someone by my side asking me if I recognised her. I couldn’t see clearly, but I knew it was her. I don’t understand how I knew it, but I did even though I hadn’t seen her that day before going in for surgery. She was there looking after me. To that woman, thank you for being you.

My doctors at the current hospital I’m going to have been a significant part of my journey. They’ve been working on making me feel better since one year and they’ve worked hard. They have been a fighter along with me and my family. They’ve fought, they instilled hope in me, made me feel normal. They’ve been God sent miracles. They did and still do their job with so much honesty, they deserve to be appreciated.

My friends, I can’t thank them enough and without their quick action, I wouldn’t have been here at all. I think they’d know why I’m saying this. I love you all. You’ve redefined friendship and gave it so much of meaning.

My extended family is on the list too, especially some of the people who have been so incredibly supportive that I can never forget all my life. I know that family is something that’s supposed to be always by your side, but it’s important for me to mention this. There are some who’ve done so much for me that you cannot describe in words, especially my aunts and uncles. You can only respect them for it.

I also know of so many people who have prayed for me, called me to check on me, did all they could to make me feel better. They weren’t even related to me, but they were still there. All of them, they deserve all the respect.

My family friends and their two little beautiful kids have become family to me. Throughout the time that they’ve known me, they’ve been an incredible support, brought a smile to my face and made me happy. They’ve been there always and that matters. I don’t have many words to describe them, but I would definitely say they’re one of my million blessings. All the love to them.

I hope I’ve not missed anyone because it was important for me to talk about it. All these people have shown me that there’s a lot of hope in every person around you if only you could look at it. They’ve shown me it’s still possible to do so much for someone without asking anything in return. I respect each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart.

I have to mention my parents too. My mother, who left her job to take care of me and stayed with me away from our home and my father who stayed alone for more than one year are two people who’ve taught me everything in life. They’ve taught me to be strong, to be kind, to give without asking anything in return, to love, to care, to understand and accept all, to appreciate whatever life gives and however it turns out to be. They’ve made me whatever I am today.

The list goes on. And I don’t think I can do justice to it because there are just so many people that made me realise life’s full of hope.

At every step, God paved the way for me to walk on. He opened one door after another and sent people to me who would do all to bring me to this stage in life.
All these people have made me feel loved massively, they’ve made me fall in love with humanity over and over again. They’ve made their own space in my heart and I shall keep them there forever.

I have my faith in humanity, in all the people and I know that there are so many of you out there defining hope for many others. I believe in you too. I believe in humanity.