Welcome to a new series at Scribbles@Arpita. But before I start, let me ask the old-timers something: When you landed here today, were yourself confused about this blog’s identity? Were you about to hit the close button when you suddenly found the interview with Tammy L. Gray on writing and self-publishing from last Wednesday and realized what was different?
Yeah, I know. Scribbles@Arpita is changed! Big time! I promise there won’t be such a drastic change again in the near future, but please do let me explain to you why that this change was necessary.
Oh, before I do that, a warm hello to my new visitors! For context, here’s what my blog used to look like before it underwent The Great Transformation!
Now, jumping on. Throughout my college life I have wanted to publish a book by the time I graduated. By the time I got serious about it, it was March 2015, only three months short of my graduation. There are a number of steps that I have started to take since and that is going to be the subject of ‘The Pilgrim’s Journey’. It’s going to be a long series in which I will pen out my wayward journey into the creative world of writing and the difficult world of publishing.
Why do I think this series will be a help to you? That’s because I research a lot about writing and publishing. And in doing that, I often come across awesome tips from various people in the writing and publishing business which I believe will be of much help to those who are starting off like me. I am sure you do your research well. The aim of this series is not to replace that; it is here to help accentuate it. Oh, you have something to add on to my experience? I’d be happy to host you as a guest in my blog. Just leave a comment below if you want to share your experiences here and I will get in touch with you.
So, in the first installment of ‘The Pilgrim’s Journey’ let me tell you what I have done since March this year.
- The idea to get myself published coincides roughly with the birth of this blog. I believe a blog is a good way to garner readership and build your brand. It’s a great medium to carve out a relationship with your readers, letting them know what you write and also see what they want to read. I was recently reading Jane Friedman’s Guide on blogging. Do read it and you’ll know why my blog underwent this huge plastic surgery.
- Then all of a sudden I came to know about Amazon KDP, where you can self publish your books at no cost at all. I published a story as an experiment. Let me tell you here that it has sold no paid copies so far, and even the free copy sales were meager. But it taught me a great deal about how to publish my second book, Bound by Life, which will come out on June 20, 2015. So, mark your calendars!
- After I published the story on Amazon KDP, I created my author page at Amazon Author Central.
- While I was on this creating spree, I stumbled on Facebook, and created my official Facebook page to reach out to readers. It doesn’t have many followers yet. But I just started!
- I started looking for free Kindle books and came across this beautiful novel on YA by Tammy L. Gray. I wrote to her on Facebook, asking her to do an interview with me. Luckily, she agreed, and I happened to have the very first interview on my blog, which by the way has many good tips for beginning self-published writers. I hope to do more of these interviews in the coming months. So, if you know an author who cares to be interviewed by a beginning blogger, do let me know.
- Since I started to write seriously, I have checked out various online contests (read, free online contests – I have this strong policy of investing money in writing only after I have got some initial monetary return through my ebooks. Call me a miser, if you like but I refuse to budge!). I participated in a Flash Fiction contest and was even shortlisted, but well, did not make the final cut.
- I have also been checking out magazines which publish short stories. I sent out my writings to a few like Out of Print, eFiction and StoryShack. But then I realized that I was yet to match their standards. Plus, I have my own project (Bound by Life) to tend to which consumes all my creative energy these days. So, I am going slow in the magazine sector as of now. But as soon as I am done with my book, I will be sending out new stories to the magazines.
- I started to read more since March. I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Lowland’ recently and loved it! Currently I am reading a book on Indian history, ‘Freedom at Midnight’ by Dominique Lapierre.
- I signed up for free newsletters from some of the veterans in the publishing industry: Jane Friedman and Chip McGregor. I LOVE Jane’s website! It has just the right tips and suggestions for me.
I don’t know when I will hold my first book in my hands (a real book made of real paper). I don’t even know if what I am doing right now is going to help me do what I want to. But I have a feeling it will. Either way, I am allowing myself a year to fail. To fail and to learn: that’s the motto for me in 2015.
See you around in the next part of The Pilgrim’s Journey, and I hope I shall be able to share some good news with you by then.
Before you leave, please let me know how you like the new look of Scribbles@Arpita. Does it attract you and make you want to read on? Or is it too cluttered and distracting? Your feedback is my guide, my compass.