If you have been on my page, you probably know about Bound by Life by now. For those who are not familiar, Bound by Life is my first book of short stories, set to come out on June 20, 2015 on Amazon Kindle.
When I started to write earlier this year with a goal in mind, I could only write from experience. That meant I was only writing about things I have seen and experienced for myself. For many weeks I had this question in my mind: Could one really write something well if s/he did not have at least some amount of personal touch to it? The question baffled me, and I wanted to throw it to every writer out there.
Hence confused, I realized I was not ready to write an entire novel. Somehow, since my genre borders on real life stories with all its trials and tribulations, I did not feel mature enough to write about many things.
I did start my novel though, and it has about three chapters in it now. But then I decided to start out with something small, something that I would feel confident in writing even with my limited experience. I decided to write a book of short stories. Before my resolve weakened, I decided I should name the book and fix a date, so that I actually went somewhere with it. Hence, I logged on to my bookshelf on Amazon, and chose the very last date available to publish a ‘pre-order’ category book (something that I was not publishing immediately) that day, and the chosen day is June 20, 2015, the due delivery date of my special baby!
I have grown up reading short stories, but somewhere along the way novels replaced them. It was only after I decided on writing short stories myself that I started reading them again (on magazines where I wanted to send my writings to and in Jhumpa Lahiri’s books). I researched, at the time, about publishing trends and found that the big publishing houses weren’t as enthusiastic about publishing short stories as they were about novels.
But I wasn’t going for traditional publishing right away, so I could put that thought away for a little while. So, for the next weeks, I concentrated on my short stories. Meanwhile, I sent some of them to magazines (see my post on that here). I was rewarded with an acceptance by the eFiction magazine for my story, I am Mala. It is available now on Kindle and the eFiction website.
Along with success I have met with failure. I sent this story, The Silent Victim, to Out of Print magazine. They informed me, with regret, that they could not publish my story. It felt bad, but I realized that I did not have much faith in that story myself.
So, this Sunday, I sat with that story, trying to edit it so that I could shape it for my short story collection. I saw then what the editor had seen, and silently I agreed with him for rejecting the story. In spite of the edits I had done before I submitted the story, there were still a few typos. The sentences did not flow so well. I deleted entire paragraphs which were clearly unnecessary to the main text. I realized this in the process: one must try and put as much time as s/he can between writing of a story and the edits. You really need that time to see the problem areas clearly. As of now, the story reads better, if not the best that it can be. I intend to return to it later for another round of edits.
Meanwhile, I started to read about how to format the book for Kindle. I created the front page with the name of the book and my name below it, read some stuff about copyrights, and added the dedication page. I also learnt so many things on MS Word in the process, about page breaks and Active Table of Contents. I have settled on a font type (Georgia) and the page margins.
So far, I have about five stories completed and the others are underway. I am trying to speed up the process as much as I can, for May is going to be a busy month with my final semester in college (but we all now how moody our muses can be, so I can be as fast as my muse allows me to). There are project and lab reports to complete, and circuit diagrams to draw. Our departmental farewell is in a few days. Finally, in about a month, I am going to graduate!
Nonetheless, I look forward to June when I can invest more time to my book alone!
Like my Facebook page for all the updates on Bound by Life. What was your experience of publishing the first book? Do you have any suggestions for me? Tell me in the comments below.